Letters To Tom — Mountains and Movies

Dear Tom:

Before, I get to today’s subject let me warn you about something. When we arrive in Portland next spring, and Suzy suggests hiking — beware. What’s a moderate trail to Suzy, who has a low center of gravity, strong tennis legs, no joint problems, and an extreme love for exploration is not necessarily “moderate” to this former football player with the knees and other joints to prove the toll the sport takes on one’s body. Nevertheless the Blue Ridge was gorgeous and worth a trip east. Remind me tell you about how I felt when I was gasping air after climbing an elevator shaft type of steps, and a young man passed me in semi jog and in flip-flops singing.

All that said, I was wondering if Sufi’s have an expression that has come up in the book I’m about to finish writing. In the book the accused murderer of the Senator leaves his lawyer a clue as to why he put a gun to the Senator’s head. The clue hidden in a bus locker was a DVD of the movie Jerry Maguire. Everyone suggests that the clue is — Cuba Gooding’s line “Show Me The Money.” I won’t spoil the plot, but the lawyer’s partner suggests an alternative meaning for the clue. She says that Jerry says he wants to become –, “the me, I always wanted to be.” She goes on to say, ““From all you tell me, (the client) had principles, strong ones. Maybe he’s leaving you a clue about how he felt ( right before he shot the Senator). Maybe he was thinking about him being the person — he wanted to be. There’s another line in the movie by Renee I Can’t Pronounce Her Last Name. She says, “I love him for the man he wants to be, and I love him for the man he almost is!”

I missed these lines when I watched the movie, frankly preferring the football scene, especially Cuba dancing in the end zone. But it is something to ask myself. I am close to being the person I always wanted to be? Am I the man I “almost” am? There were times I thought I was headed toward that goal, but more often than not, I seem to be running from, not toward that person I always wanted to be. I was never a big fan of the commercials that urged you to “be all you can be” by buying their product, But I ran across a thought recently that said it better. I read an interview of Michael Meade whose most recent book is Fate and Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul. He said, “The role of a fully realized human being is to arrive at the door of death having become oneself.”
Anyway dear friend its something to think about. Take Care. 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. Dear Webb,

    First, let me say we are so excited with the opening of this blog entry: “WHEN we arrive in Portland next spring…” We will hold you to that and share with you some of the fabulously beautiful hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge area… one is a quite flat, short (1.6 miles) trail to an unbelievably beautiful waterfall that few know about or visit. Can’t wait to take you and Suzy there!

    I’ll try to respond to your question about whether Sufis have an expression around becoming a fully realized human. I think that is your question, and if it is, that question seems to be at the center of Sufi thought. First, and as I’ve said before, Sufis believe that we are all Divinely created to be perfectly imperfect. Starting there, Inayat Khan (The Art of Being & Becoming) says that the necessary character building as one goes through life requires her/him to “unlearn,” to forget ourselves, to let go of the ego. That is the struggle of life. Kahn says, “…to live in the world, in all the difficulties and struggles of the world, and to be human at the same time, is very difficult.”

    The key, Sufis say, to becoming fully human is to be fully in one’s heart, becoming more and more selfless through the journey. Sufis say Love is God, and God is Love. For humans to love, it requires love to be in service and love with no expectation of return. I think that perspective suggests surrender.

    The journey to and through character building, being in one’s heart, being a lover, surrender is very difficult. But as our teacher said in a class we took a couple weeks ago, throughout that journey, we need to challenge all actions, reactions, and judgments – of self and others. They said that the effort is very challenging, but when we are efforting in that direction is the time we are closest to the Divine.

    Your friend,
    Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.