there are so many of me
different voices in my head different parts of my personality i live with
as i sit down to write my stories
these different parts of me chime in with their version of the same stories.
one voice is bold and rebellious and likes to shock. it seems to be a teenage me. a big, joyful walking middle finger to the hypocrisy of the man and the matrix. her element is fire.
another voice is wistful and aches and cries a lot. she seems to be a little girl grown into a woman who likes country songs. who enjoys the bittersweet chocolate melting in my mouth of memories, disappointments and heartbreaks. she feels soulful. her element is water.
i sit outside for an hour in nature, just to remember there is a world of concrete objects that exists outside of my own head. i think this is what they call meditation.
it keeps me sane, from spinning out into the ephemeral world of thoughts that move like wind through the invisible space in my skull.
someday i will cease to exist, but these trees will not. and my story also will pass from generation to generation. i have already achieved the solemn and womanly task of passing my genetic code to the next generation. and somewhere my son sits, on the cusp of manhood at 18, grappling with the same thoughts as me. gypsy legacy. angsty high school dropout bent on finding a deeper meaning to life and leaving a creative mark on the world. he is not returning my calls right now. a stabbing pain on a sunny day.
i bring my mind back to the yard in cleveland.
i think in japanese haiku poetry:
summer thick with bees
purple flowers nodding yes
green leaves can shimmy
i think that is 5/7/5 beat of syllables. i test by clapping out the syllables like they taught us in 3rd grade. haiku teaches to observe nature and to shave away the fat so that only the slim shining bones of the image is left. i want to see my slim shining bones in this book of my life i am writing.
the process of writing is painful. painful and liberating. it is a different kind of meditation. i think how nice it would be to sit and meditate on no-thingness, to keep dropping every thought. this is not true, that is not true. drop the thought. what is true then? the Ultimate is true. but you gotta find your own Ultimate. your own Golly-Gee-Holy-Shit-Wow---oh my god, it all makes sense now! and i would weep a thousand tears of gratitude in that transcendental moment of realization. yes, i like that ride. but right now i am on the ride of grabbing hold of my thoughts and wresting them to the floor, like oiled gladiators we go to the mat, to the gritty rock bottom of those fleshy truths. it is not easy to see all these thoughts and to hold them, validate them and then by doing so, they seem to happily go away into the no-thingness. we bow to each other, because seasoned opponents always understand that a good fight is just a good dance. testing our muscle. getting to know ourselves. and these are just all the parts of myself.
can my spirituality hold my humanity? can i reconnect with the oneness but also individuate? i think of my guru. i cannot become him, i can only become myself. that is what he did, he became himself. and in the process, he upset and disappointed some people. his wife, his daughters. one of his daughters was ashamed when he spoke openly about tantra in a newspaper interview in india. she thought he should keep the tantra a secret and just act like a good guru in the public. his daughter was living at the ashram and doing a lot of service to help make it run. she said if he continued to speak openly she would leave. he told me he said, "if you must go, then go. i cannot change who i am". on my last trip to india, he told me, "the difference between me and other gurus is that i say what i do. many of my followers have been angry with me for this. because the ashram could have been bigger if i played along. but i will not become a prisoner of my disciples".
i think of how my guru has inspired so many people to love themselves and each other more. and yet has disappointed some of those closest to him. his wife is not a left hand tantric practitioner. she does not approve of these practices, and yet she does service to feed me when i am there. tolerance is an important key. on my first trip to india, i confided in my guru that i had been practicing sexual tantra outside my marriage with a vow of secrecy not to tell my husband. i said i was not sure what to do. i did not want to lie to him, but i felt this was essential to finding my true nature, and to choose to not practice the tantra was like a death to me. it was painful to keep the secret, but it was impossible to choose not to practice. my guru suggested i try to share the tantra with my husband. he said it is difficult. he said when he did what he wanted, it hurt his wife. but when he did what she wanted, he hurt himself. he did not give me an easy answer, and i saw that these are things that must be negotiated myself, taking responsibility for my own desires and choices and how they affect others and myself. there is always some form of compromise in relationship. i idealize an idea of total freedom from conditioning and compromise, but that is not being a spiritual grown up, aware of my interactions with the worlds around me.
jesus said, "Is it your opinion that I have come to give peace on earth? I say to you, No, but division: For from this time, a family of five in one house will be on opposite sides, three against two and two against three. They will be at war, the father against his son, and the son against his father; mother against daughter, and daughter against mother;"
What is jesus talking about? isn't the spiritual path supposed to bring peace, harmony and happiness? shouldn't it make us understand each other more? but it is not easy to understand each other in this world. there was a time when we were One, but then the one decided to become many, and all of life is a dance in the tension of opposites. the most rational game plan for enjoyment and sanity i have come up with is to see the tension of opposites as a playful dance. without the tension there would be no container and we would melt back into Oneness. which everday mortals do in moments of intensity like orgasm, childbirth, trauma and shock. and which spiritual practitioners do in trance and meditations. and then we separate again.
i remember how my guru initiated me and asked me to go teach. how during the initiation ritual i felt like a hurricane had swept through the building, but when i opened my eyes everything around me was the same. but i was not the same. that hurricane happened inside me. the mantras he planted in my body are magical incantations that alchemized the elements inside my body and began reforming my DNA. and since that day, i have not been able to stop becoming myself, even when it has caused myself and those around me pain. and truly, that inner drive began long before that day, it pushed me all the way to that strange temple in the southern jungle of exotic india. that drive has been at my back to do or die as long as i can remember. some drive to find the meaning of life that is true to me, burning all the bibles along the way, or to let this life fall from me like an old piece of clothing that never fit properly. that drive has taken me down some dark alleys, sex, drugs and all sorts of forbidden things. i tested taboo because i was running from pain, but also because i am curious. i like to watch. i like to watch others and i like to watch myself. isn't God a voyeur too? isn't God the biggest voyeur of all?
is God only noble and benificent? and the devil a separate evil one who brings the shadows to our hearts? or is God all of it? reconciling the play of opposites in the powers that be and in me...i am working on figuring it out.
i am psalm.
what is a psalm?
"My days disappear like smoke. My bones burn like hot coals." psalms 102:3
"Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly." psalms 3:7
psalms are prayers or songs to god. but what gnarly, dualistic prayers they sometimes are. asking god to kill my enemy? to break their teeth? that can't be kosher. i have struggled with my own name as i have struggled with the christianity i grew up with. as i have struggled with making peace of the light and shadow in the world and in my own nature. my process of becoming myself is making peace with this struggle, that began with my name, which was given to me by my parents, who i am still trying to reconcile and make peace with.
a psalm is not a perfect prayer
but it is an honest prayer
it is standing and speaking the truth of the human heart to the heavens
the lust, greed, fear and anger
as well as the longing, loneliness and grief
and breaking open into tears of sorrow and joy
gladness and gratitude
a psalm is not afraid to show her human face to the divine
a psalm does not pretend to be something she is not
i am psalm
what is a psalm?
every fucking human emotion
praying to the heavens daring god to accept me
bathsheeba, fornication and all
i was born for this
not all this pretend spiritual shit
but giving permission to myself and others for naked- hearted emotional orgies
from the center of my white hot yoni
you know you want it
you know you love this