Saturday, January 24, 2009

Elementals, Shooting for the Moon

I have found a place. Actually, it may have found me, but it is inviting me to dwell in it; inviting me to dwell here. It is different than you think. It has no walls, no floor, no sky, no ground. It is a place that is just here. And I am just here. She just is, here when she can be, yet always here. I have dreamed of this place often, but could never really find it. No directions will lead you here. No vehicle will bear you. It's like the place where elephants go to die. You know it's there, but you can't go there until the time is right. It is not a place you live in, like a house or a yurt, but it is a place you want to be. In fact, be is all you can do here. I am here.

While I am here, she is asking me to stay, and to go back there at the same time. Going back there is the hard part, because it feels so right here. But I am free here, so going back doesn't feel like a job; it feels more like homework you want to do, like building Nemo's submarine from papier mache. So I go back there, trying to find my first choice, chocolate or vanilla; or rather trying to find that 'back there' when it mattered which I chose, when it really mattered--before I drizzled my chocolate on my orange sherbet--before I mixed all the choices up. Back there, I made the choice. Me, the original me, before the me I became. And it really did matter back there, because if I hadn't made that original choice for the original reasons, I would never have found the here to go back there from.

You can't stay here, or rather, there's no reason to stay here, if you haven't gone back there. Because until you know why it mattered back there, and who it was that it mattered to, there's really no way to know what matters here, or, at least, become the person who knows what matters here. That original choice is the launching pad of your life, before it got carbon-ed and crispified in the exhaust gasses of your life.

So, I went back there, and then, I came back here, and she asked me why I wanted to stay here. She insisted on reminding me that she could not always be here, that we could not always be here; I could always be here, or try, but here only lasts a moment, and the forever of a moment is fleeting. Sometimes, when you're really here, you can come back here the next moment, and the moment after that. Most times, you have to find here again, but it can be hard to step in the same river twice. You can never be in the same here twice, but, as she listed some of them, I knew that there are an infinite number of heres to live in.

So, I sat in that question awhile, and found my answer.

In here is where love swirls. Only in here does love swirl, does love tumble, does love dance. In fact, here is the only place love exists; at least the kind I want, the original kind. Whether or not I can be here all the time, or whether or not we can be here all the time, or at all, here is where I want to be, swirling and tumbling and dancing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Elementals, Branch of my River

I am obsessing today, but mostly I am flowing. While, as of yet, I am not a lotus position person, I have been 'meditating' on a particular phrase, and since this phrase relates to my yesterday and my tomorrow, I'm going to share it, and then, ramble on about it.

You can't step in the same river twice

We all, myself included, like to delude ourselves into thinking that we are masters of our own destiny. Nothing is further from the truth. The very nature of the universe, not to mention the infinity of it, precludes us from having much of an effect. It's that tiny speck of sand in a vast ocean thing. Since I accept the premise that we are all connected, receptive in varying degrees to the universal swirl of energy and possibility, it follows for me that all we can really master is ourselves. If you don't accept either of these statements, there's no point in reading on.

What we do, to a certain extent, have control of is what we do with the containers we are given and their accompanying primal instincts. We can choose when to eat, when to work, when to fuck, when to shower, when to kill and when to heal, but the fallacy of caring for the container is that we will never find happiness, or even satisfaction, by caring for it. It is strictly a mechanism for surviving, but not thriving. I'm all for the pleasures of the physical world, but they don't take us where we (or, at least I) want to go. How can they? These giant fuel and waste containers we call bodies, are simply the vehicles provided for carrying around all the shit we acquire in the course of a lifetime. So we fill them up with traumas and tragedies, fears and expectations, hopes and dreams, and carry, and deal with all that baggage as if it still existed. It does not. It is all in the past, and the past is gone, just a moment ago. All it gets us is war, the rape of our planet, divorce, sadness and rage- a whole world of unhappy. You can put makeup on a trashcan, but it's still a trashcan.

What we are given, in the original uncondition, is the 'river', that turbulent and chaotic stream of mostly disconnected moments, minuscule specks of space time that we are aware of, but do not embrace. Our lives flow in this slipstream, sometimes connecting, sometimes cascading, sometimes evaporating, but the stream is dynamic, and no matter how much we want to, we can't hold it, or stop it, or own it. It just keeps changing, elusive as pure black.

So, that's all we get you ask? The chaotic slipstream of happenstance and potentials, everchanging and unpredictable with no promise of permanent or forever. Yup, that's it! That's what the universe offers us once we emerge, but we are gifted with one other thing in the original uncondition, the blank slate of the clean spirit, where love shines its own light, unfiltered and pure. Every rule, every expectation, every condition, every fear entangles and dims that light. Unless you explode that container, empty it, you will never live as you're supposed to, never find happiness or satisfaction. It is only when the box is empty, when the spirit re-emerges clean, when love is unconditional, that we are fully able to embrace each fleeting moment of our lives, to live.
Is it possible? I don't know. But I do know it's the only dream worth having, the only thing worth striving for. I have been gifted, in my recent life, with glimpses of all my moments, flashes of light, many which strung together in a shared flow, and bore me, for a time, on my original river. Eventually, the container refilled, closed the sluice, and my spirit drowned, lost consciousness, but did not die. I don't know how yet to reconcile the spirit with the life, but I am going to find my answers, and live. I want every moment, embraced by my spirit, open in light. After all, 'I' might not be here in the next.................

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Elementals, Part?D

I remember, when I was a boy, eating sixteen cheeseburgers at a family barbecue; I remember shooting at passing cars with my BB gun, jumping off the garage roof, hitting my only Little League home run. I remember trampolines on the beach, inflatable whales, and a cardboard spaceship, a small pink teddy bear before the cremation, my father's bicycle and stealing comic books at the Washington Park Pharmacy.

