I love you. I came looking for you and I found you. I found you in the small black girl with the big eyes in Wawa. I found you in my writing teacher and the brave souls who continue to lay their stories at her feet like offerings to the Goddess. I found you in the tap of the drum, the strum of the guitar, the strange language that rolls off his tongue like ancient warriors marching out of a cave. I found you in my own overflowing heart that pushes up into my throat and out my mouth. I found you in the mother and child sharing a snack on a stone bench in Center City surrounded unawares by people, buildings, taxis and other bustling things, glowing in their quiet shared delight. I found you in the cold bubbling creek, tumbling over rocks through a path of multi-colored leaves, red, orange, brown and gold. Is it possible to be in love with everything? Is it crazy? Is it dangerous?
The vows, they say, ‘forsaking all others.’ Why would I want to forsake all others? What a strange concept? I think he’s thinking about loving me. I can feel it. All I can think about are the obstacles, the resistance. I was thinking about how much I dislike visiting him. I was thinking about how I worry that he will steal the happiness I’ve worked so hard to find. I was thinking that my happiness is fragile, like a vase, like an egg, like a flower. But then I remembered that he needs me. I am here to serve him – not in an indentured servant kind of way but in an I-chose-this-for-a-reason-before-I-was-born-kind-of-way. Who I am is shifting and changing him. I realized that if I serve him, then love will flow through me and my happiness will be safe. And if he hurts me, it’s an opportunity to do more healing, to go deeper within myself. I feel protected. I feel safe to be me. The more you give, the more you receive.
But sometimes I feel resentful about being a giver. Sometimes I want to take. Sometimes I want to be gluttonous and selfish and lazy. And there she is, the shadow of me. The empty heart. The scared little girl. The insatiable, needy, desperate little girl. The one I thought was me. I see her in others. I hear others speaking from that place. Fear mingling with fear. Need mingling with need. Blame, shame and all the other yummy things that fuel the engine of dysfunction. I used to think that I had to run away, that I had to avoid sick people, that I couldn’t handle it. I used to absorb their sickness, become the sickness itself.
I’ve been thinking about sickness. I’ve been thinking that I can choose not to be sick, even if my mind tries to ‘think’ me into sick. Such a funny thing, the mind – not a friend, really. A foe. A prism of images. A mindstream. Imprints and implications. Could everything that ever happened to me in countless lifetimes be culminating in this moment? What if it were true? What if enlightenment were a breath away?
He said he thinks that I have ‘ripening karma’ in this lifetime. How fun to be ripe and juicy and shedding tears of joy! Driving in circles. Riding in grooves. The jeep starts to lift off the ground. Still circling but swirling dust instead of treading dirt. Floating like an eagle. There is freedom up here. There really is. I can’t explain it. Not sure how I got here. They say, “How did you do it?” I said, “I don’t know. I just put one foot in front of the other.” I never really believed I could be happy. I could see it in others but I never thought it would be mine. Still I aimed in that direction, following little bread crumbs of joy, hoping to infiltrate their world, the world of the shiny happy people.
Of course, it’s a mess of a trip, right? There are those who look happy but they’re really not. And those that look quiet and suspicious, but they are deeply peaceful. It took some time to decipher and figure it all out and I still make mistakes, still get confused, still think something is something that it isn’t but I’ve always been accused of being gullible and naïve. So be it. At least I give people the benefit of the doubt. Who doesn’t need a benefit of the doubt once in a while?
I went looking for love again and again, in books and bedrooms and bars and ballrooms. And all I can say is, “Keep Looking.” If you keep looking, you will find it. Aim yourself in the direction of what you love, pull the trigger and shoot. Launch yourself towards love and love will grab hold of you like a hungry ghost. Love wants you as much as you want it.