I am born here, destined to die here, encased in fear, trembling from birth on this isolated Earth in this devastating skin. Skin that separates, encapsulates my mind and heart and other parts. Keeps apart. A gaping impossible divide, with “them” on the other side. Outside of me. Beyond a circumscribed, self-involved, problem-solved pinwheel mind.
Outside like a shattered reflection, distorted by an urge for self-protection, but true as the distant blue above from which we came with our Names and verbs and complex linguistic curves that shape experience into something we can swallow to try to fill the hollow space within. Between gut and chin emptiness has been implanted like a birthmark – stark against the otherwise neutral contours of material existence.
Some defect of evolution? Some prophetic, golden-egg solution? What is aspiration? Hope? Longing? The willingness to bleed and give our lives for something more – what’s it for? And when does reaching become grasping, needing, taking without asking, killing mothers and their babies ’cause their brothers called us crazy?
A primal urge to reunite impels the battles that I fight, the feeding hand I bite, my terror of the night. I desire to be whole, to join together souls into a fabric interwoven without end. I expend myself in burning all the bridges that I build until I’m filled with self-destruction and defend. But still the yearning doesn’t cease, the reaching won’t release and despite myself I climb the golden stair.
Maybe hope is what defines us, not our minds and all our stuff, and maybe aspiration burns like that on purpose. Maybe longing isn’t worthless when it’s stripped of self-assurance. Perhaps the skin that we’re enclosed in is a catalyst for overcoming. And so we should feed the flames, bear the heat and burn the frames of mind that drown the fire in our hearts. And sex and drugs and alcohol aren’t gonna work at all, just spin us faster, farther and apart.
We drink and joke and work and smoke and text and kill and cry and try to fill the gaping painful hole that happens to be our soul that’s buried now alive beneath a million tons of lies and postured grief from others’ lives, and we’re scandalized when someone dares to point it out.
When someone dares to say “You! You are not what you say, the walls you build, the games you play, the fears you feed, the things you need, the lies you tell…that’s all Hell. You are Free! You are holy! You are chosen, you are here because you’re woven inseparably into the fabric of this world and we all evolve together toward something we can’t even imagine – like a dinosaur or dragon couldn’t fathom airplanes or microwaves or Plato or Dante or Einstein or you.
“We are headed somewhere new – uncharted, inconceivable from our current spot because it won’t be built with the tools we’ve got, but the tools we’ll gain along the way. So drop the defense, lose the pretense, and give yourself to this ride that’s gonna take what’s outside, like a moonrise tugging at the ocean tide, and let you feel it from the inside, like your skin sighed and opened wide and there was nothing left to hide.”
Even as I reject them, the words pierce my skin and settle in, gain some purchase beneath mind’s vigilance. And I’m slowly changed despite the same song singing itself softly while I dance.