To Leonard Cohen
I have just heard .. the passing of Leonard Cohen. The musical backdrop to so many parts of my life .. the poet, wisdom singer, meditator. Now, flying free.
I was reminded of this post I shared with my Monday Meditation Musing community earlier this year .. when Leonard’s words came to life while I was on retreat.
Taking a moment now to be still and reflect.
Always honour the sacred words that come to you again and again …
There was a water bearer.
Each day the water bearer would go to the master’s house and pick up two pots. Each day he would walk to the stream, fill the pots with water and return them to the master’s house.
One day he noticed that one of the little pots seemed sad.
“What’s the matter?” said the water bearer.
“Oh, I just feel terrible,” said the little pot .. “I can’t do anything right. I have this crack in my side. Didn’t you notice? Each day you feel me with water but by the time we get to the master’s house all the water has leaked out. I’m flawed.”
“You know what” the water bearer said. “Tomorrow as we walk why don’t you just look along the path.”
The next morning the water bearer picked up the pots as usual, filled the pots with water, and started down the path. The little pot, remembering the water bearer’s suggestion, began looking at the path as if for the first time.
As she looked she saw a beautiful field of daisy’s, then rows of roses, lavender, tulips, and poppies. And the flowers kept going.
Oh the colors and smells, the little pot began to cheer up a bit. But, the walk ended and they reached the master’s house. The little pot was out of water. She just sank inside. The water bearer noticed the pot was sad again. The water bearer asked, “Did look at the flowers along the path?”
The little pot sighed, “Yes and they cheered me up a bit. But, I’m still out of water. The other pot is so strong and perfect. She always gets the job done. She is filled with water.”
And then the water bearer said, “Did you notice, there aren’t any flowers on the other side of the path.”
“You see .. long ago the master and I noticed this crack in your side and each day as we have been walking along the path you have been watering the flowers.”
“I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table”.
“Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house”.
I heard this story many years ago. I cannot tell you its origins.
The story resonates for the lesson of honouring the wonderful uniqueness of others … the very flaws and cracks that allow our lives to be so interesting, colourful and diverse. We are indeed all cracked pots, and therein is the doorway to the light.
This week remember that there is uniqueness and goodness in us all.
When we hold ourselves open and aware .. we ‘see’ and appreciate the cracks we find in the people around us, as well as within ourselves. Knowing that in our weakness we also find our strength.