“Wisdom begins with a radical self-knowledge before it becomes wise enough to be helpful and useful to others.”
– Michael Meade, Fate And Destiny: The Two Agreements of the Soul
The overgrown branches last night swept my head and forearms mimicking the nearly imperceptible bite of the mosquitoes. I wrote a song for the river and for the past, unable to capture the feeling of being lost.
This I know: The hard work is here. Snowed under drugs and alcohol, and despair and self-immolation, that desperate season bled into the hot, merciless summer.
I am: in over my head, trashed out, beat up, burned down, absorbing the punches. The full gravity has borne an end to violence, and is somehow much heavier now than before.
I am: nowhere.
Constant voices smooth over our shells, giving us armor to deflect the core’s silence. Deft fingers plan adventures to keep the mind from listening to the soul. The latter is no saint. There is no divine right to be good, or to be right at all. Wisdom is waiting out the storm for a ray of sun. You cannot capture it, yet it illuminates your life.
I remember home.
The waves crash on the beach, and love is being surrounded by salt air and a little hand holding tight.
The slowness of life.
We visited a family who let go of labor, electricity, and effort from sun-up to sundown once a week. Cockroaches had an otherworldly quality, emerging from the sand when dusk arrived.
Home can be a place, a person, or a feeling.
Sometimes it is all at once. Remove one from the equation and suddenly you are thrust out upon the ocean, batted about by waves tens of feet high. The physical absence of my mother is as strong as the spiritual force that no longer governs my life.
People say, perhaps not always in words but still, with surprise, “you miss your mom?”
As if, by some chance or, well, willpower, I should have forgotten her. “Oh is that still bothering you?”
Yes, I guess it is. I bought a new shirt because the old one finally ripped beyond repair. Apologies that I am still without a home, perhaps next time we meet I will have changed my tune to suit your mood.
Home is the ocean and my mother. And I miss both.
Memory does not change the nature of hurt, over time you forget but in an instant a touch or whisper or faded headline in the newspaper functions as time machine.
The firetruck’s sirens fills your heart with dread, but hope too. If your former lover’s house is on fire suddenly there is an imperative beyond your control that compels you to once again be in the same time, in the same place. “It would be rude not to see if they are ok” your heart says, stealthily draped in the clothes of logic.
The battle becomes confused. There is no “one side” and “the other” anymore.
My friend in China says:
“Suddenly I can’t stand it –
Are you still alive? Do you miss me?
Breathing, choking, choking – run.”
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