I am Yours

Mariel.Milan.Cruz.meme

Beloved,

I love you
Completely
Entirely
With every cell in my body
With every atom that makes up every cell
With the nucleus and nucleotides that make up those atoms
With the strange, quarks, and I forget what comes after that in my body

I love you with my soul,
that instrument of the Divine
which,
on it’s own,
is but a note in the song of the Universe,
but which plays a melody so sweet,
so ethereal,
so in harmony with yours
that my body,
this vessel,
this prison,
howls with the venom of monsters only witnessed in movies,
for release and blessed union with you,
My Beloved,
to endlessly play
an ever evolving song

I long to taste you in my mouth
and when I do
your taste lingers like a chemical burn,
like frost bite,
like that fucking numbing you get when you push too hard,
when you extend yourself so far,
so much,
that the energy that normally flows
with ebbs and tides
like an infinite ocean within Our Being,
for certainly we are now
and always will be
a single entity with distinctly separate bodies,
evaporates and leaves us both
so nearly breathlessly spent
and soft
and willing
and hard
and passionate
and wanting for more.
Oh, please, more!

I want to lay you in the grass by the pond
and gaze in quiet contemplation
until my soul is satisfied
and my body aches
and admire your beauty
in the same way that I adore the songs
of the hundreds of birds,
the swallow and loon,
crow and robin,
the hawk,
that ever present watcher of my soul,
and the black bird that is it’s sworn enemy,
and I want to add our song to theirs.

I want to write great love songs and poems
that proclaim your poise
your strength
your beauty
even when you are ninety
because when you are ninety
you will be even more beautiful
for having spent your life
loving and being loved
until there are so many
that I could spend all day
every day
for a year
reading the poems
and playing the songs
and still have not gotten through them all.

I would carry you across a burning desert
to protect your delicate feet
I would call down a wind
and command a rain
to keep you cool
and I would build a home
from the sand
and mud
to keep you out of the sun
and we would live there forever
because it doesn’t matter where we live
as long as we are together.

I want to make your life better than you ever imagined
and in doing so
make my own life better
and thus create
an infinitely building loop of betterness
for us both
and I want it to overflow from us
and spill into the world
so that it becomes better.
I want us to be the example
that people point to and say
“I want us to be like them.”

I want us to grow old together
and hold your hand as you pass
because I promise
I won’t ever leave you alone
and after you have taken your last breath
I will join you,
there,
in infinite grace for eternity.

I am yours

Always

 

Image by Mariel Milan Cruz

As published in Elephant Journal

Author: J.M. Greff
Editor: Taia Butler
Copy Editor: Nicole Cameron

 

 

 

I Wonder

IMG_3900

I wonder
What was he thinking
Here
Amazed and enraptured
In the land of his parents
Before I was born
What he was thinking?
Was his mind as clear as it was when I knew him?
Was it crowded with thoughts of his future?
Or focused and narrow?

I wonder
Because he had no idea then
Where he would be now

I wonder
Did he leave this place
Caught up in the romance
The excitement
His youth
Take his young bride
With passion
Long into the night
Is this the day
My brother was conceived

I wonder
If I could show him
How he would live his life
Where it all would lead
The devotion to an absent god
The honest but misguided love of his wife
The distance of his children
His belief in his work
Would he have been so devoted?
Would he have learned to love better?
Could he have kept his family close?
Would he have continued working unrewarded?

I wonder
As I look this young man
His whole life ahead of him
A million choices yet to make
A million paths to choose from
If he knew
Where the ones he made
The ones he chose
Would lead him
If he knew he would choke out his last breath
In that cold and sterile place
Betrayed by a body
That couldn’t respond
To the commands of his still
Sharp
Mind
Would he have done things differently?

I hope that he would have

Even
if that meant
I never
came
to be

Succulent

the-comfort-she-craves.cameron.grey.jpg

never there
always wanted
seldom had
often enojoyed
mostly missed
longed and sought after
sung about
written about
“dreamed” about
succulating
stimulating
simulating
suffocating

 

resuscitating

 

sleep
…not tonight

 

 

image; “the comfort she craves” by cameron grey

True Story

giorgia napoletano 1[7]

My best memory of an actual conversation with a cashier at the local gas station…

 

 

Cashier [with a smile]:   How you doin?

Me:   I have concerns.

Cashier [with genuine curiosity]:    Concerns? Its a beautiful sunny day.

Me:    That’s why I’m concerned.

Cashier [looking confused]:    ???

Me:    You see,  the sun is this huge ball of burning plasma that generates enough radiation to vaporize a person in less than a fraction of a second and the only things protecting you and I from a violently painful death are just a few layers of atmosphere that we willingly punch holes in and a mile thick layer of atmosphere scrubbing bacteria that we should consider and treat as God since we can’t live without but are instead rapidly killing off… so I have concerns.

