I stand before the shrine, the house quiet around me. The cold clings to be from an hour spent outside in near-freezing temperatures, waiting for a cab to bring me home. The house is asleep — the cats doze on the couch, Corbie is tucked into bed with Beth. A half day on the job means I’m home halfway through the night, and my weekend, which feels like a retreat more than it ever has before, now that I’m up at night, starts early.
I consider pulling out a journal book, to write. I consider penning a letter or two. I consider opening a book to read. What I really want, though, is to turn the lights off, light the candle, and talk with You.
I miss You. Lost in my worries — financial stress that’s been mounting and mounting, though it’s also reaching a point of easement; new job stress; health worries over Beth, myself, the dog, always always the dog — and the distraction that writing often is, I miss You. I let myself get tangled up in knots, doing things properly, not doing things properly, worry, always worry, always anxiety, forever and ever getting in my own way.
I get caught up in the writing, and it starts out as something I do to remind myself to keep the boundaries thin and fluid, but then the story consumes me, and I forget to see You.
I get caught up in the healing — the toe, then the back, then the stress from the change with the job, and the fucking up the medication, and the upsurge of depression. I see You, of course, in how kindly I treat myself. I see Your touch in how I allow myself to be tired, to be run down, to rest as I need to rest without judgment or censure, and that makes me miss You all the more.
Take me deeper, I begged You, and You are. I remember that it used to be so frustrating, when You’d slip from a known path, when You’d forgo words, when You’d touch the emotion and make me figure out what was me, what was You, and then, how that distinction did not matter, does not matter, cannot matter.
I stand at the shrine that is different — a candle, images that are You and are not You. Neptune, with his trident raised, and Vishnu on his lotus, and the newest, the Krishna, with his flute, a gift I cannot not accept, all things considered. Why the struggle with Vishnu, when there’s no struggle with Neptune? I stand at the shrine, and I light the candle, and I say a prayer for she who is passing, who has passed, and I tell You how I miss You, not with words, but with heart. Standing open. Seeking. Listening.
You rush in, an incoming tide filling a canyon that was empty moments before. You, Who I recognize like I recognize myself. You, Whose touch is filled with all these things that You are, and if I hold this close to me, there is no struggle, because how can I define You in any way other than what You offer?
I miss You. I will always miss You, because it will never be enough, because the longing, the yearning, will always be there, so long as I wear this flesh. I will always get distracted, and I will always miss You, and I will always come back to the shrine, seeking.
This is the ebb. This is the flow. I love this. I love You. I love You.