Saturday, October 06, 2007

Spilling Darkness

What is it that we hold in our hands? We cup the light, and spill darkness.

I walked across the room, lit only by the glow of the city lights. Your still form on the couch. I touched you softly. Your eyes opened, and everything I knew vanished.

This morning I thought, of so many things: I can't rise to this. A careless god of casting has got everything wrong. I'm no lover. I'm no poet. I'm no healer. I'm nothing but a clumsy, feeble, white-haired old man, awkward and shy, living far past his time. I know nothing but nursery rhymes and the jingles of forgotten commercials and old worn-out fantasies.

I lay on the couch last night and waited for Ashley to come out of the room. "Are you asleep?" asked Alan. I was, and I wasn't. But Ashley must have fallen asleep on the table. Finally, after half an hour, I knocked, and went in. She was still on the table, half awake now but a little confused. I turned off the heater and collected a pair of the sweat pants I use for pajamas from the dresser, shut the door softly again, and went upstairs. I don't know when she finally got off the table.

And, last week: a picture of the Karmapa on the mantle. A white dog shifting from bed to bed. The angry scar of an ill-done ostomy under the navel. You could see colors, you said, following my hands; and I felt I was watering a dessicated plant. But the next day you were in great pain.

Or the week before that: deep nurturing, you said. I have become very young. Driving my father's chariot through the heavens. The horses can tell that I'm not really the master here.

I would not have you think that I am unhappy. I am not. I walk in this stolen joy, waiting to hear the police sirens, and thinking: it's worth it, whatever happens next.

Or again. Skywalkers, dakinis. But that's an old, old tune, invented by lecherous old monks trying to drown out the sound of women's music, and trying to pretend that they weren't intent on having it both ways. Alas! We're all intent on it.

Rest, then, in my arms. Just for now. Radiant daughter of light. You know what I would say, if I could.

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