I’m having a moment, trapped in my body. I curl my hand around the coffee mug, and the heat of it holds me fast to my body, to the here, and the now, and the physical. Small wonder: I’m coming out of a two day long migraine attack and I am achingly aware of my body. I’m exhausted, and all I did the day before was sit on my ass, work on some knitting, and recover. Except for a jaunt out, I’ll be doing the same thing today.
This is when the writing helps me slip the confines of my body, of the physical, of the here and now. Small wonder that, too: ages ago, a lifetime ago, writing was what provided escape when I otherwise couldn’t have it. There’s a reason why this is the best and easiest way for me to dig deep, to pull back layers, to peer closely. The doing is easy, like breathing. The seeing, that’s harder sometimes. Not harder to do, just harder to face.
Indecision binds me. In the waking world, the inability to decide what I want to read is making me flip restlessly between three or four books. The inability to commit to one knitting project has me wanting to cast on another, and another. The allure of the next story calls even when I’m so close to finishing the current WIP. Maddening, because I know that I’ll start to feel overwhelmed by too many balls in the air, but I can’t seem to help myself. It follows me into this place, as I teeter between locations. The three room cottage? The rose colored temple with its deep pools and cool darkness? The shore where we met, under that giant moon, with the sense of Her off in the distance?
I want comfort and kindness and softness — I want the cabin with the blankets and the couch that could be a nest, and its familiar walls and sounds and feels. But I feel guilty for wanting that, and I feel like I should be at the temple, and so I bounce back and forth between the two.
When I hit the cabin again, I make myself stop. I want comfort and kindness and softness. I want, more than anything, for none of this to be a burden, for this all to be a joy. And, this is where things went hard between us, where I lost myself, or I removed myself from myself, or I rejected myself, or something. When the outside world became so difficult, and scary, and I wanted this place, this practice, these relationships to become a refuge from all that. Spiritual growth has always been, well? For me, it’s been about stripping back the layers, examining myself and removing what does not serve. My path with Him was founded upon that very thing — looking hard, looking true, removing what does not serve, and nurturing that which does.
I slip into the cabin, wrap a hand knit shawl around my shoulders. Soon, in the waking world, it will have a counterpart, but that’s not finished yet. This one is soft and warm, simple wool dyed in heathers, still smelling faintly of sheep. I sink into the couch which has become more of an overstuffed chair. I tuck my feet up, and angle myself so that I’m half lying down. The mug of coffee still steams with its heat.
He’s here. I can feel him, though I can’t see him. Those moments when we’re looking closer, when we’re looking deeper, he is this way. It’s like he knows I’m hovering near a truth, and that the distraction of seeing him will be too much. I hate to admit it, but he’s not wrong. When I can see him, or touch him even if it’s just here, or hear him, the connection is always lessened. Which, wow, was that a hard lesson to deal with, once upon a time.
The truth is, I need gentle and soft and kind. I need this refuge right now. I need this to be about love, and Love. It can be work, sure — love is, at times, right? — but I need for it to be about love first. I need to be accepted for who and how I am, however that is. Not by everyone, because that’s not realistic, but by those in my inner circle, and together he and I are my innermost circle, so I need it most from him, and from me.
From me. Because I’ve always had it from him.
I can’t even give myself a hard time over this, because, well? I need the Love. I need it to be okay that I’ve let people down, that I’ve let myself down. I need it to be okay that I’m messy, and that I’m selfish, and that I put myself before others. I think,we all need that. Your own mask first, then others, in that crashing plane, right?
I’m finding that the Love flows. I’m finding that I feel that Love for myself. It’s so small, it’s such a tiny little trickle, an offshoot from a vast river, and its clogged here and there along its route, but it does flow. It’s precious, and it’s new and it’s delicate and it’s wondrous.
He is a warm blanket around me, strong arms protecting me, and steadfast heart that loves me, that loves me for myself when I cannot. Increasingly, though, I can love myself — and I think that that’s part of why I pulled away from him for a time. Because, if I can love myself, then he won’t need to, and if I pull away first, I don’t have to witness him setting that love down.
Except, that steadfast heart. He is my constant friend. And the warmth of this place, of this cabin in my mind, with its soft furniture, gentle sounds of the world around it, cozy blankets, and general sense of peace and wellbeing is as much his as it is mine. He’s not just in my heart, he is of my heart, and I am of his. Neat thing about hearts — they can hold infinite beings within.
Gentle and soft and kind. May I be that, to myself, and to others. This is my prayer for this moment.