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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beijing 1990: Transforming Love of Self, Transforms Love of Life

Naked thoughts,
prance about in raincoats,
real underneath,
feeling the silky lining,
of my waterproof topcoat.

Naked thoughts,
dance in the dark,
underneath creases,
these thoughts hope.
to catch my attention,
so they can be elevated,
to my surface,
to dance lighter in being.

Passion can sputter,
frustrated,
only to magically,
transform,
into a gift,
of Self-awareness -
a guide of heart,
an order of discovery,
a revealing of humanity,
- the truly is.

Home,
the unregulated temperature
of my portable electric-coil burner.
My roommate’s polenta sticks
as she describes the beauty
of her native Venice Italy.
Venice is
Italian colour
made transparent
during Winter fog.

Quite out of breath
my Teacher bursts
into our room,
she ran the length
of the campus courtyard,
that which divides Teacher and Students ...
and is also the one compound that unites us.

My Teacher begs me
to come with her
back to her room –
I hear a stagger of words
caught between her gasps -
a jumble tumbling from her mouth ...
I understood ... I understand ...
she has an unexpected visitor -
a guest from her Hometown Village,
an old childhood friend named An.

I pick up my shoes ...
no time to put them on properly ...
Teacher grab-pulls my sweater
my knitted arm stretches me
forward out the door.
Teacher explains on route
that An is acting strange ...
appearing on her threshold
torn and dirty ...
together as children they were best friends ...
in a northern China coal-mining town ...
Teacher passed the college entrance examinations.
An failed the vital exams,
so she was assigned work in the local coal mine.

I am not sure
of the significance of her story ...
until Teacher and I, arrive on scene.
In the corner An sits dusty grey and black ...
coal mine smeared on her face, hair and clothes ...
everything about her appears wrinkled, no time ...
I assume from a few days’ rough travel and lack of sleep.

Teacher’s face is scared straight ...
frightened by An’s despondent behaviour.
I pour warm water into a basin ...
I clean off this long distance traveler ...
I find out why An suddenly appeared ...
why now, in Beijing, looking loose at her ends.

I wash An
I see she is technically not here ...
It is obvious that An’s mind is not fully present ...
she is somewhere else, somewhere far away.

With warm water and gentleness
I coax An to tell her story.
Passion pours her words forth.
The flow of her several day journey ...
part bus ride, walk, hitchhike .....
An ate when she could ...
An slept where she felt safe ...
An declared she came to find Mother.

I made soup for An while she unwound.
An had seen on village's television ...
her long lost mother ...
interviewed in Beijing after winning
a national science award.
An was thrown into a fit of obsession ...
traveling under influence of compulsion ...
fueled into motion ...
by a prospective Mother-Daughter reunion.

An arrived here, today ...
she went directly to her Mother’s science academy.
An's cries and pleas at the security fence ...
created a rough and rude rejection at the gate.
The Security Guard insisted
the award winning scientist was not married ...
did not have children ...
and no amount of acted out passion ...
could give him a degree of compassion ...
could tempt him to open the gates of Beijing.

At the gate
An left her heart broken ...
but took away her belittlement, alienation and anger.
An is angry.
Tonight she is in full blame ...
fault discovery within the heart of the Security Guard ...
"... wrong assumptions must be punished ...
... he must be toppled from his job position ...
... wipe out the ruin of her prolonged anticipation ...
... who has the right to come between a Mother and Daughter reunion?"

I comb An’s hair and wash her face.
I understand by now, that An does not have a famous Mother.
My Teacher has been cooking, throughout the story Telling ...
and now we both urge, a hot bowl into An's cold hands ...
Teacher and I make eye contact, and we hope ...
we hope our combined attention, will bring presence back into An ...
restore An, from her physical-emotional life-draining journey.

An’s passion returns slowly ...
with her restored passion comes increased vitality ...
a kind of hope that does not hope ...
a vitality vital to presence, and being present ...
we stoke An's internal fires, to rekindle her ambition for life ...
we are not attached, to her journey, to find her mother.

