Monday, June 15, 2009

Or We Dive

Or we dive into the sea of love. The billions of us. We play in the waves. We belly-ride the swells, which we catch at a great distance. At a distance so great that the shore is almost not visible. At a distance where there are maybe sharks, but we don’t care. Where the currents are perhaps swift, but we don’t care. Where the water is many times deeper than we can know. But we belly-ride the swells together until they become waves. Then we laugh and whoop, riding them. Losing them. Catching them. Alternately. It does not matter. This is something, this wave-riding. This sea-speed. This rushing in the wine-dark, sun-lighted, liquid road of love. And the most of us out here. Well, we’re all of us a little scared and a little happy, and no one knows what will happen.

Or at the edge of the sky of love, the billions of us run with our aluminum or carbon fiber structures and our nylon hanging limply. Limply over us and around us. Flapping as we run. Until the earth disappears suddenly from under our feet and we are floating. Until we are suspended on the mere air and wind and the blue and white and the clarity of the atmosphere. The buoyancy of nothing but moist clouds out here. Above a cliff of rock and earth that plunges just about straight down. Oh. Maybe a mile or two. Something like that. Down there, beneath our chests and feet, a river carries a silver sun. A dark and blinding river. And it is green all around. The green of Mountain Dogwood, Black Cottonwood, Sugar Pine, Black Oak, Incense Cedar, Ponderosa Pine, and Douglas Fir. And the smell here. It is. Oh. It is a living incense. Something like the smell one imagines exists only in paradise. And the quiet here is like no other sound on earth. A quiet that seems to go on and on. And there is freedom here! Oh, we are infinitely free! The sky is our element. We may go wherever we like.

Or at the edge of the poetry of love, the billions of us suddenly speak! And in our speaking, discover love. Discover words we never knew existed. Discover meanings—extraordinary meanings—that we didn’t know could exist on this particular ontological plane. We discover many ontological planes as we speak. As we discover the possible impossibilities of love. The ways of love. The infinite colors and shapes and curves and rushings and coastings and driftings and strivings and climbings of love. We speak and in our speaking find the holy resonating. We find ourselves saying words that have been said for centuries and have roots that go back millennia, reverberant in the mouths of tens of thousands, millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of us extending back in time. Holy words. Reverberant words. Words, some of them, without any meaning but their own low, lost, fundamental sound. Saying our love to one another and to God in as wide and varied and low and high a voice as one may conceive. As one may say. A voice made of multitudes. A voice resonating with the voices of many only wishing love. Proclaiming love. Declaiming love. Projecting love. Creating love. We discover ourselves speaking in iambic pentameter. In alliterative verse. In rhymed couplets. In the form of sonnets and villanelles and sestinas. In the form of ballads. But while much of it is in forms, most of it is free verse. Most of it sounds like ordinary people speaking. But speaking poetry. Naturally. Natural poetry created of our souls and mouths and tongues and lungs and throats and blood and muscle and bone. Created of heaven itself. We are renewed and enlightened by the freshness of the words. The immediacy and honesty and originality of what we say. Or what is said through us. We are poets, we think! My God, we did not know this was possible!

Or at the edge of the wilderness of love, billions of us rush outward. Away from the cities. Our numbers mystically dwindle. Away from the concrete. Let the concrete rot! Let the glass and steel shatter and fall through the centuries of disuse and encroaching life. Life that swallows up the rigidities of man like an elephant swallows a peanut. Or like a gorilla swallows a grape. Or like a blue whale swallows krill. We live simply again. In small groups that care for one another. That fish and gather and make clothing and hold one another. Again. That make do with what they have. That warm one another in winter. That celebrate in summer. That fatten in summer and thin in winter. That inhabit a world of quiet and gentleness and orderliness that most of us and our ancestors hadn’t known for centuries. For millennia. We speak simply to one another, with care. But mostly we are quiet. We make room for the wind and the mountain and the valley and the finch and the sycamore and the river sounding the small pebbles and the pond reflecting the willow and the ocean crashing into the sand.

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