The light from the fire licked slowly on her face, dancing brightly off her eyes and exposing the fragile stillness of her gaze. I looked slowly at her, cautiously as if the very sight of her could be a danger from which there would be no return. I wanted so desperately to have it end in a way that would soothe us both, in a way that could have us both dancing about this fire in pure ecstasy, in pure love.
Such a hope would prove impossible on this night. Her bliss could not be found in my desires, nor mine in hers. One of us would certainly be dancing on this night but at the expense of the joy the other simply could not find. While we had packed lightly for this trip, we carried with us unseen baggage that had accumulated over the years. Even as she vehemently protested that she was not a “hoarder” and that she resented clutter, she certainly hoarded a resentment toward me unlimited by space and undiminished by time. I had done my part in this tragedy as I piled on the pain as one would pile on the charm and in equal delight. I had provided her the cause as she hoarded the effect, and we proved an ample tandem in both pain and pleasure although we shared certainly more in the former than the latter. Such potential wasted by the ignorance of fear and the hoarding of anger had rarely been seen by either, but so stuck on ensuring the grip of both would not resolve we they both to their own demise.
And so it was. Laying around the campfire surrounded by Nature in her glory provided the contrast to the folly of man. As she looked up at me there was a hint of sadness in her beauty compounded by the glistening of teardrops faintly finding their way into her eyes. It became eerily silent at the moment she spoke as if all of the world had paused to hear her voice, as if the universe had ended its purpose but to witness the charm of this woman.
“I just can’t do it anymore. I love you but the pain is too great for me to get over.” The universe could clearly see, as I could, the trail of tears pouring from her soul. To me, in this reality to which I was steeling myself to survive, these were not tears of sadness as much as they were tears of relief. She had finally found the end to the nightmare and turned the corner to the healing she so richly deserved. My absence would be the healing and this time would be the method by which a beautiful person such as she would end the torture of hoarding that which she had no interest in keeping.
I would be gone.
Such began my trip through the fire, the part of me that suffered in order to burn away fear to find love. This was no ordinary occurrence, it signaled the end of torture for me as well. No more clinging to the final branch of the past “me” that shot out from the sheer cliff of the present moment. So, in her tears I saw relief for her while I felt relief for me. This would be the moment that I would begin suffering anew while finally being able to take comfort in the knowledge that I suffer for the one I love…the Truth…the Way. As her words explaining her position teased the trees that surrounded us, my ears had move on toward the time when I could hear her laugh in delight or moan in ecstasy. My eyes did not see the visage of her sadness but rather saw the smiles of love I once got from her. The fingers that now played with a twig in nervous angst could not feel the stick but rather felt her hand in mine. Ah, such could have been the life we led, the love we shared, the memories we created in a life that neither hoarded nor created such pain that shredded love’s potential. So, while I felt pain in the loss of such limitless potential and human understanding that only such companionship could bring, I took solace in the understanding that this moment was the most selfless one of my life.
She reached out to touch my hand, a sign of pity I allowed without reservation. My mind screamed at me to fight back while my heart simply beat to the rhythm she provided. Had this feeling and understanding but come a few years earlier this touch would have been much different. Rather than signifying the end it would have signified a continuance of Pure Love’s grace providing us both the glimpse of heaven that love is supposed to provide. I threw the twig into the fire as she continued about trying but failing to overcome my failures while describing the indelible scars my actions had left. I absorbed every word with a countenance that suggested indifference yet betrayed my acceptance of what had to be. I loved this woman with all of my soul, and in that love I had to simply let her be.
Her explanation finished only served to expose my acceptance. She, as most would, thought my silence and seeming indifference to be an act of defiance that proved her point to the letter. She retired in frustration at my lack of response, leaving me to stare at the fire without thought but in complete contemplation. I could feel tears on my cheeks yet could not cry. I could feel me reaching out to her while my arms were stuck in paralysis. I could hear me calling for her though no sound could leave my soul. One side human suffering at the loss of what he valued so dearly, the other side Being knowing it was as it must be; the darkness of yin that allowed the light of yang to shine.
And that was that. The ending of ego’s love that attached myself to her and the beginning of pure love that allowed her to go. Not all things that take a trip through the fire are destroyed, they are merely changed from one thing to another. As I feel the fire burn around me I don’t look forward to the result, I merely allow the fire to complete its art. Through it all there is love, that endless array of fuel that allows the fire to burn brightly, that allows the scars to heal and the pain to end. To that end we must all take this trip at some point in our life, and we can either see the trip as painful and our fortunes to be at its end or we can learn from every step we take and every singe offered with the touch of flame. In this figurative, I long to touch the fire and not judge it, to heal the wounds I have created in my ego’s desire to be “it”, and to love my life as freely and as exorbitantly as possible. I seek not to be loved, but to love…I seek not to be carried but to carry.
©2010 Thomas P. Grasso All Rights Reserved