Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Limits of Achievable Reality

The Union of Shiva and Shakti

My Al-Anon sponsor, one of several mind-blowing spiritual teachers Kali has seen fit to send me, called me the other day. "We were sitting around before a meeting, talking about you, and no one could believe what's happened and where your Higher Power has taken you--it really goes to show that we don't write the script--" for our lives, for the universe...for the next five minutes. Oh, we collaborate with the Author sometimes...but...

A lot has happened since I started this blog, some of it on schedule and some of it just plain unscripted and, if the writing were left to me, unscriptible. During the worst times--not that I've had bombs dropped on me or been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, but we all have bad times...during the worst times I fell back on the childish mantra God has a plan for me and it's better than anything I can imagine. I'd say this over and over, not believing, just repeating, begrudging the Deity Who (my teachers assured me) endorsed such contemptible platitudes, such infantile trust. I'd say it and say it and say it and somehow I started believing it enough to keep going, though a wolf pack of voices in the dim mental wilds still howled that I was fooling myself, that doom would rise as sure as the sun...but as the Mundaka Upanishad advises, I strung the arrow of my Self on the bow of mantra and let fly. The wolves fled, the sun rose, but no doom. It's not, it turns out, so bad being God's child...and in fact, Her plan has turned out to be as improbable and miraculous as a Bollywood romance.

Saturday Sophia and I are getting married. For years she was my friend and I dared not even think about her in any other way (though it took everything I had not to think those thoughts). The first full post I ever wrote on WiHW has Sophia's name encoded in it; she was the one I could tell about weird experiences and weird ideas that I'd share with no one else save Grigorss (and he's safely 3000 miles away, ensconced in his Hollywood mansion). Being with her was sheer heaven, no matter how stressed we were or what private hells we were enduring (we never talked about those)...but nothing was ever going to happen between us. It was too late and we'd made choices that were too different. So there was no point thinking about it... but I did, chastely (listen, people--for me, that's saying a lot!!!), hopelessly...and when it unexpectedly did become possible for something to happen, Sophia very kindly but firmly told me that it wasn't going to, ever.

And my Guardian Angel said the same thing, but Her version had an "unless." At first, all I could hear was the no... because the "unless" involved all those horrid spiritual disciplines centering on giving up, surrendering, trusting God, placing no expectations upon people or events, facing the fact that the universe owes me nothing--that my fondest, deepest desires might be nothing but self-defeating daydreams. My dear Angel, infinitely loving but strict as hell, seemed bent on turning me into an Aghori, and, ya know, eating charred remains from a skull-bowl might not have seemed half-bad compared to the mini- Dark Night I felt falling around me (at least it would have been more colorful than sitting down at the computer every day to work on the research project I had going).

To make it short, I had to completely surrender Sophia, give her away to God, release all wishful claim to her and any expectation of any future anything involving the two of us, down to an innocent cup of coffee at Starbucks. We didn't talk or see each other for months, and I surrendered and surrendered, aided by a magnificently apocalyptic Kurse Go Back song whose refrain goes "Every human has the right / to be mentally free." Sophia had that right, and I did, too--free of my obsession with her, free of my need to find a Beloved, a soul-mate, The One. I flung my heart against the iron gate of my wants, against the black bars of what I thought should be, could be...hammered the black iron didn't shatter. It just wasn't there any more. And I was outside the walls, the walls I'd mistaken for a horizon.

Sophia and I started talking, and we started hanging out (I know I'm tellling the story at cartoon speed), and we found that hanging out or talking on the phone or chatting online or emailing each other was all we wanted to do. She was depressed and I wrote her a horoscope every day (unfailingly accurate since it always covered whatever she'd just told me she was going through). She wrote me staggeringly insightful emails and elegant, witty cards--and even poems! We found out the hard way that pay phones in Paris automatically disconnect your call after an hour. We skittishly, gingerly began to weave our lives, our hearts together...and the strands held, strong as spider's silk, and so we wove more. Sophia gave me the immeasurable gift of her trust, I still don't know how, and...we're getting married Saturday. She is her Divine Mother's image--well, actually, we are, together, creating this love, this life, hand in hand, heart in heart.

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