Posts Tagged With: Spirituality

To Write is the only Choice that Remains: Come find your Voice in the Surround

Voices of our surround layered

 

Beneath every surface a scratching, beneath every thought a lie we tell ourselves to escape the pain, and now the time has passed for pleasant ways around either. Darkness follows too closely for us to fall behind and no one ever comes back from the heavy tendrils of its grip. So we run, faster, farther, higher up the mountain to avoid being enveloped. Yes, we fear darkness. We fear an endless nothing of staying in one place, locked in a routine of normality.

To this end, we become animals, caged and lonely, yet roam in the world as if the bars are invisible because this monument of steel lives within. The tiger paces endlessly, reassuring us, compelling the run to hunt for something better, though we’ll never find it. He knows as much, for this is his game carefully crafted to breakdown patience and courage and faith. All of which are replaced with darker desires, which are rarely satiated by the treasures we gather.

One minute wasted then two, and finally a lifetime of naught surrounding a hole in the ground. Tears, fears, and condolences move closely together, imaging themselves as bedfellows for the distraught, and whispering every manner of guilt to frame our pain. The passing of life is banner-less, save the framed and distorted faces around the hollow hole. No celebrations now, no happy reminiscing, only damp cheeks and downturn mouths to mark a life of minutes racing by too quickly and ones which end too short of their mark.

Click, clack.

The rope is slack.

Click, clack.

A world of lack.

Click, clack.

Return to black.

Fall now, break now, empty now into your abyss. They’ll save in the rendering when all transition to light from the fight of those awakened. These beings don’t proffer excuses in the face of responsibility. Instead, they stand, steady and flexible as the great bamboo, to bend but never break.

But those who perceive themselves as weak and incomplete hear the tiger always. Grunt, pace, growl. It’s stalking you now, so make haste and move on to your next distraction lest you become the nothing you fear.

***

Darkness is easy to embrace. We will forever gravitate towards the worst interpretations of ourselves because to know the dark means we’re working on our inner demons. It also means no one can use them against us.

In the fall of my final year, the tiger stalks the edge of my life with gruffing calls. It knows what I had yet to grasp—this is the end, and no silver ray of anything could change my fate. In truth, there aren’t many moments I’d have asked it to leave, not in the midnight cloak of desperation confronting me. Somehow, the soft hand of near death comforted, yet its grotesque twist of flesh cements in my chest. No breath is deep enough to loosen its grip, which would’ve been far more welcome many years ahead.

“Too young,” I choke out.

Gruff, gruff, my steady companion calls.

“Not yet,” I whisper back.

Not because I’m not ready, but truth told I count myself among the great cowards of the world. Yeller bellied, drop everything and run in face of confrontation. That’s right, no saving lives here, no running into burning buildings, no standing up to schoolyard bullies, even ones many decades younger. You might add spineless in the most disgusting ways, and you’d be correct.

I stand for nothing, fall for everything, then flog myself relentlessly because taking too much responsibility for all the wrong things is my gift. While others divert, obfuscate, and blame, I hold the bag high and say, “Yep, it was all my fault. I’m weak, useless, careless, and lazy.” Of course, no one hears this dialogue except the tiger. It uses my lack as a way to pull me closer, and I craft my guilt to destroy everything good I create, to tear myself down to the shell, so as to be empty.

You know this feeling, don’t you? You know what it is to be a voiceless remnant with no ears to hear your crying late in the eve. With every fiber we want to yell, “Not again. Please stop, get the hell away. I don’t have anything left. Can’t you see? Don’t you know?” No one answers, of course, just the padded pacing of a black and white ghost that growls soft and low. Its waiting with an answer while cleverly suppressing something deeper—an inner voice of ancient and serene knowledge.

In the caverns of my reprieve I hear a voice, not the tiger, but something just as strong. It replies in cut, direct tones. Somewhat cynical and demanding, it blurts out sarcastic responses to questions and small talk, ones which never quite reach my lips. For that much I’m thankful, though often I dig my teeth deep into the flesh of my lip to hold it back. This is more difficult as I age due to my dwindling patience for crap and chit-chat.

One truth I’ve found over the years, besides my lack of backbone, is that people are lazy, wanting, and broken; or so their empty eyes and slack behavior would indicate. They have more to give, but bind it tight inside as if they could use up their energy and have none left. Another myth, another lie, something we buy for everything, yet it gives us nothing in return. That’s the way to distinguish it from the truth.

The truth scratches beneath the surface, beneath every thought we hide from, and lower yet is the voice. Our true voice, the one we hide for fear others will run, the one waiting patiently, the one we keep locked away.

The voice of our surround.

***

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

AESCHYLUS

 

The first war is always against ourselves. Only one victim exists—our soul.

 ***

With the heart, with the heart, with the heart—he said begin with the heart. If only I knew where it lives. What is tangible and present for some, eludes on the highest levels. Moments of tenderness break through, and I think I might feel something, anything, but it drifts away in a painfully slow death march. Love is unknown, the true feel of it.

Is it loyalty? Patience? Kindness? Infatuation?

These I’ve seen, even experienced, though never for long. I know sadness, I know how the emotions of others crash into my being so as to incapacitate me. The rest is a foreign idea, swimming at the bottom of day old soup; somewhat foul in smell and cringe worthy in consistency, but not the fabled and promised emotion of story books and movies. My chest doesn’t ache for the things I cannot touch, though my body is desperate to taste the newly bloomed rose.

So close, she lets me so close. I want to whisper my tongue down her thigh, to feel her hair against mine, but some walls are too tall, and I’m weak and tired and not in the frame of mind to play those types of chords. A once sweet song brandished with subtle notes of sin, in which neither of us will win because bricks are dull. Every word against them slams hard and falls flat to the ground. Lower still, until the soil grinds my hopes and desires into aged powder, a fine end to a nightshade lover.

But the tiger finds me always. It’s stalking now, a jab of despair, a swipe of all the ways life became too hard. So I mourn with the other framed face around a hole we fill with might have been wishes and never come true dreams. And the tiger gruffs its response or condolences, depending on the ear.

Here lie my voices of ill repent and contemptible promises. Be careful lest they mock and haunt to bastardize even the brightest and most encouraging light.

Do you hear it?

“You can’t have it, ’cause you don’t deserve it.” An echoing laugh follows misplaced keys. “She’ll never want you, ’cause you’re worthless.”

“Screw you,” I scream, though no one listens.

My hand ventures to its throat, finding only mine.

Categories: Drive by life | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Lesson of the Mirror

00 brunette

 

People were complex bits of total awesomesauce and hotmess. We all had baggage no one would ever see because people could also be very judgemental. So we rarely opened up to them, preferring to live a somewhat detached version of ourselves to remain safe. While I understood the desire to be safe, I’d found opening up could be an amazing experience, even if I risked momentary damage to the softer parts of my soul.

A good friend of mine had someone in his life I’d grown very fond of. She was a bit on the extreme spiritual side, but her perspective often caused me to look at situations from a completely different angle. I cherished her wisdom, even though I didn’t connect the dots the same way she did because my experiences were unique to me.

When she and I first met, my friend warned me that she could be a meddling busybody and ultimately only cares about herself. He said she was superficial and judgemental. While this may have been his experience knowing her, I’d found her to be honest, direct, and insightful.

Over the years, I’d run into this time and again. One or several people denounced someone else, which led to some invisible, unspoken line of separation. But we often forget…

“The world is a looking-glass, and gives back to

every man the reflection of his own face.

Frown at it, and it will in turn look sourly upon

you; laugh at it and with it, and it is a jolly kind

companion; and so let all young persons take

their choice.” ― William Makepeace Thackeray

 

 

When you found that elusive inner peace, you saw the world through a different eyes. No enemies, no judgement, no invisible foes intent on causing you pain. Instead, you’d see the goodness of all men. And let me tell you, there’s a hell of a lot more good in people than anything else.

When people constantly saw an enemy in the face of what otherwise might be a friend, it was a reflection of something within them. A part of themselves that usually was their own worst enemy. Lets face it, no one could put us down the way we could, right?

Have you looked in the mirror lately? Can you do it without turning away? Is the reflection the one you hoped to see? Can you look in your own eyes and see love looking back? Or do you glance away quickly so as not to be forced to face all the things you can’t stand about yourself?

Many years ago a dear friend had me do an exercise I’ve started again, and one I’d like you to try.

For the next thirty days, stand in front of the mirror close enough to look in your eyes directly without distraction. It’ll be difficult at first, you’ll want to look away, but resist the urge, and say…

“I love you.”

“You are precious, and I’m here to keep you safe.”

“You are an incredible person, and I’m so thankful to know you.”

“You…” get the idea.

Say all the things you’d wished a friend, parent, lover, or spouse might say.

At first, you won’t believe it. Your mind will contend this is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done, and that idiot who wrote this post is completely insane. Why? Because we’re not used to loving ourselves, we’re not used to saying good things about the person we’ve become. We listen to all the people, who were just seeing a reflection of themselves in you, as a repetitive stream in our heads of why we aren’t worthy.

“The beginning of love is to let those we love

be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them

to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only

the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”

~ Thomas Merton

 

How many times a day do you twist to fit someone else’s image of who you should be or what you should do? How often have you tried to reflect back what you think someone wants to see, then find they no longer want to be your friend?

I’m far from being a saint, but I do cherish the teachers who come into my life. And recently I met one who reminded me of the lessons of the mirror, and that when I’m at peace and my intentions are focused on love, don’t twist anything about myself to make someone more comfortable. Because ultimately, people only see in others a reflection of what is inside themselves.

During that brief span of weeks, I couldn’t face myself in the mirror. Now I looked without turning away and saw exactly what I’d hoped to see once again.

Categories: allowing the positive, angels on earth, choosing faith, conscious choices, magic, peace, relationships, the universes we create, unconditional love | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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