Friday, November 14, 2008

Fool Moon

I call upon you, full moon, fool moon, you, moon, who know my lunacy as a lover:

Will you listen to me,
Brightly and openly,
As I know you can?

In these late hours sitting by the campfire, I've been spending a lot of time feeling my heart—the real, physical region inside me where my heart is supposed to be—noticing so many sensations coming from there. There's an incredible kind of warmth that sometimes radiates upwards from that space, deeply desiring to release itself with a kiss. But waves of sadness can spill out from there, too, then start to fill up my eyes with tears. Surprisingly, it sometimes feels like there’s nothing there at all. And once in a while, there are brief gales of anger that whip through my ribcage and bang up my heart—and really, so many different shades of sensation that can't be described with accuracy. Only felt. But all seeming to originate from that place hidden behind my chest.

My heart is a member in the community of my body. In this community, there are so many different members, in the forms of tissues and cells and organelles, toes and tibias, neurons that may be generating language, and so forth. Trillions of members all working together to help each other live. No single “I”, but a universe of community members below my skin, one of which has the ability to travel through it all and be aware—a kind of spirit that can journey to the heart and be aware that it doesn't use words at first. The heart makes itself heard in different ways. And so strong are the heart’s signals that it affects every other part of my body. In this way, it is a very important member of the community.

My heart can sometimes commission the language-generating part of my body to speak on its behalf, to translate what it’s feeling to other people. But I think that words are all-too-often summoned by other things—language, for me, is frequently distracted by a narcissistic relationship with itself, or other people’s ideas, or society’s rules, so that there are no words left for the heart. And in our world of words, it means the heart goes unheard. I have been taking words away from other ideas and other rules, and leaving them there for my heart to use. Giving it freedom to be what it wants, and to express itself fully. Foolishly.

Tonight, I discovered that my heart yearns for unconditional love. “Unconditional” is easy to understand: no conditions, no rules, no expectations, just total freedom to love. Not “I will love my life if...” or “I will love this person if...” but “I love.” But what about “love”? Well, what is love for me? Of all the feelings I’ve had, it’s the best one. It’s like a warmly flickering campfire in the pit of my chest. It dances and moves and changes but also has a certain consistency and range of qualities. If it becomes a raging fire, it’s closer to ecstasy, but unsustainable. If waters of sadness pour onto it, it loses its flame, or if a wind of anger blows over it, it also peters out. How do I keep that flame warmly flickering? I let it burn unconditionally. Calmly. Steadily. My heart wants to love unconditionally, and have that love spread wherever I am; to wrap its warm arms around family and friends and strangers, no matter who they are; love without judgment getting in the way. Love, while the universe is mad and cruel, beautiful and divine. Love, despite me being a massive clutter of mistakes (depending on the day). Love fully. Love foolishly. Love always. My heart wants family and friends and strangers who love without judgment. Love, whatever the moment.

This kind of love casts its warm light over everything. And I can be feeling this warm, glowing, dancing love all the time, while I encounter that smelly dog on the street, that busted chair, the musty air in front of my eyes, grey hairs, troubled friends, shit, diamonds, the perfume of trees, the rot of war, death, tears, laughter, dirty plates, pollution, child molesters, dawn stars. Love burns in the darkness or in the light. It burns for all things so as to warm them. My hunch is that a heart so loving becomes more and more resilient with its subtly flickering flame, so that angry winds and sad rains can’t easily snuff it out. Perhaps the dancing flame of this heart inspires other hearts to move in the same way, and guides the tyrant and the molester towards its special light; towards its special way of loving men, women, children and all the rest. A heart so loving may veer away from the murkiness wafting from mufflers and move towards a breeze nestling among the trees, to water that treads over riverbeds, to fields covered in flowers rather than the fallen.

And so, I will warm myself by those who are loving. I will warm others with my love. If I’m not feeling love, I’ll find the condition that is stopping me from doing so and release the condition. After all that, I may find that there is someone I want to share my bed with at night, after a search that lovingly brings people into my life and lovingly bids them goodbye, someone to hold me while I dream, someone to be near me as we raise children and inspire them with our love. But I won't reserve my love just for the one in my bed. For you shine on me while I sleep, and also hold me in your light while I dream.

Tomorrow morning, I will find something that will burn slow and well. And I will blow on the coals to start the fire’s quiet dance once again. It will glow on my tailbone, shine in my chest and slowly twirl up through the top of my head, loving, loving, loving through all of creation. And I will imagine what else my heart can be: a bird free, warm waves swathing a beach, a child brimming with joy, and so much more.