I also remember the softness of Gramps' eyes, and Nanny's sniffs, in lieu of kisses, for fear she would suck the life out of me. I remember playing under my grandparents' dining room table, trips to the G&G deli, and walks to the carousel at Franklin Park. I remember so much more.

Memories from my childhood are clean and open because I hadn't yet learned to pollute and tarnish them with the learned conditions of my life. They cannot rust in the absence of judgement. I can never see them in any light but the light in a young boy's eyes.

These memories are still vivid today, some fifty years later, because I hold on to them; hold them to remind me that my spirit was free then, unconditioned, and it jettisoned me on the natural path of play and wonder, magic and awe. Not quite. The memories are vivid because my spirit holds onto them; my spirit holds on, despite its current residence in this dark, ironclad ship that I call my life. I should have walked the plank of this ship long ago, and set myself free, floating on my endless sea.

Oddly enough, I don't remember the first time I was afraid.

Fear is the single greatest disease of humankind; a disease so covert that even House can't fix it, metastasized to the dying spirit, it slowly kills. It is ironic, given the transitory limits of the body, that we allow ourselves to be crippled out of the moment; that I allow myself to be frozen scared. Would I rather die scared or happy? That choice might present itself any time.

Play is the antidote to fear. Is there any greater joy than playing in love? I don't mean pretending, I MEAN playing--playing, laughing, smiling, imagining, creating, touching, giving--and letting your spirit run free. And I don't mean 'love', as in wife, girlfriend, significant other. I mean LOVE, the kind you were born with, the kind before you conditioned it, the kind before you made it into something else, the kind before you 'knew' what it is.

I was born with a playful spirit, and, to my detriment, my greatest fear is losing it. The greatest irony of all is that fearing loss will create loss. It will manifest the opposite. Endless pattern.

Fear is the mechanism that is supposed to warn us, to keep us safe. Fear of god, fear of failure, fear of looking foolish, fear of losing, more fears than you can shake a stick at. But the truth is, beyond the illusions, is that there is no safety, and no matter how much we yearn for it, it doesn't exist. It does not exist in life and, like the 47 virgins, it does not exist in paradise. Give up our need for safety, and we give up our fear, and the spirit can become again.

Come dance with me on the thin ice. Let's play!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Elementals, Part?C

In light of recent (at least, universally speaking) revelations, that we, as humans, share close genetic code with the common sea slug, and that spirit and purpose are culled individually from an infinite swirl of chaotic, inter-universal energy, it has become clear to this writer that we, individually, and as a species, have taken the wrong fork in the road of evolution. I will endeavor to explore how we might correct this, and how I personally have made an enormous mess of it all.

It all began in a dream for me, although I'm not certain that I was actually asleep, so it might be more correctly called a revelation. It will be difficult to describe, but I will do my best with the modicum of prosaic talent I possess. In the dream, I was simply immersed in the chaotic swirl, undirected, dropped in without instruction. Tentacles of unknown colors kissed my heart, licking me with the gentleness of a flame, or the light tickle of a snowflake, gently excising layer upon layer of learned conditions from my tattered spirit. I was filled with an elemental joy, like a baby seeing his mother for the first time. I was unconstrained, in a corporeal sense, and able to intuit all the joy and sadness and possibility of the whole and the one, without benefit of the five human senses, although they were present. For the first time in my 'conscious' life, I was empty and full at the same time, at peace with my existence. But please, dear reader, don't assume that I was isolated or detached in any way. No, I was connected through the whole continuum of 'original uncondition'.

Waking, re-entering the 'alive' state, came as a shock, like a slap in the face from an angry nun; pulled unwillingly from a state of reverie, forced to face the mistakes of my life, required to take my 'first' steps, trying for the first time to live in that energy and let my spirit manifest.

What does it all mean? I can only speak for myself, but part of the answer lies in the very dichotomy of life with which I had been struggling--Is life about what you accomplish, or what you become? The answer, of course, is neither one, although it is closer to the second, but can be found through the first. For instance, take the death of a child. If the answer to either of these questions is "yes", then that child's life had no meaning--no accomplish, no become. Yet surely, no one would argue that this child's life had no value. It is in this example that the answer lies however. By simply being, being a child in any given moment, that child offered herself to the world, and her world gladly received her without judgement. This in a nutshell is the meaning of life---Offer yourself as a child would, and your world will receive you. Live, love and laugh while guided by the spirit of your 'child'.

I forgot who I am for a while, and now, my best friend won't talk to me. It is my fault. I stopped being my child, in any moment, and clung to my conditions. The 'child' never worries about losing things--they are either there, or they're not. Feel free to include 'life' as one of those things, for it is the most fleeting 'toy' of all.

So, there you have it. I offer this as a gift. You may unwrap it if you want, or send it to your aunt next Christmas. But me, I am going to embrace all the facets of my child. Love, selfishness, temper tantrums, like, play, fun and pink---every single part of my spirit, every part of my 'child' that I have denied through condition and expectation. Not all of you are going to like me, but I am going to like me. It is, after all, all about me.

I will fail, at times. I will run from my essence. I will try things, and not be able to do them, and I will cry. I will fall off my new 'bicycle' and scrape my knee. But I promise you, I will take every 'failure' and learn from it. If it is part of my child, I will try again. If it isn't, I'll discard it. But, I will continue to play.

Come play with me if you'd like. I may steal your barbie doll, but when my spirit moves me, I will give it back. The child always gives back, but not always when you want him to. After all, sometimes you're the slug, sometimes you're the boy, sometimes the bonobo, sometimes the girl. It's all part of this game of life. We are all connected--sometimes in the double helix, sometimes in the swirl. But you can't play if you're not in the game.