Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Draw Close and Know That I am G-d

Last June I wrote a post about intimacy and my quest to have it in my life in a way that is meaningful and fulfilling. And Jessica responded to that post with an incredibly thoughtful comment, here is part of it: there is some spiritual practice in learning how to become very close to the other.

There is also always some skein of self wrapped up in the other, a self that appears only when the other is present, even in our imagination.

Oh, my mind and heart have been walking circles around this one for months now. Finally seeing a glimpse of clarity today. That is the way enlightenment works, I am told. It comes in glimpses and snatches of clarity. Never all at once. And certainly never staying permanently because of course there is laundry.

But building intimacy IS a spiritual practice. It does require you to go and meet yourself and trust in something greater than your eyes can glimpse all at once. And even those of us who claim to not hold true to a G-d or any spiritual practice - we do this. We open our hearts to another, to an idea, to a path of life. We let G-d in we just call it something else. And that is fine. Not trying to convince the atheists that there is a G-d in their ontology because they love their children or their work (I am looking at you Karen Carr).

This is the moment where I whip out a definition from Wikipedia. We in academia do that - we look for other people's thoughts to back up our own. Perhaps if enough people have had the same thought then ours is legitimate. Not going to do it. I am going to stand firm on my own definition of spirituality - a connecting, communing, fellowship with something outside of or within ourselves that requires us to trust or believe without proof in it and in possibility. Now, that also sounds like faith and I posit that those two things cannot exist without each other. Intrinsic parts of the other's definition.

Where did all the "deepness" suddenly come from you may ask? Well my obligatory New Year's Post will be about good-byes. I can't help it. But on the road to good-bye I started thinking about all the ways and moments I have said hello. When you are at the end of things it is hard to remember the good times, the giddy times, the lack of sleep staying up all night talking times, and love times. When you go through darkness it is hard to remember if the light exists. You have to work at it. Be conscious of saying to yourself every moment - there is light - I know I have seen it. You start to believe that you have never seen the sun and not only that but that there is no sun. You believe that you will never be happy again. That you will never feel love again - and that maybe, just maybe, you never felt it in the first place. Your mind plays tricks on you. That is when you must go past your mind into some place deeper. Some place quieter and some place that won't lie to you. That is when you have to trust. To believe in something that you CANNOT see in this one moment. I will be happy again - because I was happy before. I will see the sun again - because I know it exists, I have seen it before, I have felt its warmth. That is when you have to draw close and know that you are G-d - that you are creating your personal reality right at that moment - and it can be "heaven" or it can be "hell."

This last year has been difficult for a lot of people that I know and love. Me included! I realized it most clearly when I re-read my Facebook status updates from the last year. Separately - not too bad. Collectively - overwhelmingly sad. And I was quite sure that I would never see the sun again on many days. This day included. But I know joy.

My wedding day when I arrived beside Ilya with tears in my eyes and he reached in his pocket and said, "Here, I got you some tissues because I thought you might cry." And proceeded to dry my tears.
The moment I found out about each of my pregnancies
The birth of each child
My first professional directing review
The first time I taught a class
The first student who said, "Thank you."
When someone I deeply respected said to me: "Keisha you are a good director, but you are a gifted teacher."
Every time my kid's make a joke or someone tells me what extraordinary souls they are
Sharing a joke with my sister
Looking at the strength and beauty of my mother
Listening to music
Being warm

So many moments - we all have them. And some are huge and some are so tiny. Our beginnings. Our joy. And for someone like me who searches for highs and liminality and ecstasy in her living - it is important to remember these moments. I must keep them up front and close so that when the bad stuff shows up I am reminded that yes, "This too shall pass."

So, thank you Jessica. There is some spiritual practice in learning to be close to the other. To take the risk of looking foolish. To say what you feel and how you feel it. In my previous post on intimacy I said I wanted to know how to have that kind of intimacy. And I recognized that I would have to take the steps toward the other and not just stand there waiting for them to recognize me. We all play the game of what is appropriate and how should we act. Well, my resolution that I have been working on since my birthday (my New Year) is to live my life with reckless love. To let people know, in real time, with realness, that I love them. That I care for them and that I want to hear their heartbeat. They may get it. They may run away screaming. But I will have said it and meant it. To have more love in my life and more moments where I see that if I am G-d, I am going to have to be G-dlike (and I am thinking mostly Gospel of John, New Testament G-d with some Psalms thrown in there!)

Seeking out the best moments and the best interactions for when I am my best self. And yes, all of this is incredibly selfish and self-interested. In an effort to save what is left of myself I am going to try something new - loving. There will be regret and pain and the inevitable - well, that sucked. But I see the coming evolution as my time to go after what it is I say I want. To really embrace my spiritual practice and to live my life without fear.

The next post will be my obligatory New Year's Post and because I have to I will reflect on all that I lost this past year. And there was so much that I lost. But in an effort to pick myself up like Humpty Dumpty could not be, I am going to smooth my heart down and get on with it. Join me on the other side, or just be an interested observer.

in peace tribe,

title from a poem by Jessica Fenlon.

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