Under Watchful Eyes
The Caravan Creeps Closer to the Hindu Kush Mountains
Jesus was getting used to the undulating motion of the camel’s walk. It reminded him vaguely of the small vessels that managed the waves off of Ireland. He had been in a state of mystic reverie for the longest time, but now, he was trying to rouse himself. He looked at a cliff far off to the northeast. By now he was getting used to mirages, and thought the man on the horse was one. The heat of the day made waves in the air. He blinked, as a white flash filled his eyes for the briefest moment. He focused harder, looked again and the horseman was gone. He thought the flash came from the sun reflecting off of a sword or shield. He doubted his eyes, and grabbed the bag of skin at his side carrying precious water. He took a swallow letting it trickle down his parched throat. He had drifted away from the caravan; so he slowed down to get closer to the group.
The Brigand above the Caravan looked down at the lone traveler leading the way. He looked to be new to camel riding. In fact, he could tell by the look of the whole caravan that this group was prey. The Brigand swiftly pulled his stolen sword skyward and flashed it overhead as a silent symbol that he was a menace. The sun caught its shiny metallic sides. He left the perch quickly and descended the rocky trail to join his cohorts laughing and joking under the meager shade of an old grey green olive tree. He shared the news of the coming caravan. For millennia, the oasis was a welcome balm for travelers, and a choice spot for attacks. The brigand and his cohorts had been making their living along this route for generations.
The “lamb vulture” (lammergeyer) elevated on rising warm air above the whole scene, had a perfect view of the vast expanse that lay beneath him. With his special eyesight and his familiarity with this scene, he made an assessment of the rowdy group hidden underneath the trees, and the string of travelers laced along the route like a gnarled multi-colored rope being pulled through the sand and hardy flora of the region. The crusty bird, whose countenance was designed to be ugly, was utterly familiar with this scene. Of course, he had already spotted the eviscerated goat lying in the boulder-strewn stream bed straight below. That stream was one of those that only ran in the spring from melting snow. The Oasis was mainly fed by an underground spring. It was that spring that gave the oasis a constant green hue livening travelers hearts, making brigands eyes gleam.
With a face like old cracked brown leather, the vulture looked down on this ancient oasis that constantly fed him and his like. His cold eyes had already spotted the goat because of the gases of death that floated upward and which humans called “rot”. It was not far from the green boundary of the verdant site of pools and falls and rivulets. He cast a wide view of the scene below. The boisterous brigands and the incoming caravan created a lot of movement, making this scene a little too active for a peaceful meal. He caught a thermal and rose a few more feet scouting on the scene below. Not far from all of this activity, a half mile to the south, was an easily obtained dead scrub goat.
A buzzing insect cut through Jesus’ dreams and then it brought him to consciousness. He'd not gotten to really see his surroundings from the night before, as their late arrival into camp had prevented a true appreciation of the immediate around. He stretched the sleep out of his limbs, felt the warm stimulation of flowing blood coursing through him, and he scanned the greenery. He put his hands through his curly brown hair and let out a large morning yawn. He cast his face skyward, looking up high, higher than the blazing sun now sitting full on the morning horizon. He fixed a view of that vulture, who had returned to his exalted elevation, motionless above. “I see you have spotted breakfast already.” He turned on his heels to get some fresh flowing cool water, instead of the stale fluid in his leather bag. He felt the warming sand between his toes, as he leaned forward in a brisk gait that helped invigorate him. Marching over with greater elasticity, he leaned against the rock outcropping that offered up an effervescing gift from a spring deep below. He cupped his hands and sipped. Then his eyes widened, as he was arrested by an accidental view of stunning beauty.
In the Pool at the Heavenly Oasis
Terusha, in a multi-folding crimson silken wrap was already in the deep pool with about 20 of her fellow caravan travelers. Realizing he had over slept the festive morning laughter, due to his relative distance from the group, he moved quickly to join Terusha. Biting his lower lip, and squinting with a sudden joy de vivre, he took a confident step forward, and then halted a bit self-consciously, as he noticed two other young men engaging her with an offering of a persimmon. Knowing that Jesus was approaching her, and her interest was there, she playfully splashed the boys, grabbed the persimmon with a thankful bow, and then turned coyly in Jesus’ direction. The other boys now having the persimmon connection stayed nearby talking about everything but what they were really interested in.
