I admit that I love metaphors. I love how metaphors can convey in one scene or snippet, a wealth of profound life-changing lessons.
A number of years ago, I was going through a rough patch as every human being does, and I found myself contemplating how pearls are made when a bit of grit gets into the soft fleshy recesses of an oyster.
This led to a poem that spontaneously flowed into my head, and one that I was lucky enough to capture. Here it is:
The Oyster and the Pearl Poem written by Selina Shapland, January 2, 2009
I am the oyster, I sit inside my shell of protection within the ocean of life itself. I'm yummy and squishy and soft to touch. Inside my shell, I am safe from the pain of the world. Allowing only that which I want to experience in close to my heart.
In the storms of life, I am buffeted around on a shifting bed of sand. My shell closes tight; Protecting me from any harm that may befall me. I am safe inside my dark cosy shell.
A dappled ray of sunshine warms my protective layer; I open up my outer self. Embrace the warmth of the sun's bright rays, Longing for warmth to reach my heart. Spread wide, I am open to the sea of life once more. I feel safe.
The winds of life begin to stir the waters of my home. I am swirled about wildly in a cyclone of murky unknown. %%Shadows and confusion split my world asunder.
I have no control!%%
Grasping, I slam my shell shut. To no avail, I am entered; It is hard and gritty; abrasive against my soft, squishy raw self. Oh the pain, the irritant. I yell, get out, get out, GET OUT!
Pathetically, I wail at my predicament. Why oh why has life stung my so deep? Why have you cut into my core? Groaning, the pain, the stabbing terrible pain. No matter how hard I try to shake 'it' loose, It will not leave me. Damn that little gritty bit of sand!
Determined to make the best of this shitty situation, I look on the bright side. Why, tiny grain of sand have you come to disturb my world? There is only silence. The one thing I cannot stand! Frustrating silence is my new bedfellow. I hate you, I don't want you. I never wanted YOU!
Resigned, I sit in the maddening silence with my intruder. I appear to be alone, clammed shut, air tight, not allowing another thing in. In the darkness of my solid protection, no light shall shine here. I am afraid to open. I do not want to expose myself again. We dwell in isolated confinement, this gritty bit and I.
Time passes. I have grown to care for my gritty bit. In the void of nothingness we are comrades. I find comfort in knowing my companion is with me; No pain, just solace in our little community of two. Strange that I find myself loving this intruder.
We sit together, this sand and I. Swirled around in the ocean of life, together now as one. Shifting sands move us, twirl us and tumble us forward. Still clammed shut, I am not yet ready to open to the light. Just a little longer, I wrap my gritty bit in tender love.
One day, I awaken to know the deep truth. I am healed. The pain is gone. No longer am I fearful of the unknown. I know I am safe. Warmth tickles my hard protective shell, Teasing me, encouraging me, calling me to open to life again. I resist not one moment more.
Gasp and gurgle,
Sun and cleansing waters rush into me
Soothing and washing me out,
I open my shell much like a budding flower.
I am cleansed, I am whole, I am fresh.
A light shines from within me out into the water.
I am changed, transformed forevermore.
No longer is my gritty bit of sand inside myself.
Deep inside my soft fleshy recesses.
Peeks out a luminescent light;
A delicate pearl shines forth into the world,
and I realise with sudden clarity, that
I am the Oyster of Creation.
I am the Pearl of Transformation and Unity.
I AM the Oyster and the Pearl.
We are one.