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The eye opens seeing old men, women and children. The eye opens seeing gods, flesh, vapors. the eye recalls the beauty of the ordinary. it sees me, therefore I am. As such are we all created. It watches and pierces the heart. Who knows its name? Call it love, creating, conspiracy. Call it an impossible sky hung with moons and stars. It is yesterday or tomorrow, a million years travelling. The sun circles and the hawk. We follow a flow. Thus looked upon, the world receives its god.
I lived in the delta in a house of mud when I first felt its glance. I lived in its fire and never knew. I was asleep, dreaming blue dreams in the egg of the world. The eye opened and closed, blinking once perhaps as it does every million years, and I came from unknowing into knowing. I left my hut yawning. I was naked in a bed of light. I shone like day. I opened like a purple flower at dawn.
I am in the eye of god, resting in its blue orb. Golden eyelids encircle me. Eyelashes grow like stalks of dark truth. I see what I never dared—beyond the bucket banging the well, beyond mountains pushing up dirt. Light shimmers in every blade of grass, gods dance in every leaf, blue and gold fires leap from my pores. I shine in and out of life.
A thousand forms have I, wholly mine—man and hawk, sycamore, lotus and fig. I please myself to be born and to die over again. I walk a flowered path bordered by a million years. Season to season I change as a leaf greening. I flow as blood through flesh. The eye opens and closes, and then…
What lives in the gods and rivers lives in me, parts of the whole, one in One. I take my journey seriously. I’ve seen mountains, deserts and seas. Going nowhere one morning I suddenly entered heaven. I opened its door and passed through. I stood on polished floors and understood heaven no better there than while I was planting corn. Then I laughed; in that was truth.
Does the world die with me when I sleep? It seems so. I wake in the morning and it is born again—my wife, my children, my cattle, the stars. There are times in the day when I forget her, then seeing her pass, a jug of water on one hip, she is born in me and love rises.
All things are one beheld in the eye of god. We are his bodies. His time moves in our bellies. There is no season in which heaven does not hold the shape of its beloved, no time in which the earth does not sing. Under the sun, flamingos nod and bow and walk, Birds of the air spin in countless exhaled breaths. We are growing, remembering, forgetting, becoming. The many are one face changing expression.
The eye is everywhere. There is no act it does not see, no desire it can not hold, no secret that can not be known. The heavens speak. The flame bursts on your cheeks. Things are possible. In a moment we live a million years, a thousand lives in a breath.
Behold the eye that holds you. Without hands, it made you. You will be its hands. Without tongue, you become its tongue. Your work is its will. If what you make—your body, your love, your peace—is good, it shall be looked on by gods and endure forever.
When the eye opens, I look back.
From Awakening Osiris: the Egyptian Book of the Dead; Translated by Normandi Ellis