I look into An’s eyes as I comb her hair ...
I see glimpses of the girl she used to be.

An begins to doze ...
Teacher tells me that in her Hometown Village ...
on An's on-the-job reality ...
daily at work, An breathed ...
a truth never dreamed possible for her Self.
Confusing physical reality for spiritual truth ...
An's certainty diffused then blackened ...
her clear life aspirations, and her passions exhausted ...
all but suffocated, all but extinguished.

The coal mine's darkness
which An inhaled daily ...
was a closed quarters mineshaft
that dimmed and restricted An's imagination -
the hollowing out her haloed spirit,
sunk An deeper into a pit of despair.
An's being, became a Being shadowed -
a life murky, full of negative thought apparitions.

A type of darkness descends,
when inhaled long and deep enough,
it can persuade a person to dig their own grave.

An woke slightly.
Teacher, An and I talked for hours,
about whatever An wanted to talk about.
When An finally tired of our attention,
she laid down to rest in bed.

Teacher phoned their Hometown Village ...
then we were told another version of An' story.

Reality strikes ... the story goes ...
An walked out of the coal mine ...
walked out of town ...
walked out on her life.

Apparently, this was not the first time,
An’s imagination had carried her off -
took her on a wandering journey,
into the unexplored un-mined
shadow recesses of her own mind.

An’s family were impressed.
that this time An had made it all the way to Beijing.
An's Hometown Village birth Mother promised,
she would take the first bus here, to return An home.

I woke, in the morning to ... Teacher in despair,
at my door insistently knocking.
At Dawn, An had snuck out,
now was out of sight, a gone girl.

Before Teacher and I had stirred from our beds,
An left, went on a walk about somehow to somewhere.
Teacher and I searched the campus clean,
we were quick and deliberate -
although we did not want to admit it,
in our hearts both of us knew where we might find An.

We found An, body crumpled ...
pressed against the fence of the TV station.
Vertical lines etched along the length of An's face ...
strings of striped tears pressed into flesh ...
the cries of salty water mixed with the rusty gate bars.

A divide was created between emotional and physical worlds -
what the locked gate kept in, the released tears let out.

An appeared tattooed, by the patterns of imprisonment -
so many years, too many tears, barred from crying.
Now, water poured out,
streamed from the oceans of An's soul ...
soaking our world wet,
salt against the battery of security gate bars.

Overnight An had darkened into herself.
She kept insisting to us that she lived in Beijing ...
she had never worked in a mine ...
her famous Mother would come for her ...
claim her, embrace her, be proud of her.

A flame on a candle can run out of wick and wax,
An’s passion grew, not enough light, it sputtered out.

It was a long time before I saw An again.
An had become still,
in the light of the darkest part of her inner world.
Her interior chambers,
of her templed Being,
closed up tight.
She had channeled
most of her passion into her fantasy -
a choice-reality from which she could not escape,
but she could act out her presence.
An's all, her energy and intelligence seemed to recede,
to a time way back in time to her body's blackest hold.

An's black hole seemed deeper than the shadows in the coal mine.
She passed her young days grinding metal against rock -
ax-picking the immovable trying to manifest inner movement.

Often, I think of people I know.
individuals who appear to be spending their lives,
doing things they do not want to do.
I know I am lucky.
I know I am directing myself with more than chance and fate.
I am leading my life by choice and self-assertion -
developing my insight and my certainty.
I own my life, my life is mine to lead, create and direct.

I believe in human potential to create more
by channeling imagination, passion and potential -
creating more authentic presence,
which creates the present.
Whatever my life is at any given moment of time,
it is mine - I live my truth,
I create my values, I live by respecting my Self.

I witnessed An’s passion ignite,
and explode upwards into fireworks -
an expression of her form,
brilliant outbursts her light lasting moments,
appearing to sink silently downward -
and in the fall from height,
she seemed to lose her colour.

I learned from An how to value my stature,
enjoy the moments in life when my passion is ignited,
and to respect the times my creativity reaches heights of wonder.
I watch my Self now more carefully,
how I possess, process, prolong of my passion’s journey.
An taught me to love my Self every moment -
to not separate my Self-respect from my Self-worth.

