A Story Of Joy
A man laid in his bed. He had put the book down and with the book, his soul. He was releasing himself, whatever “himself” was to the fatigue of the day and from the sense of his mind. The structure of the words from the book floated and began to evaporate in his mind, he had practiced enough so there was nothing left to replace them but he hadn’t practiced so much that he could really define the absence.
There were two times of magnificence for him, two consistent times. One was less certain than the other. The less certain time was described above, just before he gave himself up to sleep, just after he couldn’t read another word; his body warm and safe and therefor releasing it’s tension, his mind no longer capable of making the words mean something. It was like slack tide, the moment when the tides change from coming in to going out, there is one moment where everything is slack; where the flowers and flow of his thoughts stop defending themselves and whatever truth has sown, for one moment, settles into itself. There was no motion and because there was no motion things were quiet and because things were quiet he began to hear what is seldom heard, the life underneath activity, what lies beneath.
The other time was early in the morning, before consciousness, before genius, before the meaning of the day. This was the second slack tide of the day. Coming from dreams to fantasy – just the point of transition, no dream, but a whiff and fantasy has not set in. Slack, no motion. He thought that this early morning time was more powerful because he thought that dream time was more honest than fantasy, real life, and in coming from that honesty he was closer to his source than he was going the other way, from fantasy into dream time. During the mornings he felt the terror of being born more fully, he actually became a newborn again, reborn with the brightness and motion and sounds of life without the gathering momentum of his wisdom pumping the meaning of fear into the feeling of being born.
In both cases the purity of his experience was foreign to him yet it was like he knew it better than he knew himself. No, he thought, not better than he knew himself, that wasn’t it…it was like the feeling of the truth of life and it was like it had always been with him and he knew it had always been with him and he knew that the reason it felt foreign was because he had spent all of his waking life trying to bury it.
He loved the feeling today more deeply than he loved his newborn son, more deeply than he felt for any thing or person. He had to love the idea of the feeling because the feeling itself was still so fleeting. The idea of it, now, now that he had lived a bit longer, now that he had not died, now that he had walked barefoot in the grass and dirt of the earth, the idea of it was now available for him to love. This was new. This was new. And the love was new, and reverent and the most spectacular and thorough gift he had experienced in his young life. Like being reborn, like being reborn, like being a baby that has walked in the grass and dirt of the earth before being born. He wondered to himself where this liquid acceptance would carry him and he knew, he knew that it would carry him wherever it did but not without him and not without an embrace, a full co-mingling of the liquidity of life, of the atoms that at once made all things different and the same. Embrace, he thought, embrace…what will my embrace be. And he felt young, like a child, a true child, young like an un-layered heart about to experience another un-layered heart. He was staggered with the truth of joy. No child, no child could know the un-layered heart of another and yet here he was, a child who knew.
He was about to meet himself for the first time. And he wasn’t nervous at all. In fact he felt a joyful anticipation that he could only relate to life without fear. Not life without the thought of fear, not an imagined life without fear, no, life without fear, his life without fear. He didn’t know how he knew this but he knew. He thought that maybe he knew because it was so different, so different as to be unrecognizable to him and his current life, this meeting. It was like his life, all the magic and tragic, was a pond in the woods and it was like this meeting was the light of life, the light of life that knew nothing of ponds or woods but that would enjoy both.
He had, for a later part of his life, imagined his young son, perhaps himself as a young boy, sitting on a child’s stool, waiting. Silent and engaged in looking at the stool or at his hands, perhaps just sitting, waiting. It was this image that he called up now and began to feel more certain and welcoming about. He thought, this was who he was going to meet. It didn’t trouble him in any way about his logical protestations, he felt certain logic was a strategy and that this meeting was talking place below, underneath, that this meeting was perhaps taking him back to the place where he had befriended the strategy of logic and perhaps where he had waved goodbye and left the little boy seated on the chair. He felt the welling of oceans in him and truth and tears at the recognition that he had left the little boy and at the same time – what pressure of joy bursting around and soaking his sadness, his beautiful and magnificent sadness. He was the luckiest man walking the earth.
He must meet the little boy. No, he must embrace the little boy and carry the little boy with him and become the little boy. He must embrace the atoms and thoughts and maybe the embrace wouldn’t be an embrace at all but a surrendering, a letting go in order to allow the co-mingling in order to allow the reunion of cells and thoughts, in order to re-combine, to integrate, to make whole again what had been broken.
What a day he was having, what a day, the magnificence was startling and it was as if he was the only one alive and that his life was like a deep and accessible tunnel or tube, circular tube in which no experience was hidden or denied and in which all related to all. Perhaps not a tube but a tube without any walls or barriers except for unexplored parts that always remained within reach and desire. What a day, he thought, no different from the outside, unless by a super observant friend (but he had none of those, at least none that could talk to him). Yes, no different from the outside, but from the inside, a universe was too small a description.
He had known for some time that his life was not enough, his life as he knew it, as he lived it. He had worn out his strategies and his lies and had reached the point where he was now consciously giving himself up, he was consciously dying and sometimes he didn’t mind and sometimes he thought, thank goodness. But there was this feeling, this deepening in him, it was, as he came to know it, the pain of being born, the first pain, the original pain. It hadn’t always been this, in fact for most of his life he ran from it’s definition, ran and hid and covered it with his motion and activity somehow making his activity his life. Had he grown that much, he thought? Had he really grown that much?
In the last year or two he had begun to want to meet his pain. He was sure that was the reason he was here today, I mean here, right now, writing these words. He wanted to meet his pain and just the desire shifted the energy flow from away to towards. The implications of this thought and of the energy and power of life felt to him, right now, like another full exploration, like a book, like another whole life. For now it was enough for him that he wished to embrace what he had always run from. He had begun practicing recognition first, begun the task on curtailing his genius, of putting the breaks on his meaning making. He knew that meaning, although a human condition, was not conducive to experiencing life. And so when he could, mostly in bed, mostly in the morning when he was coming from a more honest place, coming from his dreams (and he wasn’t sure how he did this but he did) he would practice his slack tide, practice his acceptance of the lack of flow. He practiced listening to the silence of himself in hopes of hearing the truth. It was not easy and it was not easy because it was not human, at least not human in the defined and labeled human existence he was a part of. Certainly it was human, but as certainly it had been lost, covered, stolen, buried, forgotten, removed over the course of this human evolution. But the few times, the few moments he was able to experience, like the single drop of red dye in a gallon of water, colored his existence and understanding from that moment on. The power of life, the power of joy he realized was so densely packed, so unknowably full that just one touch, one drop, even a breath, even proximity has the effect of coloring your life. It was hard and he didn’t get to the experience often or for long but when he did, even on approach, he allowed himself to be in the presence of the source of all life, of all joy and in that presence his cells changed, his being changed, it wasn’t a matter of how much or even how, his being changed and it changed because he met and because he desired to meet his joy, his sadness, his pain, his life.
And so now, ohh what a day, he thought and he began to think, before all things, how he could continue to embrace his child, how could he further the surrender, what was the next thing for him to do. Yes, he thought, action is necessary now, it was necessary to get me to this point and although some day I may discover and become a conscious part of the momentum of life (in fact maybe I am closer than I realize) but until then I need some action to direct my energy, my life inward and downward to the young child sitting in his chair. How will I continue to meet and embrace my young child, he thought. And in that thought he stopped his writing and looked around.