Cashier [with a blank stare]: …oh

 

[true story]

 

Image by Giorgia Napoletano

Why we Should Embrace Desire even when it Causes Pain

the.desire.of.the.soul.Jeny.Gevorgyan

Craving and desire are the cause of all unhappiness.”
– Gautama Buddha

The Buddha taught us that desire is one of the root causes of suffering.

Yet the universe seems to have designed us for exactly that purpose with the intention of forcing us to alleviate or even eliminate the suffering only through connections to, and service of, others.

I understand the concept of desire being the root of suffering, but I am not convinced that the suffering caused by desire—at least when it comes to love—is always an unwanted thing.

Here’s why.

Some time ago, I fell in love with someone I had known as a friend for five years prior. One day, after several weeks of very intense and intimate conversations, our relationship changed, those magic words were spoken, and I once again found myself in that unhappy state of desire.

It came with all the trimming; self-doubt, self-pity, fear, you name it. A suffering so pure that the Buddha himself might have pointed at me and said, “There, you see? That is what desire will get you.” As he shrugged his shoulders and strolled off to meditate under his bodhi tree.

The woman who professed her love to me, and captured a permanent place in my heart and soul, is the epitome of everything that I find most attractive in a woman—physically, intellectually, and spiritually. This is not an opinion based on that rosy view of fresh love which blinds, distorts, and softens, I have always felt this way about her.

I desired this woman in ways I am unable to describe; I still do, but we can not be together. Not now. Maybe not ever. This does not mean I love her any less.

There are many good reasons why we cannot be together, and maybe I will talk about them sometime, but for now, I just want to share that my desire caused considerable pain and suffering.

Yet, I chose to embrace that desire, not of her, or that which cannot be, but my desire to be loved by her, which I have not felt in many years, because something else came along with it that made me question everything I had learned not only about desire but about love as well.

I was loving deeper, truer, and more fully than I had ever loved before. Words that I had used with what I thought was full understanding, words like “unconditional” and “non-attachment,” took on new meaning. Meaning so clear and expansive that it made my prior understanding—an understanding gained through years of study and introspection and experience—like that of an infant.

I needed to know why, so I began the process of understanding with this one simple question: Is the desire to be loved a bad thing?

According to Llewelyn Vaughan-Lee of The Golden Sufi Center, the answer to that question is no. The Sufi mystic says that the feminine quality of desire, a part of Self that is largely ignored in our society, creates an imbalance both in Self and in society.

  • Like everything that is created, love has a dual nature, positive and negative, masculine and feminine. The masculine side of love is “I love you.” Love’s feminine quality is, “I am waiting for you; I am longing for you.” For the mystic it is the feminine side of love, the longing, the cup waiting to be filled, that takes us back to God. Longing is a highly dynamic state and yet at the same time, it is a state of receptivity. Because our culture has for so long rejected the feminine we have lost touch with the potency of longing. Many people feel this pain of the heart and do not know its value; they do not know that it is their innermost connection to love.” ~ Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee

We are all familiar with the concept of yin and yang, those opposing parts of Self, masculine and feminine, that make us whole. When viewed in this way, yin represents the desire to be loved, while yang represents the action to love. Two halves of a whole. One cannot exist without the other—not fully.

To love I must also desire to be loved because desire is the driving force behind loving, and to be loved I must also know how to love.

It can be summed up in the words of Ibn ‘Arabi, who said, “Oh Lord, nourish me not with love but with the desire for love.”

To which I might add: Sustain me with love but nourish me with desire.

The Buddha is right, desire is causing me suffering, but it has also opened my heart, my mind, and my eyes to the fact that desire can be a path to a higher love.

Does this knowledge somehow diminish the suffering? No. In fact, the pain is made all the more severe by my understanding—but is worth every iota because of what it teaches me, and the depth of love which it has amplified and released.

So I surrender to love and to the universe who designed us this way and I accept the pain of desire because through that desire I have learned to love more fully.

It does raise another question, however: What happens if that desire is fulfilled?

Perhaps Rumi already knew the answer to this question when he said,

Do not seek for water, remain thirsty.”

 

 

Author: J.M. Greff
Editor: Taia Butler
Supervising Editor 1: Travis May
Supervising Editor 2: Emily Bartran

As published in Elephant Journal (except for the shitty “Friends” pic they used which I replaced with this excellent image by Jeny Gevorgyan “The Desire of the Soul”)

The Universe in a Kiss

IMG_3814

If these wings that Love has given me
Could lift me to the sky
I’d fly into your distant arms
To carry you this night
To the solitary red sands
Of the deserts of far off lands
Where we’d smoke great pipes of opium
And drink an endless glass of wine
With talk and touch and timeless songs
With the poetry of our souls
We’d find ourselves in each other’s eyes
That place where love must grow
And through the night
We’d laugh and cry
And lose all sense of time
While watching violet sunsets
Become sunrisen bliss
Exploring galaxies
in grains of sand
And the Universe
in a kiss

Image: “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt