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“The psychotic drowns in the same waters in which the mystic swims in delight.” -Joseph Campbell

sadness is often some kind of feeling lost in an ocean. in my own rowboat, oars offered up to the turbulence. just holding onto the edges, my knuckles ivory under the full moon light, every thrust a terror, praying:

please god, please god, please help me to be the mystic who can swim through your grace, please don’t let me drown & sink down to where the aquatic animals will pull & peck at my flesh & nibble me right to my bones, where my foundations will meet the floorbeds & i will be lost forever in reveries, lost from the world, lost from human history, only to be reborn, only to be reborn, not out of ash nor dust but out of the liquid love of union, of merging, of bliss, of the sweet finality of the divine.

“The joy of the drop is to die in the river.” – Rumi

the hope of the heart is to beat forever. even when the body has ceased breathing, even when everyone who ever held your heart in their hands, whether gently or carelessly, has melted back into the earth again as well, the tissue of this simple organ has but one desire: to beat. beat. beat. the waves crash to its rhythm. the sun pulses solar flares to its rhythm. the tides retreat & advance, sometimes timid, sometimes bold military maneuvering, to its rhythm. the cat who places just one paw upon your heart as an invitation, an asking, & when she receives an affirmation, she wraps herself around your midsection & she just won’t let go to the rhythm of the heart.

“I’m tired of all this candy on the dry land.” – DNCE

the small death is a dryness. it is my skin both the color & composition of mud, cracking like the bottom of a dry lake bed. its wetness eradicated by white lotuses, sucking more & more until all the molecules of my body of water were deflated and went to dust.

“For where is your treasure, there your heart will be also.” -The Gospels of Matthew 6:21

water. it drips in your heart & slowly wears away the scar tissue that has built up over years of loss & fuckery, the aches & the ecstasies, the grace & the tragedies. it drips & it drips until there is a small hole scooped out of the soft fertile earth of your heart & you can place your treasure there, however small & inconsequential it is to the rest of the cosmos, & carefully cover it with the compost gleaned from the carcass of your lost loves… to grow new life there.

i prayed for my heart to be as big as the ocean. dreamed of it. ached for it to be boundless & bold. to move with the simple tug of the moon. i received everything i asked for & more. because the small plain stone that was me & my ego container was dropped in the middle of this body of water & barely made a noticeable noise. no ripples worthy of mention in all the fierce kinetic energy. & it sank sank sank even though i thought the water would save me from gravity, i thought the ocean would cradle me, my brain thought that the buoyancy of my brave heart would carry me across the horizon. into a new land with new new ground & new laws of physics but really i was asking for another universe. one parallel to us, where we find living & loving all the ones we miss, where loss is never incidental. where rabbits & hearts are kin: they bounce & they multiply & they only scream at the moment of true death which is really to say at the moment they achieve oneness with the ocean.

“We belong to the Divine, and to the Divine we shall return.” -Muslim Prayer for the Dead

so i climbed so heroically into my tiny boat & i rowed until my palms were bloody & my arms illuminated from a fire starting deep in my bones, below my biceps, & i rowed & i rowed & i wrote & i wrote & i rode & i rode & i did this. i did this until i lost my proud little paddles & lost everything that had once made me my Self. & then i put my faith in the universe to constellate my way, for the pull of Pluto & Polaris to guide me, for the Perseid meteor shower to light the sky in a rain of fire & grant all my wishes & i kept going. i kept. i kept. i kept.

i kept going, i kept at it, i kept my hopes in a waterproof pocket over my heart. i asked for my soul to have pockets so i could carry some thing of this life with me into the next world where burdens promise to be less unbearable.

“Turn away the watchman! My Beloved has come Home.” -Bulleh Shah

 

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