because, everything is softer

P1010347 (Medium)

Whiskey softens the light, makes the darkness stand against the unseen until now and before are a blend, bourbaned.

We whisper sounds of all our befores, afraid of what they might betray.  And now, rain caresses the roof.

Boards creak in softer soil and speakers sing of life passing.  A piece of wood and some wheels, so we hear.  We look for one another in the sounds.

The whiskey waits, as the generator hums to a halt and darkness stands against the unseen.  Tell me friends, about your befores.

It doesn’t matter now.

and, your ‘purpose’?

The garden of eden… a beautiful story… one that had it all ordered and lined for us, the perfect metaphor.  So well-known but so often over-looked, and then a random yet perfectly normal occurence had me pondering it’s meaning a little more deeply.  I listened to a Talking Heads song.  And a rant of sorts came upon my fingers.

There it was, that garden.  A place where all beings live in harmony, naked and vulnerable and raw. Living of Love. This is what I imagine heaven to be.  Where we go when we die. And where we were before being born.  It’s a simple place, “a place where nothing, nothing ever happens” as David Byrne said.  No-thingness can be perfectly blissful, and yet “it’s hard to imagine that nothing at all, could be so exciting, could be so much fun.”  But with all that fun and excitement, what else do we do at this party?  We get restless.  As we always do, at even the best party.  Because we want some-thing, different, to happen.

Perhaps our souls wander over to the tree just at the edge of the garden, and we take a bite out of the sumptuous red apple dangling before us. We eat up and we learn from that Tree of Life.  We deny source, the garden, and sign up for the ride of a lifetime. The topsy turvy experience of being a human being. The suffering and chaos and joy; the sacredness underlying all of it. Because it is simultaneously sacred and messy.  Yet often we are so far from harmony, so clothed and covered, and with all our armor we forget what it was like to Live of Love.

But there are the moments… you know those ones. Where everything flows together into one seamless motion and you feel, at peace. You feel warm and flushed and free and your heart may just explode.  We feel what heaven must be like, we taste the garden that awaits us.  And we all know this feeling. We write songs about it. We direct films, and pen books, and capture images, and create art. We dedicate ourselves to capturing the varying essences of this human experience, and allow ourselves to be naked again.  So that we can embody that feeling, of Living Love.  But still, we are human.  And we draw causes.  We believe it is brought on by someone, or some, thing, or worse, an egoic self-satisfaction. But it isn’t. It’s just us, as we re-connect to our true nature.

The garden within.  That no-place inside our hearts where everything comes from and goes towards.  The place we knew before we came here, the place we will know when we leave. As long as our hearts are free and pure enough to let go.  For if we do not surrender to Love, whether here and now, or in the end, we will be caught.  We get stuck consuming our ‘knowledge’ our ‘lessons’ and our personal histories as if they are the only truth, all the while starving for a crumbling morsel of what we already have, anyway.  We are in limbo, or purgatory, until we are clean enough, naked enough, to be set free again.

Back to our home in the garden. That heaven, “where nothing, nothing ever happens.” Until we decide that it should, and we choose to take another bite out of life. And on and on.

And why wait, when it’s all right here and now?  Touch the moments of nakedness and vulnerability in your garden, sometimes.

“such”

           “…when you don’t understand something, continue as if you did, things

            will come clear later…. mathematics works that way. You start with

            nothing, treat it as something and in no time at all you have infinity or

            whereabouts. Storytellers do the same I believe….” -Christine Brooke-Rose

transient

(first, in 2011… but still as relevent)

As I write this I’m sitting on the luggage rack in an overcrowded train. Heat boils my insides until tiny drops explode through my pores, quenching my skin enough that I can feel the breeze, as a slight contrast. There are hundreds of Indians below, to my left, and right… A fan whirs lazily overhead and I feel like a tiny bird perched in a wire nest over an unfamiliar world. If I climbed down now there would be no space for my feet to stand. But perhaps I could fly off at the next stop.

Here, in this place, I am a ‘traveler’ by title, but really- I’m just a free citizen, letting my bare soles touch every rock, street, or particle of sand that I can. No property taxes paid, or rent owed, just a little bit further away from the system that entrenches me at home. Being in India, or Thailand, or anywhere (else) has become as necessary for me to exist as being with family, being in love, or immersing my skin in the sea.

Life at home always provided a paradigm for my place in the world. A set of rules for who (how) to be.  First I’m someone’s daughter, sister, or friend. Then I’m an employee, social security number, tax payer. Floridian, Southerner, American. Always a label, always a someone or something, in the world of things. An association to some externally created identity.

Here I’m no(thing). And so as long as I can, I enjoy being a salmon swimming upstream. All connections and associations to everything I know are broken. So I’m free.  I seem to think.  But I do see, that in reality, all of these titled ‘somethings’ apply anywhere.  It’s just that here, my own mind is free of them, because to my eyes, there is no association or tie to any(thing) I know.

Yet this freedom is still illusory. I know.  I used to think this kind of liberty was the only way to be happy or fulfilled- but that’s nonsense.

For I, like you, like all of us, need a place to belong, a home, just as much as we need a place to be free.  And that ‘place’, both home and freedom, only exists within.  Sometimes it is clouded over by the duties and expectations we place upon ourselves, and sometimes it is locked beneath the shackles society wraps us in. But underneath it all, our bodies are our homes, and our spirits are free.  

So in order to shake the chains for a while, I shake myself too, moving to a new spot, until new shackles start to grow, and I move again. It’s a complex that can’t sustain itself, and so I balance delicately on this tightrope of dualities, trying to find some place in the middle to breathe. But it’s this contrast that has always given meaning to the word ‘be.’

Being.

Now.

So you see.

Traveling has never been an indulgence, an escape, or a vacation, not to me. (All things certain people say to support certain ideas of lazy people that don’t contribute to the working world). It’s simply a necessary part, of being me, another way to feel my place and find my feet in the great big human family.  I will try not to be apathetic, a passive player in the game of life. And I will not seek meaning where there is none… but I won’t leave a stone unexamined before I place my meaning.

And I’m still non(placed).

un(real)

and the ego will scream loud… enticing with it’s juicy carrot (or a rotten one).  don’t follow that thought too close, don’t empower the lie.  it will only lead you down the wrong hole, little rabbit.

these tricks are for kids now.

for the truth reveals itself in darkness and between dreams. and the ego will shout, while intuition pulses.  touch her.  feel her warmth on your bones.