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Gentler silence

“All life is a manifestation of the spirit, the manifestation of love.”
    ~ Morihea Ueshiba

If it’s your desire
To get inside the head
Of whomever you choose
You won’t need a doctorate in psychology
Instead you’d best start young
Out in the country
Feeling the nurturing presence
Of the people
And that of the land
You’ll need roots
Still during your formative years
Get disconnected
Lose people
Whatever it takes
You’ll need to reach a place
Of isolation
More than once
Go where you don’t belong
From misfit to outcast
From weird to bizarre
From skepticism to acceptance
Of every possilibility
The more outrageous the better
You’ll need that openness
Even if it leaves you
Protected by a tortoise shell
Of emotional detachment
You’ll need someone
More than one someone
To rip it off:
Your victims
You won’t need to eat their livers
With fava beans and a nice chianti
But you may need to consume their souls
Or rather make them do so
For awhile anyway
You’ll need that drive
To understand them
You’ll need that understanding
Even if they’ll never understand you
Be vulnerable
You’ll get nothing
Without giving something back
You’ll need that risk
Be conscious
Notice what others miss
For example how the light
Entering your plexiglass cell
Makes a pattern suggesting a memory
You can explore
The colors it evokes
The sounds
The impressions
That belie attitudes
You’ll need that awareness
You’ll need that awakening
Though you may be shocked
You’ll need that crisis
More than once
The astonishing coincidences
The crazy things you didn’t notice before
You’ll need that recognition
Of the colors
On everyone
On everything
On everywhen
On everywhere
Religions of all stripes
Refer to abstract conversion
Without explaining how the experience happens
Because it requires that dangerously cathartic step
Of opening a forgotten eye
Through which you’ll see
So you’ll no longer be surprised
When someone approaches your transparent chamber
You might as well be standing politely
To greet your next step into the unknown
You’ll contemplate it when you know it
Gain insight
Into humanity and more
And what will be
What has been
Why you were removed from comfortable surroundings
At a young age
Why you were a misfit an outcast
In a shell then out
Why every relationship failed
Or rather never began
Until you found someone of whom you could
With absolute confidence
Say the world was more interesting with her in it
Why a conversion healing dark night of the soul
Is needed for growth
Why this next step leads
You now understanding
Yet misunderstood
To this transverse situation that breaks you
Yet again
Until you pull through
No less frightening
Than the other steps out of this world
On a pointless stake
An ambiguous cross
Or cross-dresser’s undetermined flaying table
Knowing mere physical death to be no obstacle
Indeed not frightening
Only welcome
After all you’re not
Locked next to a madman
You can render suicidal with kind words
You’ll be gentler than that
Consuming souls no more
Because you’ll know
Even a madman’s interesting

Thanks always returns

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