Letters to Tom — Invitation

Dear Tom:

It has been too long dear friend, I hope you and Casey are
doing well and had a wonderful Easter. Do Sufi’s have Easter Egg hunts? I bet
they do as much as they seem to enjoy life, and at the Easter Egg hunt we went
to  with Lila there were plenty of 2 year
old “whirling dervishes.” I write to extend an invitation, let me explain.
Now that the Lenten season is over you might ask how am I
different, what did I accomplish, did the fasting, prayer and meditation bring
you new insights or revelations? I cannot pin it to Lent as much as a time a
year ago that even I knew something was wrong with me. Things that Suzy had
noticed for over several years started being undeniable to even “clueless me.” Next
week will mark my first anniversary of entering the hospital for the first time
to be told I was failing, and I would need a transplant to live.  Or at least for the first time, I realized
that was what they were saying. A lot has happened since then and you know my
story. I won’t bore you with repeating it, but I cannot help but think that to
some extent, I am now in a place where your Sufi faith describes as  “experienced a descent into existence.”

What do I mean by this phrase? After my surgery, I became stirred
for something I cannot even put a name to this day. As I would take those first
walks around my home, I started a discovery of myself that continues today. I
started a dialogue with myself about the nature of reality. Although weak from
surgery, I have the same body ( except the new liver), personality,
relationships, responsibilities as before, but my experience of these
circumstances has shifted rather dramatically. I am seeing with new lens, and I
am still trying to bring them into focus.

My Lenten experience this year was that of an Archeologist
who picks slowly of layer upon layer of stone and gravel seeking something but he
knows not what it might be. I benefited during the end of Lent from my travels
throughout the South of my youth and young adulthood and visits with friends
and family. They brought a lot into focus, but I still have a lot of work to
do. I continue to pick at the stones with eagerness, but still little clue of
what if anything lies buried.

As you can see I am still struggling, but I hope you will
bear with me in my struggles. Let’s go on a dig together.

Your Friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of The United States, is an author and speaker. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

1 Comment +

  1. Webb,
    I loved this posting, and yes, your two Sufi friends in Portland had an Easter egg hunt, enjoyed during a small family reunion. The eyes of the youngest (about 18 months) discovering an egg, flashing wonderment, excitement and joy, struck me as emblematic of each of our paths as we discover the One in our lives.

    Your mention of seeing through a new lens really struck a chord with me. The Sufis talk about awakening, about discovering one’s real identity which has been hidden beneath the layers of earthly distractions. They teach that each of us possesses a “continuum of consciousness” that ranges from the unique individual we are to the “boundless, transpersonal dimension.” Learning to embrace both ends of this coextensive continuum “is the spiritual task of awakening and illumination.” Both ends of the continuum – the perceived and the real – are important to experience. Pir Vilayat inayat Khan, in his book “Awakening,” says that one can take on “gaining insight into the deepest levels of reality … by dropping the biases of ordinary thinking that obscure the interconnection with the Universe” (or God).

    OK, as I read what I just wrote, it sounds pretty esoteric. But as you described your “descent into existence,” it sounded to me like you are going through an awakening process, as I understand the term. I was reminded of my own journey which began just a few years ago, and how I’ve begun to “see” things differently as successive layers are removed. I still have a long ways to go. You can absolutely count on me to join you in both your struggles (along with mine) and the dig!

    Love
    tom
    (All the quotations are from the book “Awakening”)

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