Ramble 14: Tuesday, April 27, 1999

I just got off the phone with Rochelle,
and I feel heavy and tight
pinned up against a rock.

A sea urchin
quickly closes its blossom of tendrils
as soon it senses anything external floating closeby.
Only its prickly hard skin can handle salty water.
Its inside flesh is rosy red,
sensitive and vulnerable.
After hanging up the telephone,
a ripple of self-doubt went up my spine
and all my limbs curled up tight.
Shook me up.
Role reversal.
I'm stepping into
my blind spot.
This afternoon I sat on the grass outside Sharples
eating my deviled eggs in the sun
pretending that A.C. didn't exist.
(J.R.A. gives me the same knot in my stomach.)
I ignored him and couldn't look at him or acknowledge his presence.
So I talked to Aviva with a low voice,
bringing up topics that would push A. outside the parameter.
His fuzzy form was always in the corner of my vision,
but I never looked directly at him
scared that he would
suck all the energy from my system
if we locked eyes.

I walked away from the dining hall
feeling regret
that I hadn't opened my heart
to have compassion
for this other human being,
a young man who aches with acute pain.
I push him away with all my strength
and he springs back on me
with just as much momentum.
I am the one
who ends up generating the fear and anger and hate,
letting him soak into my skin
and cling like a parasite
til I wish I could go through
a cosmic carwash
to cleanse myself of his shit
the stuff that's actually in the deepest place of myself,
a block of protected compressed pain.

And then, when I look close,
I see that part of me
finds satisfaction in his insecurity,
hoping to slam him
with my "honest" coldness.
Like lunches in the Ashland Middle School cafeteria,
when we fired stinging words of belittlement out of our mouths
over the plastic trays of milk cartons and chicken nuggets
as we tried to protect our social identities
pushing ourselves higher than
The fear built up false walls of defense
that made us forget
our ultimate unity
as brothers and sisters.

Mariana helps me see the irony.
Sometimes my vision can get skewed
until I forget that these projections
are exaggerations of my own fears
since I don't want to look into a mirror
reflecting my own weaknesses.

Then I talked to Papa Juan.
He gently illuminated the real issue --
the one that is so so often at the root of my lessons:

Gotta trust that I am always loved.
God is with me at every moment
giving me the deepest love possible,
on an unconditional basis.
Trusting this truth lets me unfold
so my insides can breathe
and feel the safe warmth of the light.
Guidance is in my higher self.
I want to give and receive this universal love --
a necessary step
to have firmness and security in who I am.
This self-respect reminds me that it doesn't matter
what games other people are playing.
Their energy doesn't shake
my pillar of secure trust.
And we are all on the same road,
with the same home.
I'm developing the awareness,
building up my stability,
finding out who I am.
Because, as Chris and I discussed yesterday, there really is no "self."

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