The skin I wear has not always been comfortable. I wore it crooked and inside out, wrinkled and sometimes backward. Every morning, I stepped into whatever integumentary armor I needed to walk through the valley of shadows. Forging the path of personal truth, I found myself in a seemingly perpetual purgatory. Limbo was a game to taunt and tantalize the better parts of me. There in the gray, I wistfully lingered albeit not without indomitability. Almost as if in an instant, like a flash, I became aroused by the sensual nature of existing in this space and this time. This skin, this guise of my soul, houses bones of valor, an essence of love, and these celestial cells which are teeming with life. It is ridiculously inconceivable to embrace the heart of darkness without acknowledging its dichotomous nature. Where there is darkness there has been a light removed. The skin is the external vessel to contain our souler spectrometer—the innate instrument by which we can discover and measure our luminosity. Life is a dance with light. This body—your body—no matter how big or small or short or tall or wild, is the cosmos’ way of exploring itself. All melts away in the radiance of pure light. All that remains is you, undisguised.
Art by DELA
"THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over."
Hunter S. Thompson
Eight days before the anniversary of poet Sylvia Plath's tragic suicide, five days after my friend Brett's heartbreaking hara-kiri (his samurai sword) and one day after Academy-award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found with a syringe in his best heroin arm, and I am perpetually sad. The sadness is paralyzing. I am not particularly tormented by the missing of a physical presence, so much as I am deeply empathetic. I know the EDGE. There is a great precipice. We stand, often teetering, on the brink of reason and insanity, and it seems to be perpetuated by a certain sort of genius; and if not genius, then the madness stems from an ability of the inquisitive brain which ferociously and relentlessly tries to process external stimuli. Over time, these external factors we tirelessly process inevitably embed themselves in the soul and turn to a thick, black, tenacious sludge.
We see more, we know more, and we are of the generation and among the most spiritually adept to hold onto it all. Brett was this way. Sylvia, dear Sylvia, she had so much on her mind and heart, as many of the tragedies that came after her did. I'm sure all who chose to end the pain were in a similar mind space. Whether we check our pain in as over-sized emotional baggage, keep it stored under the bed as crumpled up yellow legal pads of written shattered dreams, or we spew unprocessed verbal vomit all over an unsuspecting subject who turns his ear for a moment of compassionate listening, we all can share our deepest discomfort and our greatest mission. Share your reality. Share your truth. Embrace the pain for a moment.
Can we learn to sit with the discomfort? My therapist would ask this of me after a day of agonizing emotional turmoil. Can you sit with the discomfort in non-judgement and gentle compassion with yourself? Can you remain just on the edge of reason and insanity without falling into the abyss of no tomorrow? It's a scary place, and it is important for anyone who feels deeply in these ways to find their center point and fight like fuck to get back to it. See more, do more, and love more. It is the prescription to rich life experience and acceptance of what is. In this seeing and doing, though, there is risk. Your heart may break.
Your mind may contain a chemical composition not quite built to withstand the intensity of truth, love, and the like. You may come to a breaking point. There is always refuge. There is always hope. There is always a way through the thick, tenacious sludge, the swamp of sadness, that we may have to walk through. Travel to the edge of reason, and don't be afraid to feel. Someone near you feels the same. Find solace in peace. Keep your head in the game. This too shall pass.
"The spiritualization of sensuality is called LOVE." Friedrich Nietzsche
I could only think of pineapple. I was deep in my dance, sweating my prayers and moving love up the spirit channels of my being--body tingling, love for the World, and eyes to God.
It has been a wild week of processing and becoming. As the waning moon turns to crescent, faithfully to become the New Moon shadow, my whole being is doing the opposite. I stand in full illumination--the light of my own Being and the light of Love. I brought this to the dance floor this morning. Dancing is my ritual, the dance floor a place for alchemy. All this love and light and magic and movement makes perfect sense to me. I have no sort of trouble uncovering it, integrating it, or knowing its potency. I know love. While communing with this Divine idea through awareness of body and sacred silence, my monkey mind began to wander. Not only did it wander, it began to yell mean things. It lost track of the rhythm and fell from exaltation. It began to remind me of the things I have been carrying around for decades. My Shadow Self was personified in thought.
"Your thighs are big."
"Your belly is unbecoming."
"You better not eat today."
"I'll never be beautiful like she is."
"I want pineapple!"
Pineapple? Odd timing for an intense craving. The moment my mind found pineapple, the mean words seemed to dissipate. I invited the reprieve, and I focused on the rhythm, the heartbeat, the sweat. I returned to body. My teal-painted toenails began to desire pineapple. My shins, knees, thighs craved luscious, juicy pineapple. My belly grumbled, my mouth watered for this exquisite fruit. Because of pineapple, I began to realize the sentience of sensuality. I danced through this. This body craving pineapple is the same body who delights in the Love of the Oneness of all beings. This is my body. This is my love. And this pineapple is damn tasty.
May you and all beings find this delicious reverie. May your sky be as blue as it's ever been, or may you find solace and comfort in the cloudy day. My each bite of food nourish your senses. May you laugh wildly, dance ecstatically, and unfold sensually.