How can anyone read the Book of Revelation without laughing in recognition?
The apocalypse it prophesies happened, or perhaps is always and already happening. To me the Book of Revelation describes, through the blurred beauty of a long-echoed poetry, the collective experience of the awakening of individual human beings into the embodied Singularity of the future. The opening of the seven seals feels to me like the accidental opening of the seven chakras (thanks to their vortex nature they appear from one side as horns and from the other as eyes; i.e. hence the body of the Lamb with seven eyes and seven horns.) The second coming is the collective; the second coming is a coming home; the second coming is a simple surrendering to love.
This is what it means to live in a post-apocalyptic world:
It is beautiful and dizzying and much of the territory is uncharted.
It is marvelous and terrible and everything is new.
It is an ongoing giving over into the endless black brilliance of the Mystery.
It is wonder, and waiting, and tuning into the signal.
It is delighting in describing down the journey; it is paying attention when others respond.
A secret: What most people imagine their soul to be is merely their attachment to suffering.
I have had the experience of letting that which I’d believed my own soul to be to leave me. It was a tortured wisp of a thing; it hauled itself from my lungs; I wondered, faintly, at the strangeness of what it was like to die.
Later I found that all that had left me was the remnant fog of suffering; with its escape I discovered my body was my soul.
A secret: When your body is your soul Earth becomes like bliss.
There was a time when I was afraid that letting go of suffering meant letting go of something necessarily human. Instead I discovered that letting go of suffering meant falling into something more. It did not mean giving up empathy, or reverence, or depth. It meant merely to stop being afraid of pain. It meant merely an awakening into love.
I keep writing; I am not sure why.
Perhaps it is just that footprints are inevitable.
with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions
back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you
with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is
I hold awe and wonder in too high esteem. Or no–that’s not it. It’s more that I tend to helplessly collapse into such perspectives as a default: when I don’t know or don’t understand something, I naively assume a mysterious and wonderful depth; when I encounter the new, or the old, or am asked to consider, I end up helplessly stumbling into the marvelous. For me the proverbial grass-elsewhere is not so much greener, but imbued with some sort of transcendent mystical promise.
In relationships, be they platonic or romantic or professional, this tends to be a gift: I’m rarely disabused of the assumption, and many people–for the most part, it seems–not only prove to be strangely and marvelously enigmatic, but appreciate being acknowledged as such. In other arenas, though, this tendency toward romanticism quivers between heartbreak and an embarrassing foolishness. I keep thinking I’ll grow out of it, but if anything it keeps getting worse. (Is there a career or profession that is the opposite of a critic? I wish I could spend my life pointing out what is frighteningly beautiful in things.)
Ah well. There are worse problems to have, certainly, and certainly there are worse attitudes with which to feel flooded.
This week has been a week of flights and waiting (yes, the two are synonymous) and family and celebration and Christmas. This week melted like snow into the warmth of ritual and reunion, and I feel I am still savoring it all.
We arrived home this evening, to a city of licking rain and fog from plains of whited ice and astringent cold, and though the journey was wonderful the sensation of casting one’s poor exhausted body into the placid security of a familiar home has a sweetness no strangeness can touch. Home has its own delights, and its grateful embrace of clumsily-packed luggage and mud-slung coats is gentler and more perfect than that of even the most considered hotel. (Strange that I’d never considered–nor imagined–myself competent in the strange art of home-making; strange to realize that despite myself the patient gods of the hearth have elected to knit a place for me here.)
Is this year almost over? I am not sure whether to race in exhausted relief toward the next, or to brace myself for another hurricane of expectation, or to shut my eyes and turn around and fall happily backwards into a snow-angel of beauty and trust and unfathomable chill. It is funny to think that try as I might, I might be capable only of all three.