Fearing the ordinary: a seemingly low-grade infection and subtle gnawing. Really it’s a fear of losing the ability to sense the extraordinary even in mundane moments. I grow older and more desperate for it, yet also more refined in the search. Rituals and reading stave it off by the hour. Sometimes scavenging for new experiences sets the stage.
A girl on-stage–not the performance itself but the moment before performance. She’s posed waiting for the intro of breathy strings to pass and the wind is blowing through her red hair. There’s a tiny hush in the bustle of the crowd and I feel the hair stand up on my arms. It’s fleeting yet defining. Does feeling this way lie in my own ability to perceive and thereby create it, or do moments like these occasionally cross over from some other plane? I am thrown to exasperation and irritation in times of lack.
I am raised to the heavens in moments of intimate, unbridled connection and in the ethereal essence of devoted action. Without it I’m trapped in transitory and futile. I feel it as a call for a new God-form, and with it a life of regimented service to the sublime. I feel it in the dedication and sacrifice of the body to a higher calling.
I step into uncharted territory and begin to fear myself. I feel I’m present yet attached to the stars, the tail of the Scorpion. Once I’m standing on the shore between myself and the unknown, I’m overtaken by the enormity of the waves and feel the ground slipping away. This is the line I aspire to live on– the depth of the waters versus the dried out shell of who I pretend to be. It is on this line between the two worlds where inspiration and creation arises. There must be some lifeline between them that serves to protect those whose nature demand they take the voyage.
I hear otherworldly, celestial voices in the planetary hum of our existence. I feel an awakening consciousness in my body. I open my new, luminous hands like a seashell and innocently outstretch them to others who find it “too hard to handle.” A refusal of food, a prayer, a painting, a dance, the sound of a violin; dare to look at the true source! Who are we when heaven descends to earth? How do we achieve a sense of grounded ecstasy? Can we overcome the fear of our own intensity and channel it into a language of revelatory magnificence? Can we learn to share ourselves with one another in starry territory? I am living to know.
My limbs are tethered to a shadowy great wing, unsure whether they are fleeing or willing captives. It’s such a riddle to see one’s own spirit embodied in the illusion of dueling, passionate entities. Is it I or the familiar eyes staring into mine? I see my seemingly private afflictions reflected in every struggle to comprehend romantic holographic encounters. The projection of love- the task of understanding the other only to ironically return to yourself. I, the initiator of vibrational images of unfettered intensity- the woman who loves unconditionally. The story, a brilliant thought-form, materialized as a truth of unmatched authority. How I love, how dearly, packed into combustible cannisters of volatile creative force. My cupboards are overflowing. I am incapable of coming to terms with my own creation. I am a wounded spiritual force, living in fear of its own potential. Is there not some other hologram willing to share the burden? I’m lost on this plane of existence unwilling to extinguish the light that is mine and mine alone. I live as a woman walking circles in the garden of herself. I call out to witnesses with lovely porcelain and sweets. Are they poisonous or liberating? I eat and drink and love him so.
For those who lack the proverbial “thicker skin,” growing older means watching the seasons erode the scaffolding of fantasy. I was a sensitive child and remain a fragile creature. My world exists within the same physical realm of those around me, yet is set apart and swarming with vibrational daydreams. Yesterday I read that a supermarket in the town where I spent every childhood summer has closed. I’m sure many felt sad to read it. I felt momentarily paralyzed. In my parallel reality, this was the place I reserved for “growing up”– whenever I would finally decide to do, it I planned to escape, work there and live in my cottage on the lake. Not only was a piece of my childhood closing, but so, too a piece of my future. So, too, yet another physical door to fantasy. While slamming shut it hit me how disconnected and distanced I float along my wobbly timeline.