An taught me that when we divorce love from Self,
a breaking point is created from lack of self-nurishment.

I believe we are not, none of us, broken -
not one single one of us is deficient, or in need of fixing.

When passion’s hold crazes personality into zeal,
and when ardor seeks a creative outlet to detonate it's disperse -
the experience is release, renewal, transformation, revitalization.

Transformation can feel like nothing we have ever felt before.
Human senses' naturally sense alteration, and refocus to support change.
The human body is designed to always want the best for us -
where we lead in, our body follows on, our natural journey.
We become infinitely more of what, we set our sights on, to become. 

Ages ago, An would have been publicly avoided,
burned at the stake as a witch,
or sent to an asylum for being psycho-logically inane.
An found within her void, her internal eternal,
Self that always exists - that Self,
which still breathes in the dark,
and is always lit by truth.
Self that eats light
and shines especially bright in the dark.
The form of An's actions,
made no sense to anyone,
but the making and unmaking
her own personal truths set An free.

The last I heard of An, she knew her Self again ...
she created a way to unmake and remake peace with her Self ...
she understood her light side by acting out her dark side ...
she knows she is her light, her dark and her every colour in-between.

She renovated, renewed and restructured her reality ...
by restoring her Self to herself ...
through updating and expanding her Self image ...
An created ways and means for her presence to become more present.

Her search for herself began,
the moment she felt her life,
being compromised, she wanted more personal power.
She chose to create opportunity ...
so she could choose to live her life again.
Yes, she was burned by how brightly her mind wanted illumination,
but her hope kept her from taking action,
until one day she knew action was louder than fears and tears -
she led her Self to Self-discover her true Self-identity.

Nevertheless we are, and so it appears that ...
An’s actions to act out her fantasy ...
created waves of vitality -
for her submerged brilliance
to ride to her surface -
her darkest unexplored parts of her Self,
all that she had yet to see in her Self,
all that she had yet to encounter of her Self ...
in her life, that was her brilliance -
she had yet, to expose to, her Self.
Her balance, of all colours alive,
which illuminate the living life cycle -
exists in life's full living spectrum,.
We all ride the circles of life's darkness,
and cycle the hi-lights of our individual ecosystem.

An discovered her unseen fears and confusion,
were her Being becoming overwhelmed -
busied being nonsensical
by living untruths un-sensible.
Life is sensational,
and benefits from being sensed to the fullest.
Self in the midst of becoming more,
uses sense to fully expand into more.
Transformation is change of Self.
Expanding truth of life embraces truth of love.
Transforming love of life transforms love of Self.
Transforming love of Self transforms love of life.


~~ Other People's Fingerprints ~~~
Twenty-five hundred years ago,
The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
contained wise words for future generations:

"Everybody on Earth knowing
that beauty is beautiful
makes ugliness.

Everybody knowing
that goodness is good
makes wickedness.

For being and nonbeing
arise together;
hard and easy
complete each other;
long and short
shape each other;
high and low
depend on each other;
note and voice
make the music together;
before and after
follow each other.

That's why the wise soul
does without doing,
teaches without talking.

The things of this world
exist, they are;
you can't refuse them.

To bear and not to own;
to act and not lay claim;
to do the work and let it go:
for just letting it go
is what makes it stay.

Above, from the 1997 "Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching"
English version by Ursula K. Le Guin
Below, her chapter notes:
"One of the things I read in this chapter
is that values and beliefs
are not only culturally constructed
but also part of the interplay of yin and yang,
the great reversals that maintain the living balance of the world.
To believe that our beliefs are permanent truths
which encompass reality is sad arrogance.
To let go of that belief is to find safety.

Sometime after 1821, Henri Federic Amiel said;
“Hope is only the love of life.”

Andre Gide said;
“Our judgments about things vary
according to
the time left us to live
that we think is left us to live...”

Sometime after 1912, Sir John Marks Templeton said;
“If governments encourage people
to become more spiritual
there will be a reduction in healthcare.”

Beijing, China 1990