The most beautiful sunsets arrive in my eyes this time of year. The kind of amazing that brings gasps through open mouths, wind whistling through my teeth. Heart dropped into guts kind of beautiful. A startling red sun dipping behind the mountains, illuminating a patchwork of jewel toned clouds. It’s not the light itself that is beautiful, but the smoke that disperses the rays from reaching my eyes, my skin, my heart, without consequence. The haze highlights a beauty that I would otherwise not see. The death and destruction of so many acres of fire becomes nothing all at once, except ash and smoke, obscuring our view of what is usually so crystal clear. There is so much beauty in this murk.
Rumi says: “the wound is the place where the light enters you.” And I’m speeding down 80, trying not to crash into the setting sun, holding my chin up in its wobble at the expanse of suffering and joy that one body can feel in any given moment. At the expanding universe that is my heart. Growing in depth and heights. In sorrow and joy and grief and love. All at once. It is all here, all at once, for us to feel. This human form just wants to feel. The cold in my fingertips. The warmth and fuzz in my forehead. The twinkle in my ears for this song. The missing of all the beloveds I have been honored to know and love – and the depth and sweetness of connection that my heart knows now because of it all. The longing for you, and the efforting of trying not to want you. You, the current form of my everlasting beloved. The reach towards that starts somewhere deep in my middle and throws me off my center, into my phone to say hello before the effort takes hold. The effort of withhold, the effort of walls, the effort of should and the effort of adulting. The effort of righting this ship towards its due and inevitable course. (And my ship whispers, this is my course) The effort of thinking I know the course and the map and each step on its way. It’s safer to think I know all these things. And yet, through all that effort, I release into my heart song and pick up the phone. A text into the abyss.
And now, a waiting – in the chilly Oakland night, a glistening city of hearts and breath below my perch. A belly full of beloveds come and gone. I let myself have the sadness. It’s not so strong tonight, but still like greeting an old friend – its old familiar course through my chest and backspace, cooling my spine as it travels down and fills the bowl of my pelvis, willing itself down. Let the earth have it.
At sunrise, it is chilly and misty on the Oregon coast. Music is still moving through the speakers with sweet force, softer and lighter now than the deep dark that the night sang through. I have been dancing and crying and roaring and squealing and squeezing and snuggling (sometimes all at once). A dear one bundles me up, opens his journal and begins to read: “Everyday I struggle, between thinking my freedom comes from effort or the giving up of all effort.” And I am crying at the struggle I have felt through living this question all these years. And now here, with a crescent moon and the skyline of the bay as my landscape, phone in one hand, heart in the other, I am drinking up the succulent memory of that moment, of the way my heart was touched by a beloved, of the way our hearts’ sufferings bind us to one another in the common exquisite delicious pain of being alive. And in the laughter and exhale that follows.
And I am drinking up this moment of feeling loved and full and longing and sad all at once. It is all here. It is all here to feel. I do not have to leave the dark behind to feel the light, in fact it is impossible and futile. The polarity wants to be known in its full totality – its true brilliance only expressed in the full spectrum of feeling. The destruction is the fertile grounds for blossoming. The smoke, the remnants of what was, filtering the brilliance of what remains and what is to come. The very fact and substance of death is in everything that is life.
August 20, 2018