All those words. All those words that trail at my heels, that whisper on the wind, that slither through the streets. All those tiny sounds still hammering at molecules. We’ll be ok, we’ll be ok, we’ll all be ok, they say. And time circles round like a runaway train, firing up your brain with nonsense rain and silver strains of light and love.
Love is still the foundation I rest on. And when the world is drained of color, and the crumbling breaths of polluted air fail me, I will still have love. And love will still have me. It’s real if you say it is. Belief is our strange world in our hands. We create our own reality, we live in a world of created meanings. The fact that we can believe that we matter, in this spinning universe of grandiose size and shape…that we believe in the confines of our own specific society; that that creates actualized psychological responses…that is something strange, unique and beautiful about our species. The fact that the universe responds. That quantum physics plays at small and fantastical levels. The fact that we have this strange and glorious thing called love. Love creates everything. Love creates love. Belief creates love. Love creates reality. Love is always real. Belief creates.
We shape the reality of our world, the specific meanings of words we have created. It’s hard to find objectivity here, there or anywhere.
I don’t know what true love is. What the one is. I don’t know, anymore, if I need THOSE words, those terms, in order to hold a love in my hands that is real and raw and sustaining. All words have meaning, all words spark magic. But maybe other words will do now. Maybe we make our own words, and they curve and carve new meanings with their own tongues. Maybe we craft concepts that hold more weight in these particular hands, these 21st century hands. Maybe true love still holds a beautiful ring to it. Maybe acknowledging the fullness of my life and the strangeness of my story holds honesty, as well. Maybe there is some place where all these words can meet.
I do believe in possibility. In belief. In the power of mental force. I believe in a time a hundred years ago, when a model of love was simple and clear and unmuddied by post-modern pessimism…I believe that that clear-hearted belief made life-long, ‘true’ love and a committed marriage a much more easily attainable goal. That people could walk into that darkness and carry themselves along to the ends of their lives. I don’t know what a life is supposed to look like in this post-post modern pool of statistics and jaded eyes. I don’t know how it plays out. But I don’t NEED to. I’m not supposed to KNOW. WHERE is the fun in that? I will trust. I will believe. I will always believe in love. And I will keep letting that belief knock me on my ass a thousand times over. Force it to keep reinventing my reality, keep getting more wise, more real, more honest, more closely connected to that source of something true for me. At this moment, at this time. There are simply pros and cons. To the side of the romantic and the side of the pragmatic. Of walking the line between. Of learning from both, of falling into star dust and contemplating truth. Of gather bits of magic and of analyzing into clarity. Into honoring what is beautiful about typified gender roles, and honoring what is honest about breaking those gender roles. Right now, in this unclear world…this puddle of all that is 21st century and throbbing…I am just going to walk the line. And see what I create. See what feels honest. See what I need from love, what I don’t need. See how to be, how to operate, how to know myself better, how to know other people better. How to know love better, and how to honor that I will never know love- that mysterious one that knows far greater wisdom than I could ever hope to know. I will know that I know nothing. But that I believe everything. That my belief shapes my world, my mind, my reality. That that is power, and that is mystery, and that is wondrous. I will honor that mystery. I will honor that very real power of love, which still holds ancient magic for me. That is rooted at the base of my brain, so deep and so powerfully that surely there is reason to behold it.
Love, that thing that makes me do every little thing I do. That is the source I point to. The magic spinning the dust of the world. That force that remains unexplained. That Love. Great, terrible and magnificent. Love IS the goddess.
So no, I don’t know how it plays out. And I think the bravest, most honest and most magical way to approach it – to approach all of life…is to say I don’t know. But I trust. I trust the world to keep unfolding in ways more splendid and sensuous than I could imagine. Stranger and more fantastical than I could think up. And I am grateful for that. Here I am again, nowhere I imagined I’d be. And isn’t that a fucking great adventure? Isn’t that the world laughing at me, knocking me on my ass, making me enjoy the ride? Making me have an adventure. Making me sure, once again, that I don’t know anything I think I know. And THAT is the joy. That is what faith is good for. For the fucking uncertain world we live in. Where we know nothing. Around each and every corner. Walking backwards through time with no awareness of what is coming next. THAT is a brilliant game. A place where mystery still exists. That is how you tell a story. We cannot, we should not know all. For where would be the intrigue, the meaning, the story, the adventure, the discovery, the impulse to move, to live, to follow, to explore. The whole picture- knowing EVERYTHING is stasis. This is how you tell a story. This is how you believe. This is how you fall in love. By honoring the mystery.
