Friday, May 19, 2017



       What is Love? Nobody really knows for certain; it’s kind of like gravity: hard to measure. Like gravity, it is a force of nature yet science refuses to treat it as such. I think Love wants it that way; it is coy.
         One of the best things about being a parent was seeing my children when they were brimming with Love. It was coming out their eyes, filling their cheeks and straightening their spines; it was compelling them to give Love to us, their mother and father; I still have it to this day.
         Love is a dimension all to itself as I tried to describe in my last book, Revelations of Wiccans. It is like a hole in the fabric of the Universe, a hole that I have fallen into four times in my short life. Once you’ve dropped into it there is no getting out although you may feel at times that you have.
         That is what happened to me the first time I fell into Love; I thought I had climbed out of it only to find it was bigger than anything I could ever imagine and that understanding this fact of life, this fact of Love, broke my mind.
         Allow me to provide more information. The first time I encountered Love I chose not to believe in it. Little did I know that was like not believing in gravity or electricity or the sun: you are glued to the planet, awe-struck by lightning and each day the yellow ball rises, like it or not. Like falling off a high cliff or grabbing onto a live wire or wandering into the desert I was devastated beyond my ability to comprehend anything worse.
         I could barely function. I did not know that I could hurt so much and it was a pain I could not escape. It filled my beer, my sleep and everything else I tried to do to escape it. It was like an angry friend that followed me around everywhere who made sure I would always know it was there. I finally had to accept that it was with me always and in doing so I could go on.
         One day, about eight months later, eight months that could easily have been eight eternities, I found myself on a bus full of people traveling down an interstate highway. The bus began to climb a steep mountain and I could see trees whose leaves were beginning to change colors for the Fall. I say ‘I’ but I mean ‘we’, me and my pain and, although I knew the leaves should be red and yellow all I could see were shades of grey.
         As the bus chugged up the hill it occurred to me that the feeling I was experiencing could happen to anybody: white, black or brown, rich or poor, handicapped or able, everyone was susceptible. If you had Love, I pondered, then life was worth living and without it death was certainly not an unpleasant option. That’s when I realized that Love was the great equalizer; it’s what makes us all the same, our ability to feel its warmth or its absence.
         That was the moment I realized I was still in Love and that it would never go away and that it was okay. The object of my Love was gone but Love was still with me and I stood as good a chance at happiness as anyone else on the planet. With that epiphany the trees burst into flaming colors. They were all red and yellow and green as they were supposed to be. My heart lifted and the pain dissipated making it easier for me to carry on with the business of living.
         The next time I fell into Love I was a constant gardener. I tended to it and it gave me two of the most wonderful things a person could ever hope to have: daughters. I knew I was not worthy of these gifts but that is the beauty of Love, it is nonjudgmental. I went in the opposite direction of my first Love experience and found a joy that was beyond my ability to fathom. That friend was back but this time it did not torture me, it showered me with gifts that money could never buy and it continues to this day.
The third time Love found me I realized that it has a dark side. Dark does not mean bad. There are plenty of wonderful things that happen in the night and that is where it found me: driving down Interstate 80 on a wintry night going to a dance in New Jersey. I was new to the dance back then and the soundtrack from the movie Amelie was playing on my stereo. Love was all around me in the people I was meeting. I could sense the depth of the pits beneath my feet as I tried to get better at dancing.
         My van climbed a hill and descended the other side; we had forty more miles of New Jersey ahead of us before we reached our destination. All was quiet, the music was playing, soft and lilting if you are familiar with the album, the essence of melancholy. I drove straight into it. I couldn’t turn the wheel though that is what I wanted to do. I went in at 70 mph and didn’t stop until I hit the bottom.
         I have heard that it is impossible for an object to be in two places at once but Love doesn’t give a damn about the possible; it is its own dimension. I was in Love once again and I found the night to be just as beautiful as the day. My life was full. I didn’t sleep for fear of missing all the wonders Love was dropping off at my doorstep.
         The fourth and last time I fell in Love was easy on my heart and soul. I enjoyed the descent into the well, entered at my own pace and landed softly. I filled the base with fertile soil and watered it at regular intervals. Love loves to be fertilized; it is something that is at the core of its nature.
         As sweet as our time was I knew it would not be possible for me to bring this plant to fruit but Love, as I have said, does not care about the possible, it made it happen and the plant continues to bear fruit to this day.
         She was not with me when I plunged into the hole of Love. It was Cinco de Mayo 2012. I was camping in my tent just outside of Durango, CO, after a wonderful night of tango at a place in town. The moon was so bright that I could have read a book inside my tent without a light. It glowed and filled me with its warmth but I knew it was not the moon that was making my blood boil: it was Love.
         I could not stop thinking about her nor did I wish to. I reviewed every moment of our encounters and thought of what I would say to her, what I would do to her when we next met. It was near dawn before I had made a decision. The next time I saw her I would ask if I could hold her hand. That was the thing that was most special about her, she had an extraordinary ability to touch people.
I would spend the next sixteen months touching more than just her hands. Every part of her body was like a profound discovery for me.  I would spend hours exploring a single patch of skin on her shoulder blade or her palm or a finger. I was fascinated by my ability to be fascinated with such incremental pieces of her anatomy. Our time came to an end but my Love for her continues to this day.
There you have it: Love. Get some. You won’t regret it.

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Love’s Cosmic Orchestra

               Some people find it hard to believe that we live in a universe where chaos is the natural order but it is true. The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, something we call entropy, and one day it’s all going to come apart at the seams.
           The world is a confusing place and there are many things we’d like to believe are true that probably aren’t, like people are not inherently good or that men and women can never be just friends. The child in us wants to believe these things but that child also believes in the Easter Bunny.
              This is not a reason for despair. Through restraint of our primal inclinations we discover real pleasure and true love. Men and women are capable of platonic relationships as long as one of them ignores the urge to merge. Unrequited love can be the saddest of stories or the noblest. Admitting to ourselves that we are part of the general cacophony increases the impact of our actions: our sins become that much more evil but our kindnesses shine as bright as stars.    
           Realizing that peace is not the absence of agitation but, rather, the organization of entropy as it proceeds towards its inevitable conclusion, gives us a purpose: we are here to establish rhythm and harmony among the hectic forces playing in the cosmic orchestra.

           Here is the final truth I’d like to impart: you are never going to be a great tango dancer. Tango is not a performance to be graded; it is a state of mind, body and synchronicity to be achieved with your partner.  Dancing tango is beautiful to watch but what is really happening is only revealed to the participants. This is not a spectator sport. It is art for artists and, until you get out on the dance floor, you are never going to know what it is.

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