Silence walks me out to the ledge and says jump and there will be nothing there to catch you.
The winds of my body are in an uproar, tossing my mind to bits.
In Afghanistan, the Buddhas of Bamiyan crash to the ground and what rises out of the rubble is a madness in my heart that allows no room for answers.
Twin towers fall, and it doesn’t hurt, I mean really hurt, until I hear of a woman calling her husband and three kids to tell them she loves them, right before the plane drops down into a heap.
My shoulders are two towers that barricade my heart and it takes a 20 hour plane ride and a 4 hour jeep trek up into the foothills of the Himalayas, to Sivas temple, to even begin to recognize the gate, the wall that keeps me out.
A beautiful boy, no more than 12, watches the temple fire, kept burning all day and all night. He touches the ash, the vibhuti, to my forehead and we sit in silence, forgetting the world, the story, the script.
Again I am walked to the ledge, yearning to drop off, knowing not even the ethers could catch me.
In this temple, this silence, this empty space, there are no claims to god, bought and dug up like a gold mine and rationed.
There are no palaces of words and ideas staking ownership over the ‘right’ path.
No trademarks or labels to mark the hierarchy.
There is nothing to theorize or grip to.
There is only this movement towards abandon, a need to live empty, to not follow any rules.
A movement as soft as the early morning light — it’s shimmer of gold breathing gently down this mountain….
A movement as easy as a Red Tail suspended in the updraft…
As steady and as fierce as Mother Ganga melting away rock.
It is a moment, after years of searching, of following this path or that, when finally dropping off onto unbroken ground, not previously seen, I recognize that there is no path and no one to blame.
It is a movement toward the heart, found in the silence of these mountains, this temple…
In the eyes of a boy tending fire…
And in a woman half way around the world, suddenly feeling at home.