By Robin Austin Reed
My fingers crack with the energy of fire. My eyes dart in avoidance to a staring laptop, taunting my cowardice to open my heart and whack at the 26 keys that are the stepping-stones that travel deeper into the parts of my unknown soul.
A good life is like making the perfect campfire, requiring patience to form the structure that will burn consistently, only requiring the occasional feeding to warm your soul that unites us to others where stories and tales are shared.
Unity with others sounds wonderful.
Oh how we long to be known, yet are suffocated by the labels that negate us. So is the process of freedom for each other, the bravery required to remove the title and rest our need to be seen. With the twittering of media, we reduce the depths of our fellow humans to only 140 characters, birthed from the 26 letter restriction to expression. How bitter this popularity has made me, so I’ll break free once again, only to be transcended to a land of isolation where I will walk alone.
From dust we came, and from dust we will return.
So what will we do with our assembled dust particles into human form while in between lives?
The bitter-sweetness of choice.
I am the ultimate rhythm of polarization, loving intensely one moment, only to recycle into the spiritual practices that purge me from the patterns of the relentless ego. Like the scorched grounds of a forest fire, my only hope is that I’ll be that one seedling brave enough to emerge from the devastation and flower brightly back into existence.
The tenacity of an over-active mind will drive me to maddening justifications without some practice of release or surrender. Call it religion, call it spirituality or yoga or whatever… doesn’t matter, the name only signifies the act of a human in the motion of transcending a world of limitations found in form.
My soul longs to be held, yet here I am choosing to be alone on another long weekend knowing everyone else only has 26 little stepping stones to travel across such chasms of apparent separation to spend even a minute of connected oneness.
The 26 stones of others have been hurled at my head, torn though my heart and riddled my soul and after years of battle, my only answer is … love.
Shit! That sounds so unspeakably lame, weak and defenseless for surely the awesomeness of masculinity calls for more. So I suit up with armor indicative of the 21st century male, reshaping my 26 stones into the form of a quick whit, a competitive nature and an aggressive drive to beat my fellow man to the allusive dream of a finishing line where I drink from champagne-soaked trophies and kissed with accolades from the sexy models at either side. I want that medal of honor, right?
In the duality of this story, caught in the riptide of this sea of rhythms, I die. You die too. There is no happy ending, only nothingness.
Just then, in that space where all hope is lost and we are done, we experience the peace that surpasses our understanding and return to our 26 little stones that create beauty once again from the vibrations of love.
26 little stones. That’s all I have to be truly vulnerable with you. In this state I’m both apologetic and ecstatically pleased at myself for we are one step closer to a safe intimacy where that thing we’ve been trying so hard to create will finally appear.
Authenticity. It is upon us! We played relating games, we practiced various programming techniques and brain trickery to crack our shells. Like a marine boot camp, we scurried across the muddy fields of judgments, with the bullets of insult flying over head, we threw ropes over emotional walls, legs swinging over the ledges of pain and hurdling over the traumas of our past and in the end… we were exhausted.
This time it was different. We simply experienced a nakedness of our soul, we invited each other in and stood bravely to risk being known. My soul aches at the collateral damage that could have been avoided if I had only known…vulnerability creates intimacy, and when I chose this over and over and over again, authenticity magically appears like that flower seedling emerging from the ashes of the blackened ground in the forest inferno.
Such is my rhythm of vulnerability. Writing is all I truly have to stand the test of time long after this human form returns to dust.
I pray it is enough.