Can I say I still believe in “true love”…even if I don’t know what those words mean anymore? I love the way the tune of that phrase tickles things that are buried deep – psychological rivers that still run through my brain. Can I say that romantic phrases sing so sweetly to my soul that regardless of what I think pragmatically, I can still find soul-stirring beauty in romantic ideals? While at the same time being smart enough, being experienced enough, being analytical enough to recognize how relationships really fare – with rocks and crags and ways you have to steer your ship to and fro to keep it afloat? Can I say that all those silly words mean something to me and these primal bases in my soul, but that at the same time I have this big, strong brain on top of my head that knows the frailty and the failures of these words. I know their limitations and I know their downfalls and I still want to say them anyway. Because I want to honor ritual. Because they mean something to the deepest part of my soul. Because they rock those ancient urges within me. Because maybe they still hold magic. Because words hold magic and words hold meaning. Because that’s all we are. Meaning making machines. And we get to set the rules. And we get to fall in love. And that is a fucking adventure I am not ready to walk away from yet. Miles to go before I sleep.
Can I say that I will forever be a hopeless romantic AND that I am smart enough, old enough and broken enough to know better? But that I want to anyway. The way we ALL choose to still live in this world and glean out joy from it EVEN though we know it’s fucked up. The way we all find ways to smile EVEN though there is tragedy at ever corner. What do you make with this world? With this awareness. Well sure, you can fall into a puddle at all the despair and horror. And sure, I can honor that that is real. But we can also choose another way. Call it what you will. Call it blind optimism. I call it power. I choose to MAKE more magic. More love. I choose to take what I have learned and USE it. To not be blind, but to honor the beauty in running towards something with arms outstretched. To keep falling, even though sometimes the ground is hard. To be that fucking optimist. What other choice do you have? Let the fuckers crush you? No one will take hope from me. No one will take my magic from me. Not love, not power, not beauty. AND not wisdom and awareness and self-knowledge either. Neither. They can live together. They can inform each other. And they can create something EVEN better. Even more honest. And thus, even more real. Rooted and flying at the same time. Stronger, more complex, more real love. Love with eyes wide open. What bravery is THAT. What kind of strength can spill from those broken people who STILL refuse to give in to the sham and drudgery of the world that says there is nothing left. THAT is where it gets good. THAT is where real, deep, thriving love can be born. On the side of consciousness aware of danger, on the battleground of a heart littered with scars, on the underside of a brain littered with knowledge. So that you might find REAL courage to love. Real connection to vet. Experience, brokenness, knowledge does not take you further from love…it makes you more able to discern, thus more prepared to know how to love, how to honor another, how to step carefully on another’s heart. Sure, you lose naievite, but you gain awareness. Each step closer and closer towards understanding how to really love someone. How to love yourself. How to honor love. How to question what it means.
KEEP questioning love. KEEP questioning what it means. KEEP finding new answers. KEEP saying fuck you. Keep having love pull you back. Is it new? Does it feel different? Not the way it did when you were young? GOOD. It shouldn’t. New experience. Raw experience. Discovering ALL parts of it. All parts of what is love. Tempered, hot, chaotic, addictive, gentle, trusting, calm, wild. All different parts of this beast we call love. All different ways of knowing love, of knowing ourselves, of knowing what it is to engage with others, with the world. Love is never wrong. Just providing new discovery. New turns, twists. Never wrong. I don’t believe in wrong and right. Just love. Always bringing you closer to the light.
How can I live with ALL of these things that I know and believe and want to believe all existing at the same time? Well, the same as love, it’s life in the same cross section. To abandon love is to say, people die, so why should we live at all? Yes there is war, there is horror and there is pain. Welcome to the planet. It’s been going this way for a few billion years. Let’s take the first tennet of buddhism and say life is suffering. And then move from there. That is not inherently wrong. That is fire and flood and ice age and magma and core of the earth which spews up volcanic lava. That is action and change and atoms banging into each other in flight. This IS life. Do not fear it, fly with it. Yeah, you get heartbroken, but that is no reason to turn your back on love. Fucking break me. Break me open, let me see all those tiny jewels spinning. Heartbreak inspires. Heartbreak is a force, a wild, rampant beast that gives us fire again. Things are ALWAYS breaking. To teach, to show, to experience, to discover, to enlighten, to open, to create anew. It is painful and it is glowing and it is power and it is a force that I trust. It is life. Do not fear. You cannot make a mistake. Only step after step after step that in the end looks more like a dance and less like a climb to some imaginary plateau. When see the world as art, not as profit…when we see our steps as dance, not as ascendance…when we see our love as brilliant fires on the horizon that match the stars, and not as failures or successes based on some arbitrary law of society we have created for ourselves…then we will remember how to fly with the wind. Art for art’s sake. Love for love’s sake. Life for life’s sake. Not because you’re going to check off boxes. Not because you’re going to win. Not because you’re going to lose. Because you’re going to see those strange, binary concepts- winning losing, succeeding, failing…as the strangest and most useless obsessions humanity ever took up. Because you will have the awareness, at last, to laugh at them. To enjoy the dance, to enjoy the fire, to enjoy the spectacle of love unfolding all around you, in a thousand spinning stories that want to be told…just to be heard.
