When I try to explain what track my thinking has taken in my life, even as a child or a teenager when a peer said that I talk as if I am reading out of a book, I am at a loss. In the following excerpt from The Last Bird Sings, Marshall, the student is explaining to his mentor, Felix, a feeling he needs explanation for. He is at the point in the story where having found the brothers and Felix he feels finally at home, wondering why he feels as he does. I have edited the segment.
Marshall thought for a moment. His feelings needed some sorting. He looked at Felix with intensity.
‘I cannot see it, but can feel it. I cannot put a name to it but it is real. When I talk to the brothers, each and together, I get the feeling that I am not just talking to them. By themselves or altogether. I get the feeling that there are great ones standing about listening. I have the feeling that we are in the midst of saints standing. Even now, I have the sense that we are not alone.’
‘You are right, Marshall. We are not alone. And it is good that you sense this.
For too many people talk as if what they profess to believe has substance and presence and yet act as if it does not. We would have you act in the knowledge that even the invisible has substance and intelligence. And to act accordingly. It would help man to act to his best capacities and to elevate himself. He would clean himself of the corrosion that hampers growth, his and all men.
He would open himself to what is highest and best and be its reflection. He would be able to judge behavior according to what is highest and best and want nothing less for himself or his brother. But he must first know who and what he is. And only in the silence, Marshall, will man be taught. He must go into the closet of who he is and listen.
You are right to sense the presence of others. They are about and we are never alone. We have not been abandoned. We have chosen seclusion to accelerate our learning.’
Marshall listened, and tilted his head to catch all of Felix’s words. Felix knew it took courage for Marshall to choose the route taken and his antennae were pointed to the heavens.
Marshall stood and then spoke.
‘It has all been written, hasn’t it? It was all put down somewhere, sometime. That is what the brothers read and listen to, isn’t it?’
Felix shook his head yes. He waited in silence.. There was something going on in this boy and would come forward.
‘There is some thinking I must do,’ Marshall said. ‘There are questions I must put into words. For some I know the answers and others I must feel out my answers.’ He turned and was gone. Felix seated himself and closed his eyes and prayed the prayer of the select few who knew the power of words.
‘To the best and highest within me, help me to choose the best and highest. Amen and amen.’
I was fortunate to have a handful of friends in my life who loved me. One in particular came to my home because she said she loved the feeling she had of being in a crowd of invisible saints. We were 5 in number of regular people but she saw a roomful of saints. We do entertain angels unaware, she one of them. There are copies still available of Last Bird for $20.00 shipping included.