Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Merciful Suffering

I walk along a path in the forest. The trees stand tall and beautiful. They welcome and greet me every time they catch wind of me. I place my right hand over my chest, my left hand over my lower back. I like the feel of my satin dress. I admire the ruby colour, the sound of my breath in this quiet space, a home away from home. My eyes marvel at everything here, every leaf and flower. I am peculiarly intoxicated by the light shimmering through the tiny openings and spaces between the trees, the way it creates a misty golden hue over that which it touches. Ah, what heaven! Let nothing or no one take this away from me. This is my refuge. Here, I am accepted. Here, I am loved...unconditionally.

I find a tree to sit by. I'm always looking for a tree. They have seen it all, weathered every storm, witnessed the joys and sorrows of our time, our ancestors, and I pray they will continue to be after we have passed on. I hear a whisper. Tell me how you feel. I pat my hair down along the sides over my ears, down my face and neck and find that my hands have joined in prayer. I then place them on my lap. My body is tired. Well, it's questioning. The throbbing won't stop. In my legs and arms, my chest. There is pain but not the kind one dies from physically. It is spiritual in nature and so very difficult to contend with.

I feel myself. I sense my aliveness. I am everywhere. But, I am alone. How is this possible? Am I spiritually lacking? Am I longing for something that cannot be attained here? Are there holes that simply cannot be filled? And maybe this is the point. They are not meant to be filled. If I become whole, I will desire nothing. I am not ready to desire no thing. I think magic resides in wanting and not being able to satisfy this want. I don't think liberation comes from not creating attachments. That is not enough. It occurs in the active process of inaction - to desire while knowing it cannot, must not, and will not be. It is a kind of suffering that is merciful in quality. A merciful suffering.

There is tenderness in the suffering. I did not think this could be possible but it is true. This suffering does not take away. It gives. It abides by the law of reciprocation. But first, there must be a shift in perception because the heart will not understand. The mind must be gentle in its delivery or the heart will resist wanting. The heart must not be made to resist because then, another kind of pain ensues which is like a thief. When this happens, the magic is gone - and there, hope goes with it. That would be a great shame.

My heart is open. My body is ripe to receive. My mind awaits my command. I notice there is a pool of water deep in the forest. Even here, the light manages to find a way to pierce through and bounce off the water like tiny stars and sparkles. I remove my dress, my stockings, earrings, and necklace. I slide into my emotions, this sensuality - the water and I, we are one. I hear a whisper again traveling in the air. Tell me more. I move my body towards the sound, my chest rising and falling, as my breathing deepens. I respond, You will not get from me what I am not willing to give. You will not be that which sustains me. Be gone. You are not invited here.

And then I remember. I need the contrast. How else will I know myself? Contrasts are good even when they are painful, especially because they are painful. I retract. I whisper, You can stay on one condition. The wind picks up speed. My black hair feels cold against my skin. I quiver when I say, You must tempt me all day and all night so that I will resist you, not with my heart, but with my body only. In this way, you and I will both gain, but I, more than you.

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