27 May 2018

Stonemason Blues

On the shore of a personal ocean, black stones of the past clutched in hands scraped raw. The palms ache. The back, the legs, tremble to support all the weight. Gravity fills the bones, pouring from a heart overflowing from the rains of memory. Saltwater washes over bare feet sinking into the sand from the current. The stones are heavy. Heavier than physics would seem to allow. Dark matter denser than blood and iron carried so far, so far.

A journey of decades led to stumbling down this path ending on the strand. Years of confused struggle against things rarely understood crystallizing in a vitreous, drawn out slice of infinity. Time gels and breathing slows. Tears may well but do not fall. Life thickens. Ghosts whisper in the back of the head. They win, sometimes, in their efforts to coerce the mind into believing it will never be whole. They speak occasionally of hearts forever sundered. Deep in a cold night of the soul, victory against such slanderous propaganda seems unattainable. Why would it not? Belief and stamina once led a verdant existence in the valley of the soul. Now there is desert.

Drought happens in life. Rivers shift in their channels, rain ceases to fall, clouds become precious memory. To be human is to know a sere existence upon enduring loneliness as a rule rather than an exception. In the mirror maze of the heart there is no mystery to this loneliness. It is in the world, like gravity.

What is the seeker to do? The soul cannot sustain this constant cycle of wandering and returning with nothing but stones of experience. To build a shelter from them would be to take up residence in longing and bitterness. Terrible feng shui to be sure. The advantage to such housebuilding is that at least the shelter would be a known quantity. No guesswork, no fevered wondering at where one would lay one's head to get out of the weather.

The waves continue their liquid caress of the shore. Listening closely to their sibilance arising from sheets of water gliding over sand the heart may hear voices, offering encouragement or warning is difficult to ascertain. On the beach for miles in each direction no one is visible. No one to turn to, except perhaps figures in the mist whose advice may be as ephemeral as their presence. The questions to be answered, of course, are of what to do with these stones. Throw them in the ocean to let the tides carry them away and out of memory? Or find a green, quiet place to lay them down as a foundation of experience upon which to build a new life?

The head and the heart debate these questions at the edge the world, watching the tide recede.  They will have their answer soon, turning over and over the stones in the hands.

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"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...