via Wikimedia Commons
Here’s to Sad Sam. Let’s hear it for him! I’m sure you know him, that he’s in you, that I have spied out his crumbling smile in the hordes in the grocery store. And if it weren’t for him, this human experience wouldn’t be worth telling, now would it?
Silly, Sad Sam.
The thing about him is that he’s just waiting for the light. Oh, sure, he’s got it in his head that the light has to look just like it did before, or like something’s he’s seen or read about. In one person, Sam’s got the stubborn idea that the light will look like expansive vision and unbounded mind. In another, Sam believes it’ll be the flush of forgiveness from God. Sam sometimes thinks the light looks like recognition from his peers, or perhaps a full bank account, or even just a new car. Sad Sam’s got the wrong idea, that’s all, he’s looking at forms, but in whatever form… surely, looking for the light isn’t a bad thing.
Surrounded by luminous blessings and guided by grace, Sad Sam’s just wishing it looked differently. It’s the expectations that break his heart, you see. Hope by itself is a good thing, but broken hopes are bad medicine.
They turn him mean when they’re confounded. When the hope of a specific form shatters and breaks against the rock, Sad Sam’s heart becomes bitter and melancholy. He feels tossed out into the darkness. And the meanness, anger, and fear that spill out of him break his heart all over again – sometimes in the same body, sometimes in Sad Sam as he lives in others.
Sad, Slavering Sam can be pretty frightening.
But for all that, Sad Sam’s not a creature of utter darkness. Sad Sam’s just broken-hearted, down under whatever virulent greenery has grown on his shaggy crown. But hearts heal, they really do. Sad Sam’s not always sad. And Glad Sam’s a whole different creature – he himself is a prayer answered. He’s a long-desired goal finally achieved, a big accomplishment after decades of work. Sad Sam is addiction or illness and Glad Sam’s recovery. He’s a lifelong dream fulfilled.
Here’s to Silly, Sad, Slavering Sam. May his story, which is yours and mine, be full of adventure and exploration. Life is full of quests, if we choose it to be, and his is the body of the river just before it becomes a waterfall. If we keep our perspective and stay seated in awareness as Sad Sam bubbles along with all his awkwardnesses, failures, and occasional victories, what a fine story we’ll have to tell.