Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), the French philosopher and Jesuit priest once said “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” I’ve often pondered this quotation when extraordinary circumstances appear to constellate in my usual work-a-day life, taking on a life of their own, and seemingly all outside my realm of control.
It happened again recently in the midst of my self-induced gluttony and starvation, the ebb and flow of my income and financial circumstance, that I thought about my personal “Timeline” which I had kept relatively up-to-date for the last 20+ years and suddenly, realized nothing substantial or “important” had happened in quite some time. Yes, I moved to Costa Rica two years ago, I renovated a villa, I traveled, made new friends, but a few days ago, I remembered and thought about that soul-fulfilling event (purpose?) was missing over the last several months and I thought it quite odd. Had I been too busy to notice? Had I missed something? After all, why was it that I actually sacrificed everything I knew, the comfort I had, just picked up and moved to Costa Rica? Why did I leave my beloved country of 59 years? A single female with a sense of adventure and ???
Thinking about my bank account again, I attempted to generate a little income to keep my “flow” (of the ebb and flow) going. It was at this point, that I answered an ad that I saw in a regional publication for people looking for temporary habitation. Halfheartedly perusing the ads, I came upon this particular ad, which I was astounded to see the post of a woman traveler in San Jose, Costa Rica who had self-included an iconic photo recognizable to me from the Viet Nam era, so many years ago. It was actually she, herself, who was seeking accommodations to write her new book. She had been the subject of this photo, the dark-haired woman holding a daisy up to a line of heavily armed, bayonette-drawn soldiers. The incongruity of warriors and the Divine Feminine was captured on film. The photo immediately became a pop culture sensation, as well as a world-wide symbol of the Flower Power movement. Jan Rose Kasmir, (born in 1950) was 17 at the time, a former American high-school student who became well-known because of the anti-war photograph taken by French photographer Marc Ribaud. On this occasion, Miss Kasmir was photographed in October, 1967 while taking part with several thousand other anti-war activists who had marched to the Pentagon to protest against America’s involvement in Viet Nam. Living back East at the time, I also marched in this event. Perhaps our paths crossed way back then.
A few back and forth emails and Jan and I are about to cross paths again. After so many years, she is a mother of a college student in Israel and is receiving her Rabbinical degree this year. I have to wonder why we will really be meeting. So does she. As the earth has rotated for so many years since the photo, and the planets have realigned so many times, perhaps now we have greater work to do in this even more war-torn world than the 1960s.
Always leaving open the possibility for the miraculous and the unexpected; with prayer fitting neatly somewhere inbetween, I look forward to our revelation and our REAL work.
By Kim Colville