I love a cloud-filled sky on a moonlit night. The dark shapes are a ceiling for my soul. Piercing is the light of the moon.
A friend has sent me an email recently where she confessed of her lonliness in the city that she lives in. How inept I am to help her. How can I help her when I too am taken aback from my enjoyment of the beauty around me by the stark realization that I witness the spectacle alone? How can I give guidance for keeping to one’s faith when not too recently I questioned my own, fingers chilled by a nickel plated barrel? Almost… almost many things that night… one of them being the dumping of the object into the nearby river before my spirit gave in.
The moon shines through the sunlight in the my ceiling. It is comforting to me. Many nights have I wondered out into the wood, to light some sort of fire or incense and stand before midnight naked in form. Some of those times were colored too much in dogma, too much form and ritual, not enough heart and spirit. How true is this charge in other aspects of our lives? If we cannot be brutally honest to our gods, how then to each other or to our selves? We then waste away, not knowing which way to turn, unable to shake loose our grip on the lonliness which silently eats away at our marrow, not letting go for fear of the unknown chaos we expect.
I fell in love recently. It seems that I always do somewhere. I can only smile and chuckle silently to myself, as a mortally wounded fighter might chuckle at the absurdity of his living through a war, only to clumsily stumble upon a lying pitchfork. So too do I mock my own self. Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Notes from the Underground” ring truer than we want to believe. I found a friend and lover and felt so at ease with this woman and I left her because I was compelled to go out west, to leave Texas for Oregon. It was difficult, and remains so, to leave one that my heart loves, as well as family in Arkansas and Mississippi behind, and yet I did so. It is a decision not so easily laid to rest. It is piled upon the heap of other decisions that I have made, which appear sound in the bright rays of the light, yet shaky when the cloak of night has descended.
Moving to Oregon was wonderful in other ways and I have become entranced with the country here. It stirs me deeply. Surely there must be some archetypal meaning for the great stirrings that this place has upon my soul. For I remember as a teenager the glimpse of fir in the Appalachian mountains and the desire to return. Did my ancestors live in such an environment as this? My dad would say that “my rock is buried out here somewhere” as it has such strong stirrings for me. So I will search for it.
In the course of my living here for less than a year now, I’ve had a few pitfalls. The easiest ones are always those of the physical world. Hunger, cold, heat, physical exhaustion, all pale to the torments of the heart and mind. But in this time I’ve also gained new ground in my understanding of truth and happiness and love. Again…. money, fine food, warm housing, fitted clothing, these all pale to joy and happiness and contentment.
In my line of work (bartender) I have had ample encounters with other people. Most of them impart no higher calling at all, a few have an awareness of something outside of their daily lives, and fewer still seek to act out upon that knowledge. In thinking of the rarity of such individuals I look back upon those whom I have fallen in love with, and all, without exception, hold some claim to this exceptional sort of spirit. I am fortunate to include them in my thoughts as friend if nolonger lovers.
The most recent love was no less wonderful in spirit than could be hoped for. She possesses a laughing spirit, a determined mind, and the memories of one weekend of debate and warm embraces is a twist of the knifeblade in the still bleeding wound of my heart. How fond my mind recounts the flow of candlelight over her naked form, the glimmer of intelligence in her eyes during heated debate, the melody of song in her laughter, and the firmness of resolve in her pronouncemnents. How unwillingly my heart is to relive them. Does the mind seek to torture the heart by replaying these memories?
So I sit, reading in my apartment, when the light of the moon strikes me and fills me with melancholy as I think about my condition of aloneness. It is a bitter-sweet draught.
But life is beautiful. I know this and I have still this faith that I will find something of joy in the day ahead…
and that drives me on.