ST MARIE, sunday, may 29
i think of my mother and feel very sad. i become a little girl, i curl on the bed in a little ball. i cover my naked body with my wool shawl, like the favorite blanket i had as a baby. i want my lover to hold me. i want someone to hold this terrible ache and emptiness. i weep alone, unashamedly with no one to witness me. so much of the hero i called forth has to be found in myself. at some point the crying stops and i feel the heat of the sun from the window on the bare skin of my thigh. i run my fingers across the warm skin, it makes me think of my lovers fingers touching me. i become aroused and i take out my laptop. i photograph myself masturbating, it turns me on. after i come, i fall back asleep. i am so tired. i wake from my nap a few times fitfully, but i cannot move, my limbs are too heavy. finally i wake and stretch, i have been asleep for maybe hours, time has disappeared.
i shower and dress. i am ready to go inside the church, i have circled it for a week. i am ready to go to the temple in my heart where i hold my longing for my own mother, i have been circling it for years. i feel a great moment is approaching, a moment of the angels, a moment of my healing will come when i enter the church.
i go out to the square and they tell me the church closed at 4pm, it is now 6pm. they say it is closed on mondays and i leave tomorrow, i already bought my ticket to seville to fly early tuesday morning. what a cosmic joke! i write shiva that i made the pilgrimage and danced in the courtyard and slept on the beach, but never made it to the church. he says that is my way anyhow, fuck the buildings i will find god in the streets.
the difference between external worship and internal worship is that external worship is what can be seen from outside, in the form. people put on their best clothes and file into church trying to get points from god or at least the priests and their neighbors. internal worship has no piety and cannot be seen from the outside but is a constant state of offering all life to the sacred flame. everything is sacred, even the profane. i met a monk in india who said i should not wear my prayer beads while taking a shit. he said it would offend god. i said, how can i offend god by taking a shit? god made me and god made the shit. the other teachers all say be good, but i say be bad. you have been so programmed you do not even know good from bad.
i do not know what will save me but i know it is nameless and formless. i may not be good but i am burning, and that burning is a purifying flame. what will i become from all this burning? the moth is attracted to the flame until it is eaten by the flame and becomes the flame. that flame sets others to burning. do not ask if your path and teacher give you peace, only ask if they set you to burning.
it is shaping up to be a long, lonely night. by body is on fire with the memory of my lover inside and nowhere to release the energy. most of the people have left from the festivals and all the corners that had been full of musicians and dancers are empty now. i haunt the streets like a ghost that night, following the sounds of guitars. outside the church close to midnight, a group of young men are playing guitars. a woman in black approaches the group. she has black hair, a black cowboy hat, eyes rimmed in black and her blouse, skirt and shoes are all black. her face is lined with a life that looks hard, but full of good stories.
she waits for the boys to finish their song and then removes her guitar from it’s case. she begins to play and sing, the voice of a woman who is used to singing alone. her songs are in languages i do not understand, but the brave longing i can understand. her songs make me see wide open prairies and horses. they make me think of freedom and loneliness. one of the young men begins to accompany her on his guitar, but she waves for him to stop, she is playing alone. her fingers strum the guitar strings and sometimes she beats out a sound with the tips of her nails that sounds different then the way i am used to hearing the men tap the soft pads of their fingers. when she is finished a young man who looks like a traveller, dark and unwashed, kneels to give her praise. we have all witnessed a miracle here in the church courtyard. then she waves to accept our gratitude and walks away.