Thursday, August 19, 2010

galoshes not necessary

The moon, I remembered, existed. How had I lost sight of it for so long? It struck me somewhere earnest and I had to stop on the side of the road and just watch it. The sliver of it that was showing almost danced into the crevasse of the joining mountaintops to rest ever so slightly in the hammock of the valley, showing itself off for it knew that I was watching.

I continued on my climb up the canyon feeling more relaxed and more in touch with something bigger than my little self.  That black cloud of illusion, mystery, and struggle that had been bugging me all week started to clear.

And yet, there was a tugging at my consciousness. My body was trying to simultaneously go numb and jolt into gyrations. I kept driving, windows down to hear the rushing river alongside the highway. A discomfort and a longing were looming somewhere above the open sunroof. They must have caught wave of my emotional instability and were tagging along. I tried to ignore all of it - the wrestling of bodily sensations inside of me, and the ominous dead weight around me. And then it happened. I got a lightening bolt of clarity shutting everything else out. With so much surprise, I made a screaming noise and started laughing. The dog, who was sitting next to me in the passenger seat, turned his head and propped up his ears as if to say, "You're crazy, lady."

I had discovered a want. A desire that I didn't understand before that very moment. It was absolutely ecstatic - a great piece of humanity and the most electrified I have ever felt. That black cloud of illusion, mystery, and struggle that I had been feeling all week (the one that was only slightly calmed by the presence of the moon) was cleared. And my life before me was so explicitly unambiguous that I didn't understand how I could not have seen this thing that I wanted before that very moment. 

And then it was over. Immediately over. I instantly began to spiral into believing that I was not allowed to want that thing and that even if I did want it, it would never happen and I surely didn't deserve it. Crazy thoughts came simultaneously clamoring in:
“How dare I expect anything other than what I have.”
“I can’t be so selfish.” 
“What I have worked for thus far is enough.”
“I should be happy with what I have and that's that.”

That's why I have never allowed myself to want anything, I realize now. I don't think I deserve it and I'm definitely afraid to ask for it. The wanting moment was quickly replaced with something even worse: A black unctuous substance made of fear, but also regret and shame, plus lots and lots of self-criticism. I hadn’t allowed myself to want because I had been avoiding the hostile takeover of the black goo that immediately followed want.

With nothing else to do and knowing that all logic and reason were gone at this point, I continued my climb up the canyon. The Perseides Meteor shower was waiting for viewers in the sky above, and I realized that hostile black unctuous takeover or not, I wanted to see it. I stopped at the trailhead with shaking hands, quivering breaths, and anger at every bad thing I’d ever done. I fought the urge to let go and give in to the beast of the overwhelming and awful feeling, but it was clear that nothing was going to get clearer even if I did. So, I just let the icky, sooty, gross-ness surround me.  I stood outside the car for several minutes to catch my breath and find the part of me that could walk

Finally, the dog and I, along with the black unctuous substance, walked up the narrow trail to the first water crossing. The dog must have sensed the iniquitous presence as well, for he was afraid. I was dripping in it and there must have been some overflow.   I was afraid also, which meant we wouldn’t be going any further. We spread ourselves out on the flat ground and looked up, all three of us. The night sky is so much more beautiful from the mountains, but at that moment, everything was blurry. It seemed that all systems were down inside me. Nothing worked the way it is supposed to work and everything felt harder. My mind raced to make logic of it, but there was nothing I could do.

I just lay still and tried hard to listen to the world. Breathing was the hardest, lungs clogged with
Blackie. And so I finally gave in, hoping I could at least heave a little if I let it in. I surrendered to it, although I asked it please to not harm my traveling companion, the dog. It obliged. I was terrified of what might happen, but I let the black unctuous substance into all of me anyway and felt it run through my bloodstream. It crawled over my skin and entered each and every pore. The small hairs in my nose stood on end in an attempt to stop it from proceeding right into my head, but Blackie prevailed. I felt it enter each individual cell, plus the space in between.  Tears and sweat surged out so that the ickiness of the oily, goopy mess could rage through me with enough room. It ripped open my whole chest, exposing beating heart, raw fear, and fractured ribs. The greasy muckiness somehow fit inside me, bloating the parts that don’t stretch easily. It swished around in swirling, nauseating motions, taking up all of me and clogged the parts that don’t exist in logic. A Blackie-induced cardiac arrest ensued and hyperventilation came quickly thereafter. And suddenly, just as it had come, it left.  
What had seemed like a full expedition gone awry was actually only a few minutes. Exhausted and realizing that Perseides was not as important in that moment as sleep, I scrambled to my feet, dog and sputtering Blackie in tow, and ran for the car.

Blackie and me are still battling out who gets my time. It has been hard to avoid, for I still remember the wanting moment and every time I do, Blackie creeps back in. Sometimes the black unctuous stuff pretends to be water and hides in the showerhead so it can cover me in manipulation and disgust. Other times, it throws itself at me in splatters of conversation or in something I read. It definitely spews itself all over the place as soon as I start to make any plans in the wanting moment's follow through. The thing is, it’s always there, just waiting to burst out of it’s container and into my get-up-and-go. 

I noticed the other day that the tattoo on my left arm, which had recently been fading, is getting somewhat darker. It’s becoming more black, as if it is being painted from the inside out. I soon took note of the way this particular black unctuous substance has offered itself as an adhesive to hold together scattered thoughts and illogical emotions.

It was obvious early on that to let Blackie in to do its thing was far less painful than uprising in mutiny against it. Not that I could stop it anyway, but I’m finding that I need to let it run its course regardless. Less energy is required with each new takeover and in an overall way, I feel better. I still look to the moon for guidance and the dog looks at me like I’m crazy each time he sees Blackie coming, but I’m sold on the outcome.
What I am beginning to understand is that the black unctuous substance I call Blackie is the fuel for what's next. It’s a power source for my body's engines and although it is not clean energy, it’s energy.  I burn some off each time I run it through my emotion’s machining, leaving less and less of it to get stuck to my bones or in between my teeth. The dirty, sooted, sticky stuff that goes in as Blackie, outputs a much better part of me – a different, more prolific, as-of-yet-unnamed product.

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