We are the universe perceiving itself. And we love to play. We love to discover. And yeah, we love to set things on fire. Because light always bring illumination to our shadows.
So can I live with all aspects of myself? Pragmatist, romantic, lover, believer, knower, intellectual, mystic, analyst, 21st century, progressive woman? What does love look like? What does a relationship look like? I don’t know. But what a grand mystery to discover. And keep discovering. And keep discovering. So live with it all. All those aspects of yourself. They all serve a purpose. They all exist for a reason. They all move with each other. They all inform each other. They make me more. They make me more complex, yes, but more dynamic. More rich. More full. More expansive. More honest. More open. More capable. So my love will be too. So my relationships will be too. Pros and cons, pros and cons. I will never get the simplicity of a relationship in the 1920’s. And yet, they will never get the full, raw, bloodied, complexity and fullness of a relationship with THIS modern awareness. Who knows which is more romantic, in the end? There may be fields and wells of romance that can exist without blindness that taste even more sweet…even more meaningful. Craft the new romance. The new relationship. Use it all. Use it all. Don’t be afraid of letting all your pieces clang together. Dragging all your organic material together. To make something new. To forge something even more honest. Use it all. Use it all. Let it all be right. Every part has something to offer, some purpose to serve. Some color to add. Let us move back black and white love, to technicolor love – all full bodied and real. Cynical and hopeful nonetheless. Jaded and brave. And for that matter, fuck the word jaded. Just because you are AWARE and EXPERIENCED and KNOWLEDGEABLE doesn’t mean you have to be jaded. Just because you are broken does not mean you cannot heal. Healing is the best part. Believing again is the best part. Sometimes I think you get broken just so you can experience that feeling of healing again – because isn’t that the most enlivening and exhilarating thing? Which can only exist WITH brokenness. All things work together. Yin and yang, darkness and light, night and day, winter and summer. All things move together. Just because you are JADED doesn’t mean you don’t have capacity to believe as well. All things can exist together in one body. Allow for the hugeness within yourself. Allow for ALL of the complexities. That is where we make ourselves small and confused. Because we think we don’t have room for all of these things. We label ourselves one thing and close ourselves off. When an actual full bodied human adult has worlds within worlds. Jamming and jabbing at each other. Cross firing neurons and patterns over patterns over scars over wounds over old primal desires that fire up over walls over globs of softness which still ache for the light. An actual human is not one thing. Is never a collection of labels. Is NEVER a series of words. An actual human is poetry in motion. Contradiction over contradiction over contradiction over hypocrisy over fire over flight over fight over conscious over primordial basic response to the world. Trillions of neurons in the brain and miles and miles of soul wrapped up in your bones. The most complex of worlds. So many things want answers. So many textbooks want words to define. So many well meaning doctors want to diagnose. So many humans want to say I am this. But all of these humans are this and this and this and that and that and that.
And this is one of the most dangerous aspects of modern society. The inhumanity. Not recognizing the full fucking, electromagnetic, wild, confusing and expansive nature of contradictory, complex humans that want so many things at once. That ache for romance and reject it at the same time. And that is OKAY. That is real. That is life. All things can exist together – SHOULD exist together. All things together make a full body – not a series of parts. It’s important to break things down into parts, the way we have in our scientific age. But all of the trillions of parts of a brain have not explained consciousness and there is a messy wholeness to life, to being a human, to being alive, that should not be discarded and cannot be ignored without missing the crucial reality of what it is to be human. It is so many things all at the same time. And that’s the way it should be. It SHOULD be pain and joy, light and dark – this push and pull creates everything. And all the thousand spinning, contradictory parts of yourself, that creates the inexplicable magic of being alive. All things do and SHOULD exist together. To make the circle round.
The way we all have so many parts of our body. These lustful parts which do not know as much as our brain knows, and these heart parts which do not know as much as our brain knows, and these brain parts which will never know fire and flood and blood and magic the way our hearts, bodies, lusts and loves will know.
Things planted deep, things rooted hard, things conditioned powerfully…those things in my brain ache for certain words. Even if I can honor with another, more critical part of my brain that they are not necessary. Or they are naive. Or that some respond to the same words with the exact opposite brain response – they have walls and ivy and thorns and brambles built up in their neurons against these words. Same connection to these words, but different response. Same life experience, in a way, but different reaction.
They’re just words though, in the end. And I honor my honest experience with another human and their set of brain circuits and hangups and soul fires. And if someone else’s disdain for certain words overpowers my need for certain words, I can honor that. I can find that compromise.
Me, I’m an acher. I’m an acher for love, for romance, for hope. I’m an anchor. A root in the soil that refuses to be pulled. I am a lover. I am love. I’m a believer. I’m a creator. I create belief and belief creates me. Love just shows me the way.