Sunday, May 9, 2010

How is it you know?

"How is it you know all this?" I asked.

“I am woman, with a deep well that speaks to me: The Earth, that shares its secrets as I learn to hear.”

“You hear the Earth?” I furled my brow.

“The Earth has much to give, but men would rather take her in their fists. Why be so content with it, this small anguished labyrinth?” closing her hand around the empty air, “The fist that owns no more than those frail shadows it has seized, flailing out to strike and take, intent to make the emptiness its prisoner. Ever tighter ever less, as it closes on the little it has crushed, as though to squeeze the darkness darker yet.
Until at last the trembling strength of self is spent and all surrendered to the air again: Shadows, darkness, night, swept out upon the high bright wind.”

Her hand curled open and she smiled. “Is there a key to open up the fist, to bring light’s sweetness where the tightness rages and the darkness hides?

"It shall be the open hand’s caress, with gentleness to soothe and win release. To free the captives from the labyrinth and in triumph lead them out. Consider it: The fist that holds its fill — all that it ever will. And the open hand, so ready to receive the world, a possession too vast to close upon.”

I rankled up my face at her. “Fists, hands. Such a merchandise of metaphors!”

“Men!” Fire claimed her eyes, “What mystery draws you to this Dream of Earth? Such a dark journey through the labyrinth, then out again! Do you not know the fate of all who come? The monster waiting there? Can you not hear the roar that rises from the labyrinth’s dread end? How fortunate it is you have a guide!”

She paused to watch me wondering, what guide she meant.

“Must I tell you who? Surely your spirit will reflect, and know: Who keeps that gateway through which you must come, a bridge between two worlds? Whose body welcomes you with pain and tears of joy, and gives itself to you, as food? Who sits beside your cradle rocking you, sighing at your every smile, hurting with your every cry, singing to you in her heart? Now that you are grown a little way, who is this whose body you so wish to hold, whose beauty so inflames you with its mystery? In whose arms you sense your source again. Are you not content, in that last moment of your love for her, to have it be your very last?

“Man! See how bravely you go limping forth beneath broad spirit wings you scarcely know you have. Do you know why you are here, do you not sense it yet? Is it not for her that you have come — in hope to fashion something rich from all of this, to give to her? So tangled when at last you show her what you’ve found — tears, splinters, rust, and the heavy stone of all you’ve hid away to keep for self, that slows you so.

“‘Have you discovered nothing more?’ she asks. Then sees the gift she truly hoped to have: Light in your open hand, held out to her. And she knows: The fist you are has come undone at last.

“Then she re-winds the little ball of twine that is this world. Hides it in the spiral of her heart, for you to find again.”