and you a warm lump
under the covers
Me wide awake
eyes moist with tears
lest I forget
the vulnerability of you
lest one day
you ARE no longer
a day of dread
so locked into desire
for your presence am I
fearful of the future
lest it tears me from you
or me from you
Not yet awake
to the wisdom
of the sages and the ages
to live forever in the present
“Until death do us part”
The import of those words
have begun to resound
with a fierce vengeance
now decades later
The treasure of you
multiplies like the loaves and fishes
I fear a famine
not of food
but of your presence
I try to hold each wrinkled emotion
on your face
in a forever place
lest you be torn from me
The specter of loss
hangs over me
haunting our life together
when you cried
when you disguised your tears
with embarrassed laughter
your eyes dripped diamonds,
sparkling as they fell
in response to mine
I crying because
there will never be
a “happily ever after”
at our age
sure as shooting
death will come
and rip us asunder
Perhaps our love
will be born again
but it is a “perhaps”
without a guarantee
My faith is faint
My heart shudders
under the threat
as you lay
a lump of warmth
in the land of Nod
Our love a fairy tale
in a fierce steely reality
“Unless we can discover that basic ground of goodness in our own lives, we cannot hope to improve the lives of others.”
My blogging friend, Lauren Mokasdar, at http://englishwifeindianlife.com/ has a BBC news story on her blog about how she found the love of her life and her subsequent life in India as an English wife. She and I both believe in reincarnation and feel that our marriages to husbands whom we love so deeply, arose out of a relationship in a former life. Her love crosses cultures and in so doing provides a fascinating story that is an inspiring celebration of eternal love. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you!
Love always, Ellen
Sitting in the sun, acclimating to the gentle June heat, swatting away an annoysome fly who keeps returning over and over, I know this swatting is definitely wrong—a stirring of the killer instinct. I remember naturalist artist and writer and turtle man, David M. Carroll, keeping his hand steady, while being bitten by hordes of mosquitoes, so as not to scare away the turtles as he paints them . Clearly he is a superior soul in his patient endurance of being bitten and as his, almost spiritual, beautifully poetic, writings and drawings reveal. I remember, too, the words of Pema Chodron, Buddhist teacher and nun, who teaches and preaches practicing compassion on little things, learning not to “bite the hook” of anger.
So I let the fly alight on my ankle and he seemingly happily stays on my leg and does not bite. I begin to try to image feeling kinship with this fly who likes my leg, fighting the idea that he is laying eggs in my skin. Pema Chodron has clearly inspired a city girl, afeared of bugs, to make friends with a fly as I watch the universe of insects beneath my feet. A Daddy Long legs crawls on my camera bag, hitches a ride to our bed when I go inside the house. I bring him back to his home outside.
This compassion things feels right, start small and grow big. As if to reinforce this point a butterfly lands on my chest when I return to my contemplation spot in our back yard. But all is not sweetness and light. Later the same fly (I swear it is) who landed on my leg now activates karma for my earlier murderous impulses towards him. He lands on my toe and bites me. A cautionary tale against getting too carried away with being virtuous. Still worse, later as I walk in the coolness of early evening, a bug lands on my arm and attempts a vigorous bite. In an instant, a reflexive smack smooches him dead.
So it would seem I have to start even smaller with my acts of compassion. How much smaller can one start? I wonder with daunting discouragement about the many, many more lives I will have to live to learn lessons of compassion and no anger. I contemplate the prospect of how many, many more films I will have to view in this movie house of Maya we call life. When, oh when, will I learn all my lessons? When, oh, when, will the sun set for good for me on this circle of life so I can exit the orbit and rest beyond the stars??
Though I write about meditation, spirituality, animal rights, mental illness and nature on this blog, I would be remiss in not sharing my passion for Indian dance and Bollywood movies. Bollywood movies, like Western movies, are vessels of escapism, but Bollywood movies add morality, family values and frequently, religion, into the mix. The dance and music is uplifting and, yes, sensual, without resorting to the blatant obscenity of Western films.
In this excerpt from the film, “Khalnayak,” Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt star. Madhuri is the diva of Indian dance and, in fact, I am taking free online lessons with her just for the fun of it. And fun it is. Madhuri makes no bones about using one’s feminine wiles to beguile. If interested the lessons are available at http://dancewithmadhuri.com. Sanjay Dutt is the handsome, irresistibly vulnerable heartthrob of the Indian screen and he dances as well. Most Bollywood stars not only act but dance, too.
In this scene, Madhuri Dixit plays an undercover cop acting as a dancer to allure and apprehend the soft-hearted criminal, Sanjay Dutt. They have great chemistry and the dancing is definitely an earthly pleasure, a blatant manifestation of Maya, to which I am attached. But I think I must follow to see where it leads. Experiencing writer’s block and artist’s block at the moment, perhaps dance is good for my soul. Critics might say my interest arises from a Bipolar mania or an Asperger’s obsession. Perhaps. I don’t know. I am certainly not manic at the moment. All I know is that the allure of this form of Maya is powerful, and to deny its existence may lead to the necessity of pursuing this manifestation of it in another life. Paramahansa Yogananda says that all life is Maya, a picture show. Perhaps by indulging in Bollywood films, I may get a new perspective on so-called “reality” and see it as Yogananda did, as a film show of the earthly passions, a dream from which we will awaken one day.
In my former life I was a bee.
Why else would I keep sticking my nose
into the private, pollinated parts of flowers?
In my former life I was a turtle.
Why else would I hunch my shoulders
into a seeming shell, my back a carapace
to shield me from a sometimes dangerous world?
In my former life I loved thee.
How else could I account for my “knowing” you
from before the first time we met,
for “seeing” the you in your inner depths?
Some would say I risk damnation
for a belief in reincarnation.
Yet this answer satisfies me on so many levels
and requities my thirst, quieting my myriad of questions
that the old belief system did not.
Unpopular in the west,
woven into the fabric of life in the east
in which I clothe myself, sewn by a strong affinity,
a strange familiarity,
Most of us cannot remember
the details of the other lives,
and are left with fractured fragments of the past
glistening like sea glass in our hands, on the seashores of our minds,
trying to piece together a picture
of a previous existence.
Love is timeless and mysterious
and though I dread the inevitable,
the loss of our life together
in this life,
I know we will be together again in the next and the next
for something as sacrosanct as our love
Jack Kornfield reads a poem on the finiteness of life while talking about meditation practice (3:26 min.)