"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Saturday, December 06, 2003
Touching the Spirit
idyll Function: noun
Etymology: Latin idyllium, from Greek eidyllion, from diminutive of eidos form; akin to Greek idein to see -- more at WIT
1 a : a simple descriptive work in poetry or prose that deals with rustic life or pastoral scenes or suggests a mood of peace and contentment b : a narrative poem (as Tennyson's Idylls of the King) treating an epic, romantic, or tragic theme
2 a : a lighthearted carefree episode that is a fit subject for an idyll b : a romantic interlude
3 : How I look at my 15th summer.
When I was 15, I had a spiritual awakening.
I guess that's a good time for one, it tends to keep you out of trouble. Or, at least, postpone the inevitable.
That summer I became very involved in church youth activities. There were some neat people there, and for once I felt reasonably accepted. I had peers. I was comfortable. I took to the spiritual side of life like a fish to water, because it seemed like the truths I was being taught were always inside of me, somewhere, and what I was hearing was such a validation.
I had joined a group at a local Christian coffeehouse called the "Reach Out Singers." I was a guitarist for them, and the youngest in the group by a year, and only one person was that age.
We did a whirlwind tour of several states, all the way from South Carolina to Texas. It was neat, traveling in a caravan of vans and station wagons and equipment trailers, eating at truckstops and sleeping on church floors. I loved it.
Problem was, now that I think about it, I was already sick. Apparently the lack of rest and the hard schedule must have brought out some bad behavior in me, because the last day I had to ride alone with the chaperone. Wonder what I did. Oh well.
When he dropped me off at my house, there was a car waiting for me, since my birthday had passed while we were gone. This was a chopped off Volkswagen beetle with a custom Baja kit on it, painted bright yellow and green, with "Baja Toad" on the side over a painting of a cactus with a frog looking out.
I loved it.
You see, at 15 in those days, you could drive in the daytime by yourself. So, I did. And for some stupid reason, you could drive at night as long as it was on a motorcycle. So now with a motorcycle that I had (a little Yamaha 100) I could get to and from that coffeehouse even at night.
So now I was mobile.
I also went to church camp that summer. That's where I got my second first kiss, and my first "real" one.
There was a girl there named Laura. I don't remember her last name (kick myself!) but I remember how she looked. Long beautiful brown hair, she wore glasses but they just seemed to make her look even prettier. She was slim, willowy, graceful, bright, and had a smile that could light up an entire room.
We became friends in the space of just a few days. And then, close friends. We had so much in common. We looked at life the same way, had read some of the same books, liked a lot of the same things.
My goodness, its been a long time since I thought of her. That's an injustice.
The last day of camp, when we left, she was almost crying. We hugged, and before I knew it our lips met.
As kisses go it was pretty tame and probably over pretty quick. But my goodness what magic that moment had. At my age now, I can remember it, but the FEELING of it, that instant is engraved on my mind with fire. I can tell you right where I was standing, which direction I was facing. I can tell you that she smelled more heavenly than any other scent I have ever smelled.
The entire way home as I drove, I could barely contain myself, sometimes just whooping and hollering for the sheer joy of it. I was in love and there was nothing at all to spoil it. I was doing it right. Life was better than it had ever, ever been for me.
The story does not really go much further than that though. We saw each other a few more times, for a few minutes here and there when she came to town to go to the dentist or some such, but there never was another moment like that one.
She remained close to my heart, of course, but I was also learning that my heart wanted to be close to LOTS of people. It had a tendency to just leap out and latch on without my ever being able to control it, but in the process not letting go of what it had already gotten ahold of.
It's not that I was in any way flighty, I just had this huge reserve of CARING. So I did. Over and over and over.
That would eventually become my greatest strength and my most heinous weakness, all at the same time.
A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one. The grandson asked him, Which wolf will win the fight in your heart? The grandfather answered, The one I feed.
Anonymous, As told in Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes