I've always had longing. Too much perhaps. There are times when it goes underground and I think I may have grown up. Moved past angst. Attributed it to fantasies. Felt relief at my sudden maturity. But something always happens. I wish I could name what that something is. I must be made of longing. I must be made of ache and desire. I am always yearning for Shiva's hand upon me. The feeling is so physical, so visceral that I can feel my fingernails growing and move towards my chest to tear apart the flesh and expose the bone beneath. Then the bones must turn to dust and lay bare the beating heart, the blood, and the rhythm. Then I would turn to the closest one and say, "See? See this? This is what is true."
How do you explain this to people when you are trying to compose a newsletter? When you are supposed to list for people "what they will get" if they come to your workshop? Do you tell them what they might actually "get"? The desire to tear themselves open and touch the primal howl? That this howl may be such a sonic vibration that it could tear away the remaining threads of what they think is precious? The things that we are trying to make secure by attending this workshop and that seminar? Eating these particular foods and trying to secure our place in the spiritually, politically correct?
That this howl will dissolve your ability to censor so as not to offend, so your classes can fill and you may have a full tank of gas for the week? See, my hand has frozen and I cannot press the delete button.
I am not a romantic anymore. This longing is simply the stuff of which I am made. I examine it from all sides. Try to take it apart and find its components. But the more I tear it down the more it reveals that it is empty and I am fascinated by how it disappears right through my hands-like grasping at a cloud.
This is what is here. What is now. Tomorrow I will be different. I always am. I will look at this and wonder who wrote it. I will probably be practical and do laundry. Clean the bathroom. Maybe I will move quietly in these tasks and hold the longing as a secret and invisible friend. This friend who moves me in certain directions and quest for certain experiences. The one who is always planning the next encounter with beauty and makes clucking noises, "tsk, tsk, tsk" at the mundane. The one who waits for me to complete the tasks, feed the cats, do the dishes, and finally pulls me by the hair in a frenzy that ecstasy cannot wait any longer. The one who turns reality on its head and says, "no, no, no no more tasks, no more practicalities. "Now sit. Now sway."
photo: Graciela Iturbide