Friday, July 16, 2010

so if you must falter, be wise

Rise and turn. Step. Turn. Spin in place. Stop. Kneel. Watch.

It's like a dance now, but if I'm dancing with anyone, I can't see them. If I'm dancing with anyone, they're not paying attention.

If they are paying attention, they're not talking to me about it.

Dance forward. Dance back. Spin. Turn. Breathe. Think. Remember.

This was my choice. This was my choice and I'm dragging it out. I'm making the pain stretch, a thousand hours, a hundred days, months...years? When the easy answer is right in front of me.

When have I ever gone for the easy answer?

Freedom to play but only so far. Freedom to walk, forward or back. Freedom from all the things I think I need to ground me. So who's wrong this time?

That's all I asked for, is contact. Just that. Every so often, so I know I'm not living in a vacuum, a point of light on the horizon to orient my will towards. The small, brief balm of attention on the healing skin.

I should have been more specific.

Dance. Step. Turn. Bend. Gather up, a palmful of wandering things: marbles, coins, coriander seeds. Strands of broken beads. Step towards the path, arm extended, sharp bending, to scatter the bounty found.

And I am at that place, that barren promontory I know so well: screaming into the wild winds, summoning the maelstrom; anger from fear and fear from anxiety and none of it the proper response.

The anger is momentary. The anxiety is ebbing. The fear remains, thickening in the gathering gloom.

Stand. Stand until the muscles tremble from wanting to cast the found things wide. Stand until the hand aches from clenching the disparate grouping in the tightened fist. Stand still. Stand longer.

And the fear...when it transforms, if it transforms, it will sink into my bones, etch them in lines of resignation, not acceptance. I cannot act from fear in this. I cannot fear in this, so I must wait until it passes.

But I'm already waiting.

Sigh. Turn. Let the objects fall to the ground. No truth of presence, no revelation, nothing larger than my own self and the thoughts in me for company. Nothing...

Nothing...but momentary sparks, fires in the mind, the so-slight balm. I need so little, but even by my accounting, I'm starving. Small sip of sweet wine, melting pool of honey on the tongue, burn of pepper, bite of citrus...something. Something. In all this...nothing.

Bend. Gather up two things out of the rolling mass, beads and baubles, shells and splinters, to unbalance the unwary foot, to trip up the dancers in the dance.

But I'm the only dancer here.


One week. At the end of the week, I'll know enough to take at least one more step. Forward or back.

And we'll see what happens then.

Two things. A copper nail, new-forged; a cowrie shell, black as midnight's heart, shading to wine at the seam. The shell tossed to the left, the nail to the right; messages, sent with no translation.

I never said this would be easy. But then, I never thought it would be this hard.

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