"I believe that if one wants to succeed in a very serious way, then it is necessary to accept some invisibility as a price." David Ligare
"On the sandy bank under the trees the leaves lie deep and so crisp that a lizard makes a great skittering if he runs among them..." John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
"In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling in and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage." John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath
Invisibility: an archetypal quality which is very often the lived experience of the artist, the poet, the mystic, the activist, and the world's powerless and poor... while it is perhaps true that everyone dreams of ease and comfort, if not power and riches, it is probably also true that in the nub of a "final decision", mostly everyone if given a choice would instead choose love and bliss; translating the two together into "truth"... the "secret knowing" of this "final decision" is exactly what gives power to the artist, the poet, the mystic, the activist, and also to the world's powerless and poor...
The greatest art, the most exquisite poem, the prayer of union, the community organizing, and the rising consciousness of the world's powerless and poor, each and all, flow from the invisibility of the Primal Energy of the Universe: "light" is translated into "insight": insight is translated into inspiration: inspiration is translated into imagination: and from this root rises the Tree of Life... The artist, the poet, the mystic, the activist, and the world's powerless and poor each and all have the central task of gathering about the Tree and reaching out and reaching up, hoisting one another upon the strong shoulders of neighbor, to reach the waiting fruit: this is the activation of both compassion and the initiation of the solidarity paradigm... The fruit of this Tree will not fall into any waiting hands: the hands must rise, the hands must struggle, the hands must rip the canvas and shred the incomplete poem, the hands themselves must groan and groan in empty prayer, the hands must not yield, the hands must lift up from behind: the fruit of this Tree must be taken in harvest and shared freely for the liberation of every mind, soul, and body...
The core identification of all those gathered about the Tree of Life is invisibility: each lives for the other: the artist creates as a revelation of beauty and intelligence: the poet creates as a revelation of beauty and presence: the mystic creates as a revelation of beauty and mystery: the activist creates as a revelation of beauty and justice: the world's powerless and poor create as a revelation of beauty and mercy... In the taking of the fruit of this Tree, a Pathway is created into the ancient vision of community and communion: and the companionship of lovers resurrecting the Dream of a Garden in which everyone and all the creatures are finally "Welcomed Home"...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.