They allowed for the Jesus-Terusha encounter, but held a strategic block for others who might intrude. Jesus liked that configuration and proceeded to take the bite of persimmon that Terusha was now offering him.
Jesus moves away in the shape of an arc, making distance and then submerging into the deep pool. He grabs a big breath and drops to the bottom with a sharp dive, piercing to the bottom like a human arrow. He opens his eyes and spots colorful stones, he focuses in on one with a emerald green sparkle having a rounded base and sharp edge. He plucks it up quickly, pushed with his feet sending his lithe body to his goal. He emerges one foot from her. With the water and small bubbles dripping from his brow, he has been animated by the realization that he can barely contain his deep feelings.
He at tempts to describe in his youthful yet educated spiritual vocabulary what is a full flowing absolutely romantic emotional fervor. He barely knows what it is, but expresses it with his verbal tools nonetheless. He does not think about bridling himself in, because the purity of his impulse knows nothing but the fullest manifestation of what is going on inside him. He can’t wait to talk. He is not afraid to communicate. But he knows he is in territory he has never been. Like going to Ireland, and now to India, he remembers that he could barely stop staring at the green of Ireland, the first time he planted his feet there, after his long sea voyage.
And now this transfixing female embodied, not only the bewildering feminine, that beguiles, hypnotizes, attracts, invites, and now she became the sole object of his effusive affection. He could not contain himself. It was as if he himself was waiting to hear himself say what he was unsure he was going to say. And just before he spoke, he remembered his teaching about the Power of the Sechinah, which was the Feminine in Creation. But as he laid his eyes on her responsive, joyful smile, which seemed to be divinely formed, he knew he was in completely different mental.. spiritual and emotional territory than he had ever been. There was something about this moment that shook him, but silently thrilled.
“I cannot describe what the Father is feeling inside me.” His teeth clicked a bit like a shiver. Energy moved up and down his limbs. She responded “You are so poetic, Jesus. You speak of your father within and all I see is this handsome man before me.” Terusha beamed and shook her head with an ironic smile.
“How could I describe this glorious experience? I am so unfamiliar with this. It is the most powerful human feeling I ever…You are love’s perfection. You have revealed a new love to me. You are the most beautiful vision I have ever seen on earth!” Jesus stopped in order to gather in the sense of what he had just said. Not only were his awesome inner feelings new to him, but the words themselves almost seemed foreign.
“Jesus…Oh Jesus, I have never heard words like this…Is this the language of this Father inside you speak of? Is this your God you love so? You speak of him like he is your heart and your feelings.”
Jesus is unraveling a bit, not completely able to handle the power of what he is feeling, with his ability to express what seems to be now, inhabiting him. “He is. Although, not he or she, but our loving living inner consciousness. I am his vessel for experiencing. And he is my ability to experience. And oh my God what am I feeling right now? Thank you Father. How can it be contained? I just want to burst. Tera, could I spend eternity with you, please?”
There really was nowhere to go from there, for this young couple. Those words hovered exquisitely in their hearts. Jesus could not embrace her right in front of the “persimmon boys” who were already trying to figure out what he was saying, by observing his ardent facial features. Terusha had feelings fighting themselves too, and they were dancing on her face. Should she hold him, hug him, stare into his eyes, vow her love for eternity or go in to swim? Taking a swim seemed to be a simple answer. She said, “Let’s…” Jesus rejoined instantly “Swim.” She blushed “You swim like a fish and I like a turtle.” “But a very capable one” he came back with lovingly. They joked about the swimming of water creatures. Ah, yes, jocularity about nature seemed to release some tension, making the blood-pumped heat on the skin’s surface-shimmer tingle in their bodily awareness. Yes, a swim was definitely the prescription.
