Monday, November 7, 2016

Driftwood

It’s terrifying to meet yourself on the road bruised and battered, no good Samaritan to take you to the inn and bandage your wounds.  No reflections, no disguises, no explanations.  There’s a futility in thinking we’ll ever figure it out.  It’s the story of the blind men and the elephant.  One thinks God’s a tree trunk, one a snake or rope depending on where they stand.  But if you see the Buddha on the road, kill him.  I believe we can only get closer.  Because if you think you’ve already reached it, labeled it, written it down in some book, you can know for damn sure you’re farther away than ever.  Just smash the idols and start over.  

Again and again…  

I am a fucking mountain not because I’m invincible or without doubt but because I am fully aware of my faults and weaknesses.  I look them in the face every day.  And we’ve learned to do a little tango together.  At first staring each other down as we clap and stomp in threatening circles, popping a jab when we think the other is not looking.  But eventually we always end up holding each other in a loving embrace.  

We are what we are because of each other. 

Like driftwood.  Uprooted, battered and thrashed against the riverbank.  Carried in the current, rushing toward the roar of the fall, spinning eddies make us smooth.  There’s character in the grains, the gashes, the knots.  A hollow bone fills with air.  It’s the empty vessel that carries water.  Unencumbered.  Untethered.  Buoyant: bobbing back up to the surface every time it gets pushed under.  Resisting the density. 

Cause I’m no longer afraid of the free fall.  I’ve learned to listen for the ruffle of feathers in the rushing wind to remind me that this is what it feels like to fly.

And instead of always skimming across the surface on thin legs like an insect, I dive deep beneath the surface and glide through the water.  Grow gills.  Chase out the carbon dioxide to clear the haze.  Make room for the oxygen to fill my cells until they’re plump and ripe like fruit ready to be picked and popped in someone’s mouth, savoring not just surviving.  Sharpening my senses.  Like tuning to a station after too much static. 

Demons.  We all have them.  They ooze through the window panes and under the door.  So I’ve learned to suck the venom and spit it out before it has time to course through my veins.  Just cut straight to baring my soul and let the pain breathe raw, sit with the sadness, the disappointment.  But also see the edges shimmering with life, light bursting from the cracks, thrusting me through time.  I keep god laughing by telling her my plans.

So thank you, for cracking the shell, exposing the illusion of strength hovering in the fortress.  You wrenched my heart open, tilling the soil until it was fertile enough to bring new life into this world.  Opened me back up to the universe.  Each time I break, I’m a little more free.  Burning muscles mean change.  You have to break the tissue down before you build it back up.  Like compost.  Or the way heat brings out flavor in the oven. 

So I place my trembling hands back on the potter’s wheel.  Hold my hands strong, let my long fingers curve around the clay, wet and supple. Feel the centrifugal force press against them.  Arms tired.  Eyes steady.

There are no right choices, just right NOW.

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