(I wrote this about twenty years ago. I am not still the same person who wrote this, and yet, I can find her in myself, and myself in her. This piece may be up for a major rewrite for various reasons, but I like it well enough in its current form to share it here. Enjoy.)
What's wrong is, the world's gone too safe. No matter how intense a passion moves you to go
looking for trouble, to risk more than you have, to throw yourself into the transformative
MAW of it all, it seems only the banal is ever allowed to happen. Oh, there's plenty of trouble
to find, it's just all tedious, repetitious trouble. Sure, you can go to prison, get mugged, get
yourself killed or raped or mutilated or fall hopelessly in love with a string of losers, it's all
soap opera trouble. Anyone can drown in mud, it's easy to do, but who can set it on fire? Why
does nothing magnificent ever happen? I want to walk out the door in a mood to dare the gods
and find myself quickly lost in a landscape that yields terror, wonder, and glee if only my wits
can show me which step to take before the step takes me -- with comfort a rare treasure that
never announces itself but comes only occasionally in swift disguise, by grace.
And lost so deeply in the tricks of the mosaic, in the maze of it, I could never find me but for
the gods' help, reaching for me deep in the mirrors, laughing that I not get too lost, they like my
nerve. So, little one, try this path now, see what you find, what you lose, what trouble, what
Oh well, you say, wonder, banality, these are just thoughts, just judgments, just events on the
screen, just one cloud and then another across the face of Sky.
But even so, here it is, this poor sad thing, the world, and here we are with it, all its stones so
patiently almost forever (who knows?) silently and in secret holding the caught stars as we go
on night after night watching old movies on TV and paying our taxes, eating wholesome food,
becoming addicted to petty drugs, all of it circling back around to the same pen, counting the
same bars on the same cage.
And every day we sell all of our souls’ precious moments to the Foolish Twins, Obedience and
Rebellion, or to that other pair, Fear and Safety. And if by some wild surge of blessing we catch
a breathless glimpse of what we're missing, in a rare moment when despite everything all the
windows line up and Reality peeks through, even if then we have the presence not to run but
stay to look, to see, to drink and breathe -- even so, very soon the weight and pressure of The
Way It Is Here And Always Has Been, the billion hypnotic silent voices muttering "no, that's
never been possible, no, forget it, don't be a fool, it's nothing, just some weird brain wave,
(science) just forget it don't be stupid pay your taxes have a beer tomorrow's a work day..."
those voices close in, close ranks in a deadening fog; in short order the moment is gone buried
lost there's a bus to catch an appointment to keep a traffic jam oh god.
And again we go numb.
There's this guy, see, and for weeks he's coming on to me really strong, like it just doesn't quit,
and he's really attractive but I have my doubts if he really wants to engage me, but he keeps
acting like he does, and my body is saying yes, but even so, because I've been burned a bit too
recently I say no let's just be friends, because I really like him, see, but still he doesn't stop
coming on to me so insistently -- what is this -- so I let him into my bed. Then almost
immediately he puts up this wall, he's still there but suddenly his sexuality is pulled way back
and I'm kind of scratching my head which is spinning and it's not like he wants me to come on
to him now, it's like "I'm here but DON'T TOUCH ME" so I wait a couple days and he's still
there but he's acting like kind of ho-hum so what and I want to know did he suddenly just lose
interest or what is going on here and as soon as I decide to ask him point blank he decides not
to call me back which in itself would be no big deal but by this time I'm totally grouchy and
frustrated because when my passion is engaged it doesn't turn off like a switch and I have no
idea how to deal with this and I recall that the last time I got involved with him he ran away
then too but at least that time the lovemaking lasted longer.
So he's supposed to come over but who knows what for at this point and do I even want to see
him if he's not giving me anything to respond to -- you're going to wake up my passion and
then you're not going to feed me? So I spend the day just putting my energy into other things
and actually it's a really good day until I come home and start trying to decide if I want to see
this guy or not but I'm feeding myself, you know, I'm doing okay I make some soup with lots
of cayenne in it and play some music and I'm doing pretty good, I'm up for it, whatever, let's
see what happens next and then my girlfriend calls and she says.
I've got issues I'm seeing this guy and its bringing up all these wounds about feeling ashamed
about the intensity of my feelings! And I laugh and laugh and say, guess what, that's it, and she
says I said to this guy I need it to get deeper and he said but I've only known you two weeks SO
WHAT and she says it started for me in the sixth grade and I say for me it was the first grade
there was this guy he was so cute and I tried touching him you know, kind of rubbing up
against him and he totally scorned me I'm sure I really embarrassed him and I didn't
understand, what is this, people don't like to do this? And we said well they must be out there
somewhere, aren't they, men who can sustain passion and we laughed and then she said
I know one and I said he's in a relationship, right, and we laughed
and then we hung up and suddenly the room was full of peace and I was held in an incredible
serene embrace and my mind was suddenly quiet and my heart was silent and my body was so
still I can't tell you I can't tell you how good that feels that was, I drink that grace, and so I went
into Earth to visit the Faeries and they welcomed me and called me kin and bathed me and said
to me you cannot fail. Our sister, and sent me home wanting nothing, the bottoms of my feet
painted red and stars everywhere, I turned off the phone and turned off the lights and slept with
the moon and wanting nothing until it was time to write this.