As Jesus swam his mind could then go to reflection. His great spirit was realizing through his growth, that he challenge of being a fully grown up human being was a complexity that he had not yet begun to appreciate.
His intellect was exceptional but his heart and emotions were experiencing magnificent overloads of energy and storm. He popped up in the pool smiling and splashing and joking, with this exquisite being, whose very presence was overwhelming his sensibilities. And yet, there she was, a bright uncomplicated young woman whose delight in life, and in her own loving simplicity was truly astounding to him...and now taking his cherished breath away.
As he held his breath and pushed himself through the depth of the pool, he tried to understand this incredible newness. He was actually going through a major part of his growth right here. Like a bird falling out of a nest his descent would become his lesson for flight. Becoming a servant he would learn what it was to be fully human; even serving the most cherished love in life. Feeling a convoluted confusion, ending in ecstatic flows of tickling triumph, he secretly knew that service, could be the most delightful endeavor ever. What was this? His brain was racing. His body was pulsing. His Mind was connecting…to his Heart. His conscious Soul had a front seat to it all!
Ready for Business
They came up from the water together and floated in a world that somebody made just for them. And then, just like life does, things hesitantly and inexplicably stopped. Jesus looked around. Something was tugging on his floating awareness. They did not know at that moment that violence was facing them soon. They were going to be quickly flying from glorying in youthful love, to terror. Physical danger, another challenge that Jesus was learning to think about, and confront more and more, would be presenting itself in adrenalized drama in just moments. In the pool, holding Terusha’s hands Jesus tilted his head like a listening dog. He was picking up intimations from the unseen.
The Brigand and his cohorts were filtering into the oasis like viral packets of death. This was their resident domain and they were exceedingly comfortable in it. The hunger of desire and the excitement of unbridled violence were circulating with pathological fire. Anticipation shot from their eyes. They had done this before, and it gave them great excitement, along with goods and booty. Like a wolf on the sheep-fold, they were salivating in delight. But, they had their leader. He had unsheathed his shiny well-crafted sword and given them their marching orders. The sword he had stolen from its previous owner.
With a flash of a swiping move, he had severed the man’s throat from which the sword departed. He sported it like it was fashioned just for him, commissioned, to be uniquely his alone. Every group like this needs a hard leader. He had stopped them and made them reign in their lust at a small plateau, covered with bush and tall trees, before dawn. He wanted to really know who these people were. He had delayed. He had sent a scout forward to truly discover what the oasis presented. The frivolous, high-pitched sounds of youngsters in this group, told him to now, send his men in.
Joseph of Arimithea and Ohmi had left the caravan early before dawn to make their business appointment. The two were becoming closer and closer; as they moved quickly to their appointment on horseback. Then they arrived in the seacoast village. The splashing of the lapping waves of the Indian Ocean provided a soft symphony, combined with the lively chatter of the villagers doing morning business at the peers. The lashed boats providing low drum beats in rhythm to it all. Joseph, a Trader from the farthest western locations in Ireland to the vast marketplace of India, was lending his deep bass voice in animated joy and wonder at these new environs. He was captivated by Ohmi’s tales of his home and his people. He listened with a magnetic interest that made his eyes come alive with the sparkle of newness. Just then, a thought told him to worry. He stopped and watched the young villagers. They reminded him of Jesus and Tera. For some reason, a disquieting irritation invaded his mirth.
Ohmi jumped into the silence and began a new tale of a sailing vessel design that a local Trader was having built. He said it gave greater speed, and greater capacity. He was always thinking of ways to get away from the caravan routes. They had been used for hundreds of years. Ohmi told Joseph that he much preferred the seas. This made Joseph wander back into the conversation. Yes, the caravans have always been dangerous, but was still the place to get goods and tools and weapons and clothing.
Ohmi felt his lack of ease also. “Friend, I assure you of the safety of our little excursion here. And yet, we are indeed in a dangerous world. There are people who simply use the caravan route as their fruitful tree.”
Joseph pulled his hands over his beard, a habit he had developed after years of contemplation. “We're now done” he demanded. Then both made immediate plans to cut short the visit, and head back to the Oasis.