I look far, I forget you, and I’m lost. I lift my hands to you. I kneel toward my heart. I have no other home. My love is here. I end the day in mercy that I wasted in despair. Bind me to you, I fall away. Bind me, ease of my heart, bind me to your love. Gentle things you return to me, and duties that are sweet. And you say, I am in this heart, I and my name are here. Everywhere the blades turn, in every thought the butchery, and it is raw where I wander; but you hide me in the shelter of your name, and you open the hardness to tears. The drifting is to you, and the swell of suffering breaks toward you. You draw me back to close my eyes, to bless your name in speechlessness. Blessed are you in the smallness of your whispering. Blessed are you, who speaks to the unworthy.LEONARD COHEN, BOOK OF MERCY, 41
These are fierce times for those in chains, as well as for those called free. Go outside while dawn is still a passing rumor. Close your eyes and pay attention. It is not difficult to sense the intensity at the heart of the moment. You listen for the rebuttal, but you hear only the silent verdict, and the gavel slammed. You look for someone who loves you to raise an objection, but you don’t hold out much hope. Blindfolded and strapped to the condemned man’s seat, you cannot see the masked phantom woman tasked with your sentencing. Inwardly you plead more fervently than you ever have, that you might feel and know the unwavering presence of your Creator, but you feel only the tightening chains around your wrists as she stands you up, binds your hands behind your back, and drags you up the stone-strewn hill to your execution. Your crime, she tells you, was failure to yield to the real, to surrender your despair in her field where all cares disappear.
Fiction: Plunging Into Myself
This morning I am feeling willful. No longer do I long for the singing birds of poesy to stir my heart and soul. No. This morning I will begin to understand myself through the power of will.
I have waited too long for no one; Now I seek myself; I pray I do not find no one.
I will not rest until I understand why I suffer from this invisible gaping wound in my chest. What is it to wait for no one? What does it mean? Is no one God? Is God no one?
I cannot stand any of that babble this morning, and I cannot sit here and spew it. I am disgusted with it all, and I am most disgusted with myself. Yet I will be myself.
No one will take that away from me.
I will be myself by creating myself. In creation, I will find myself. My self will find itself. No one can stop me, or only no one can stop me. But who is this no one? Did I not say I was done speaking of it?
Now I speak of someone: myself. But of whom do I speak of when I speak of myself? Is the self the invisible gaping wound, or is the self that which heals the wound through visible forms of willful creation?
Can the self heal its own wounds? I must be able to. If another tried to heal me, I would not accept it. For this is true: what the other believes is healing wounds the self like no other. I would spurn the other, even if it were the blue-haired sea-creature I once let bandage and hold me. No. I must hold up these wounds to the light and let the darkness heal them.
I will understand all that ails me and I will heal all these ailments through knowledge, through understanding, through passionate understanding and through intense personal knowledge.
I will not stand back from myself and heal myself like a doctor from the outside. I can never heal myself from the outside. For this is true: to try and heal oneself from the outside is to wound the truth of the self within.
Instead I must plunge into myself to meet what explodes out of me.