This Is What Love Looks Like (Today)

Fear.  It feels crippling today.  But I don’t really feel like hanging out in it for too long, so I’m just gonna pick myself up by the… hmmm, I don’t have boot straps.  I don’t even know what boot straps ARE.  Pick myself up by the heart strings.  Pick myself up by the angel wings.  Pick myself up by the truth of me who sings even now, when I seem to have forgotten the words to my own song.  Maybe that’s because there aren’t any words to my soul song… But I couldn’t tell you for sure, because nobody ever told me I had a song, so I quickly learned to forget this crucial tidbit of my selfhood.  Song?  Yeah, haven’t you heard those wondrous tales of indigenous cultures, where when a woman conceives a child, she goes off alone into nature and listens intently for the song of her unborn child?  They know… that every human has our own unique song.

But I have forgotten my song, so instead, I am listening to the Full Lotus Kirtan Show (one of my favorite podcasts).  On this week’s show, the host, [Saint] Blake Tedder is playing all Maha Mantras… you know, the Hare Krishna mantra. (an oldie but goodie, if you ask me…)  He says that this mantra is a straight shot, one way ticket to the kind of profound oneness you thought could only exist on TV and in the movies.  No, it’s real, and I’m on my way, baby, because in my ears, its all Maha Mantra, all the time.  Maha means “Great God”.

I just watched the barista empty three small jars of raspberry jam into one larger jar.  Thick, red slime.  And the chime of big metal spoon on glass, set against my maha-mantric Indian tablas and those clinky, kirtan chimes.  At times like this, when my usual constructs of safety, security and continuity are bursting like faulty dams and the mystery surges through like reckless, liquid, high-speed trains, it’s the little things I cling to with frivolous glee (stained with passive desperation).  God, I don’t know what to say at all today.  I just can’t shake this quiver.  It feels like I’m on the precipice of falling apart completely… but not fully letting go.  Oh!  Well in that case, Athena, just let go.  Fall apart.  Free fall through this moment.  Seems so simple.  As I wrote that, I realized that my heart was clenching, so I relaxed it, and now I feel like I could sob enough to fill an entire kiddie pool at a flea circus.

Member how I told you that the other day I heavily procrastinated writing my blog by searching for high school friends on facebook?  Well, I did, and one of them got back to me within a modest smatter of cosmic hot flashes!  She was ELATED to hear from me.  In the two messages she wrote me, I could feel her leaping up out of every single word and grabbing me by the collar, shaking me with a zesty strain of hallelujah.  She said she had been searching for me for YEARS… but by my old, busted name, Dawn Horwitz.  “Athena Grace!?!?!  What the *&%^$#@???” she spat.  I swear, what a gift to be so revelatorily received!  I wish EVERYONE was that excited to hear from me!  Briana is her name.  I met her when I was a “soft-more” and she was a senior.  She fell from the sky, into my drama class, a fresh transfer from Hayward High.  I never had any fond feelings for Hayward, and quite frankly, I was astonished that such a holy morsel could come from such a trashy neck of the woods.  (No offense if you are a Hayward Native or ardent supporter.)  My first impression of Briana was that she was always smiling.  But not some corny cheerleader smile… A soul smile.  She wore a depth, a wisdom, a style that dripped with authenticity, creativity and freedom.  I wanted to know her immediately.

I was amazed by Briana’s self awareness, her graceful ability to be herself in an environment that did not exactly foster such authenticity.  Briana’s presence in my life was like stumbling, parched and broken, upon a desert oasis.  When I wrote to her the other day, I told her in my brief synopsis of my life that writing is the backbone of my existence, my number one passion.  In her reply, she told me that she got her masters in creative writing, but she hasn’t written a word since, because she’s afraid she’ll find out she’s a sucky writer.  Can you believe that?  I can.  But I think it totally blows, with a capital B, that rhymes with P, that stands for POOOOL!  (I need to watch the Music Man soon.  I want to belt every song and maybe even stick thumb tacks in the bottom of my shoes and pretend I know how to tapdance!!!)  Writing.  It’s one of the FEW places in my life where I feel free from my own self criticism.  I mean, not that I don’t experience the self critical voices… But on the page, I just allow them, and glean freshly squeezed amusement from the ridiculousness therein.  To my self critical voices’ dismay, they actually fuel my writing in a positive way.  I’ll count that as a blessing.  Oh, woops, that reminds me… I was supposed to be locked away in my corner of condemnation, counting my ass off till beyond the end of time when the blessings are finally all accounted for, once and for all.  Whoops.  I’m here, instead, talking in concentric linguistic circles, like the ones that lovingly scream messages of impermanence in the faces of rain puddles.

Why do I put so much pressure on myself to be something, somehow, someway?  What am I trying to achieve beneath all this petty, unconscious expectation?  Survival.  That’s a big one, of course.  Being loved.  That’s the other Maha motivation.  But fuck.  I am loved, because I AM LOVE.  I wish I could live as though I knew this.  I can.  I can live as LOVE.  I DO live as love.  I just have some mental habits that have managed to convince me otherwise.  Simple.  But they can’t pull the wool over this LOVE-drenched bitch’s eyes no mo’.  I’m going on strike.

Okay, I’m gonna go retreat to my bedroom and cry my flea circus pool now.  Oh wait, speaking of crying… last night, I was walking alone to the grocery store and I saw this man standing in the dirt in his front yard.  He looked like a grubby, dirty man who you might encounter on mission street, or operating heavy machinery while nursing a Budweiser.  But instead, he bent over and cast little handfuls of seeds in shallow holes he had just dug in the soil.  Can I be candid with you now?  THIS WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I’D EVER SEEN!  This man, who according to my narrow, binding stereo type, should have been parked like a lump in his favorite armchair watching sports was out connecting with his modest, urban patch of earth.  Creating life.  Creating beauty.  Seeing this holy vision turned the contents of my heart upside down and I cried the rest of the way to the store.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Vodka and Ground Beef
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 19:06:21

    There’s so many lines in this post that I like. For some reason, the post really lit up for me after this one: “I just watched the barista empty three small jars of raspberry jam into one larger jar. Thick, red slime.” I don’t know why it was that one, but I just liked the image. Nice post.


  2. souldipper
    Jun 04, 2010 @ 20:32:28

    Authentic. That’s what I love about your writing. You are authentic, AG!!

    I don’t want to put too much attention on this – THOUGHT can screw up creativity – but when I read your hit-all-my-senses-WORDS, I sense a balance of authenticity with originality and all that equals creativity.

    If you weren’t authentic, the words would falls like ceramic ducks on the pavement. Your ducks? They squawk, they fly, they waddle, they shit, they smell and they swim with grace and decorum.


  3. Trackback: Shifts of Consciousness « Soul Dipper

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