A whirlwind of big black bruises, gifts and foot care, supreme daughterly ministrations, of gardenias cupped in the hands of boys showing tenderness, of the worst silences echoing gaping holes of loss, of those feasts of friends both within and beyond coming at the most needful moments, of the soul’s shifting layers growing new threads and roots of strength, of beliefs lost years ago in anguish finding new shape beyond restrictions of the past…all of it here in this world for days. Over a week of details swirling, ties restored on some levels, some still hurting, some speaking in their silence and all while possibilities for change and horizons emerge. I’ve been in repose. Laid flat. Shut up. Stilled.
Because of where I am on my path it’s been difficult to feel, to feel anything but bruised, bruised so much more than skin deep, a semi-invalid of observation, looking out over the years and just seeing, recognizing, acknowledging and owning. Noting and allowing. Not cajoling myself with notions of future justification here or there or proof of my validity along those lines then when maybe one day. None of that. Just being with, simply observing and not accepting based on some idea of salvation or glory in the eternal value of. Just allowing. It’s a deeper acceptance. It doesn’t put forth stipulations as to why something is understandable nor does it posit judgement of rightness or wrongness or okayness. Or, even, of honor. It simply embraces all you view, pouring it into a brew of the same beingness felt in that clearing in the woods, the one you might dance naked in. Allowing encompasses every layer in a sense much like the stirring feel of flow poised there on the edge of a river. It stirs to a deeper settledness just as the work of highest tide washes away notions of permanence or even of rest ‘cept in the relentless unchanging of her ways. It all flows into the earth of one life’s living striving thrive. And somewhere in that flow the strive dies.
Layers like relationship with my sisters, mothers, brothers, fathers, friends, family, lovers, sons and daughters and then beyond into relationship with the Divine, with institutions grand and even obscure and with my own skin – all have passed through my reflection almost without my bidding as I rest, like waves rolling constant, like a sudden stumble down stairs. A life flash? Not that I’m dying literally but…
part of growing is dying and part of dying is allowing. And part of allowing is giving up the idea of a justified life or a life of meaning as we are taught so ineptly. I cannot find an ounce of inspiration in any motivation or heraldry declared by the greats of now or of the distant past. Nothing comes to me that I cannot shoot down. Success? There is no such thing. We can establish ideals of success and demarcate the boundaries that so soundly separate the losers from the winners. But even in those hallowed lands, bankruptcy delivers revolutionary richness: a wealth of knowing what we can never control. No such thing, success. I’m going to school this fall. I’ll get to lah lah lah. Know what? I’m going to pour every now of love into every millimoment of it because that’s all it will be. Another opportunity. No notion of what makes “success.” I will even forget the meaning, that love is all there is and that won’t, for a second, diminish the love.
So, meanig is love now. And within these layers we can build knowing it may all fall down. (I type this out without morose mood, by the way.) There is no guarantee that investments today will prove later the value of anything now, then or for any slice of what we know or knew when. Nothing is able to begin to measure, by success or failure or notions of “best,” how precious is even just one life for one second. So, what is meaning now? For me…
love. And not that sick syrupy n’er-be-real nonsense posing niceness unaware of timeless value. But the thick rich sometimes dark, often ruthless, maybe even sometimes painful but always relentless facilitating growth and intimacy, a brew of dynamic, intelligent, conscious love-stuff forever giving room.
The meaning is the love-rich moment that just passed and is making itself now as that which has never been or will be again and can never be defined by any standard of value. Not by anything but, but that we love, that love is, that we are the chance to unfold love. Even as the infant is born and dies in an instant. Even as the beliefs come and feed, then fade. Even as the relationship flows and then grows cold. Even after and while we curse a thousand frustrations throughout the day. (Beware the guru declaring freedom from feeling. Beware “arrival.”)
Love keeps and holds every eternal pulse of soul beyond the surface rumbles, wrecks and stumbles, beyond the seeming victories, failures all and into a tapestry of rich living. A rich living whose source defies anything but love’s courage to live outside of guarantees.