Saturday, February 8, 2014

insolent heart

 This letting go is so beautiful.
--Phillip Phillips

On my walk to school this morning, I glanced up at the periwinkle sky, only to see a small little network of tree branches above my head.
They were iced with a slick coat of frost.
They caught the first rays of early morning sun, and painted the ground with that sparkling light.
On its journey to the ground, the sunlight danced on the small icy branch, a little bit of tree that was trapped in a cold, clear amber, that was preserved underneath its dazzling, icy armor.
And it was one of those moments that if I never took the time to look up, I would have missed utterly.
It is so easy to get caught up in the glamour of selfishness, in the daily drama of the naughtiness of humans and their escapades.

If I had remained wrapped up in the saga happening in my own head and heat, I wouldn't have taken the time to put my consciousness aside, and notice the fact that there was a small little branch dancing in the periwinkle sky.

As I sat in the foyer of the performing arts building, my stomach growling, I realized that this place here was my cenobia.
Inside of me, I felt that my independence was undergoing an operation, being surgically evacuated from my heart. Instead of finding that I missed the independence, I found that I welcomed what the independence left behind: an emptiness.
Not an emptiness of darkness, but an emptiness of light and life.
There was this nothingness.
The sort of nothingness that your kitchen sink looks like when it is cleaned out of last night's dinner and dishes.
The sort of nothingness that you feel in the empty space in your room, when you've cleaned up all your books and discarded socks off of your floor.
The sort of emptiness that you find when you fish the clump of hair out of the shower drain, and you find that the shower doesn't actually flood when you take a shower of more than five minutes.
That sort of emptiness that comes when you have let go of all the clutter that is filling up your heart, and clogging all its channels of grace, and you find that there is a lot more space than you thought.
There is a lot more space in your heart for the love that you didn't know would fit inside of it.
You find that when you offered up the bit of your self that was taking up a lot of space, when you managed to unclench your hold on you, you were given the sweetest gift:
A pair of turtle doves or a little holocaust of independence is a small price to pray to redeem your heart back.
If we never fled like Mary or Anthony into our deserts, then our loves would never be allowed to grow. They would fester around that small bit of ourself.
If we never found ourself in the foyer of the performing arts building, leaning against the heater, dreaming of the burger waiting for us in the refrigerator at home, then maybe, we would never learn to temper our hearts.
One of the more difficult lessons is that if we never let go of all the humans that we cling to like shipwrecked sailors to rocks, we would never be able to love them as humans.
If we cannot clear them out of our emptiness, our emptiness will never thrive with life, it will never fill them with light.
If we keep trying to make humans our rocks instead of our humans, then we will find, over and over again, that the rocks we are grasping have turned to sand.
The people we want to hold onto the most have to be the ones that we let go of the most, and you find that as soon as you shoo them out of the emptiness, you can then immediately turn around to welcome them freely back into your heart.

Our love would be allowed, like Orual's, to grow into a raging, consuming pile of lust like Ungit. A "love" that consumes all the gifts it receives into itself, that tries to order the world into its own petty, groping little image.
But the gifts that we receive are not supposed to be consumed into ourselves.
Rather, they are supposed to be given back.
They are supposed to be absorbed into the space inside of us, and then returned to the world outside.
We can choose to fill the emptiness with clutter, to weigh our hearts down with a lot of baggage of self.
Or we can, daily sweep out the space, and throw out the miscellanea that we find there into the periwinkle morning sky.
To give back to the day all the gifts we received the days before.
That is, I think, the only action we can control.
But it is the one thing that is needful.

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