There is a door in the kitchen of the cottage. I remember feeling goosebumps trail down my arms at the sight of it being left open to the stormy air. There was a screen door behind it and I could see the trees and some laundry drying on the line. Someday I would hang my grown-up things on that line. I would look out the screen window while doing dishes and wipe down the marble table that came from an ice cream shop that closed. I would take bubble baths in the claw bathtub and put on my makeup in the mirror of the antique medicine cabinet. I’d have dinner parties lit by moonlight on the deck and keep everyone alive with lots of music. I’d sleep with the grown-up man in the bedroom lined with windows overlooking the lake and wake up to the smell and sound of the shoreline.
There was an art gallery where I planned to sell my paintings and an outdoor stage where I would sing my songs and walk barefoot in the grass. I’d walk on the beach at Lake Michigan and watch the sunset every night. Friday nights I’d meet him at the end of the pier. Is there anything more wonderful than this? I’ve been ever so afraid and unwilling to pack up and pursue it because doing so might ruin it. It’s perfection and soothing to my childlike soul. I’m innocent and free there. Love still exists and troubles are washed away by the waves.
I stand there in my grown body from time to time. I look at the lighthouse and breathe in the charged and velvet air. If there is any place where I might set up shop and feel fulfilled, then only there. The sugar sand is gentle and giving; boats pass in and out through the channel. When I wave at them they always wave back and smile. No one can resent me on a moving vessel from a distance. It’s safe.
It seems I don’t exist apart from there. I live a fragmented and confused daily life. I don’t know who I am when my heart lives far away, pulsing at the top of the lighthouse tower and my needs are strewn in the dunes. When a building is torn down it is my bones, getting weak with age. When a new shop opens it is young and bustling life, overstimulating and confusing to an aging woman.
I have to learn to be brave and embrace what is. I have to allow others into my perfect parallel universe and feel enlivened rather than threatened by their realness. I have to let love evolve as a conscious force and not restrain it in the confines of my own imagination. I have to be brave enough to allow deviation and unmet expectations and cherish what stands before me. I have to talk to some of the people on the boats in real life and invite them into my realm. I have to learn to let go, let things change, wash away and materialize anew. That’s what the waves are for. Things change. That’s what the sand is for. Time passes.
Creation happens at the meeting between two souls, the border, the shoreline, the cliff at the edge of the abyss. It happens on the line where innocence descends into a dark, stony hole and that which lies at the bottom is purely uncertain. I have long sought a true merging, a coming together of mentor and muse, heart and lust. It is my deepest longing and sorely neglected need.
I stare deeply into Chopin’s portrait while feeling his music pulse through my aura. Gentle, spirited hands, manifested inspiration and a face lined with passionate knowledge gazes through me. It is the music made physical I seek; the merging of unfettered passion and vibrating harmony. The portrait, come alive.
All that I have to give remains bound inside the limitation of my own flesh. I feel the crude prison bars of the boundary between self and other. I embrace them and urge them to bend at will with incantations and unwavering faith. It is my spirit, lured ahead and the will to triumph that provides the impulse to continue.
I am lost in sex without alchemy and ill-returned passion. I stand alone afterward, bewildered and empty. The stage is the only refuge for feminine fulfillment. It is only there that body and soul intertwine and the prince eternally reveres his princess. Tears are nothing without function; a dancer lives through other means of expression. The loss of idyllic illusion drives her to reconcile the frivolous futility of music when withheld from barren physical reality. It is here she rediscovers her passion. How she longs to give more than a soulless exchange of lifeless matter!
Discipline replaces dreams; resignation replaces love. I tread on with a relentless striving for transcendence. How do I release desire for all that I am–the dream of someone willing to take my hand, dissolve and live for starry discoveries and unbridled human expansion? How many times must I sell myself to artless vulgarities? There is no frequency compatible with the ‘Song of Myself.’ It is lost in space-time, a sacrificial relic of romantic literature. The yearning to love is an affliction handled with ridicule and shame. Until it springs forth from yellowed pages, infused with life, shall I suffer.