This post first appeared 2/2/2012;
its timeliness feels unmatchable!
Clearly, this is no time for poetry. In fact, as I transition into 2012 (now 2020!), I can practically see my poetry drifting out to sea, carried off by gentle waves. I’m not sure where it’s headed or when it might return to shore, and I’m okay with that. Much of it now feels prehistoric and somewhat irrelevant, in an age-appropriate sort of way. (As in, “The Ages,” not as in that chronological number braceleted to my wrist at birth.)
I have long been willing to leap into the void, to hang upon Ishtar/Inanna’s meat hook, to step into the primordial flame, to surrender and peel and wail in the darkness. Resisting that particular ray of life, steeling myself against the descent, never seemed an option to me. Far as I can surmise, I signed up for the whole package.
So here I am (again), stepping into a voidier void, facing a larger emptiness, reconsidering the deepest pre-considered crevices of the deepest issues, the ones gathered in inaccessible corners, out of reach of the illuminative searchlights that travel back and forth across the windshield of one’s inner landscape.
I don’t mind telling you this: If you are not at least slightly shaky or perhaps full-on terrified at the prospect of releasing every now-useless thought form, every hypnotic belief about yourself or others that you have clung to, every contrived notion that grates against your unabashed view of utter liberation, then you are either (1) an ascended master (so why are you reading this?) or (2) here it comes: you’re not fully embracing this unparalleled evolutionary opportunity.
That’s not a chastisement; it’s a gentle reminder that perhaps you can nudge yourself a little further than you believe. Perhaps you can reach up and oh-so tenderly pull aside the veils that have kept you in the dark. Perhaps you can hold up an untarnished mirror and take a second (or third or four-hundredth) look at the brilliance that resides within you.
There may be a wounded sparrow trapped within the confines of your heart – and if you approach softly, she may very well let you hold her close and soothe her raw and mangled feathers.
You may agonizingly wonder whether your entire life has been some sort of twisted cosmic joke – though if you allow yourself to chuckle lightly at the seeming absurdity of it all, you may choose to observe the flip side of magnificence barreling into view.
If forays down memory lane leave you pondering What could I possibly have been thinking?, offer yourself a bit of mercy. Even if the seemingly correct answer came down from the sky and alighted on the tip of your nose, so what? What’s done is done. No amount of intellectual understanding will change a thing, except to propel you to the next question, to which you will affix your next attempt at mental mastery, and thus continue the cycle for eternity.
And if you’re not called to any of this, perhaps you can allow yourself the luxury of being exactly where you are, without the urge or the need to strive for anything more.
Truth is, if we are sincerely committed to this wild ride, sometimes we must weep and grieve and double over in pain without having any sense whatsoever as to the source of the loss. Something was taken from you sometime, as it was from me, or we gave it up willingly, or we simply never had it in the first place. In ways large and small, significant and seemingly inconsequential, loss happens more often than it is comfortable to acknowledge – and as tempting as it is to pretend otherwise, one does not grieve well from the grave.
So in these days, right now, tread lightly in the heavenly garden that grows within you. No need to fling the fertilizer around in oversized clumps or hack everything off with rusted blades. You can prune with intention and lovingly pull away any choking excess. You can spy color and life and tiny beginnings and endings all around, and you can honor every blessed bit of it.
What appears barren still holds potential for beauty. What seems wildly askew is simply harmonious realignment finding its way to fresh order. Darkness carries light in her bosom and life cradles a string of deaths in her benevolent arms…
…and all the while, within the scrambling brambles rests the precious and unfolding rose that is you.