The Kiss That Ate Arizona.

Via Karl Saliter
on Jan 24, 2012
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Shouldn't we kiss more?
Kissing and learning, every day.

Nice Smooch, What’s The Takeaway?

Perspective on the fragility of life, of course, and the endgame. We are all going to take that walk into the sky before long. I think of death as just nature’s way of killing us, and elephant journal readers are not strangers to the topic. So when it comes, how can we best be ready for this rascal? (I’m getting to the kiss.)

The best movie scene in human history is, of course, the final moments in Thelma and Louise. Show me I’m wrong with a link in the comments, I dare ya. (And can I just say here: if you have not watched the movie, stop reading this post. Really. Go watch it and then don’t even bother returning here. I’ve read it all the way through, it’s not that good.) Everything about that final scene is right, the gun, the dirt from the wheels, Johnny Law running, and the soul-crushing music.

But we are talking here, about that kiss.

Watch it, buddy.

Why is that deep green convertible T Bird Kiss so full of promise? It is a goodbye on wheels, literally. These two are about to cross the final line, it is done, through, over and finished, but that stolen moment is as epic in potential as pulling three queens in a game of five-card draw with your aggressive father-in-law. That kiss is everything any of us has, and more.

The kiss is bigger, by nine lifetimes of the black sea turtle, than the three seconds to which the plot confines it. Brighter than Maya Angelou. It is sweeter than that nephew of yours whose photo you keep waving around. (I’ve been meaning to tell you, by the way, he’s pug ugly.) That kiss is the universe, a puppy, flowers in your kitchen. That kiss is the balls.

K Saliter

Can I have it?

I want to approach my avocado  sprouts bagel the way Louise approaches Thelma. The movie suggests that every moment is eternal. Can I sort myself out, and wake up enough to bring everything I have, to kiss the moment? How?

That kiss is the ultimate surrender, happening during the ultimate surrender, within the context of a flat refusal to surrender.

It is life with chrome handlebars, mister. That kiss is the hand-lettered tee shirt on a mountaintop on a windy day that says “Defy!” Did you hear me? I very much doubt it.

The gift for us is the awareness. Louise brings every fiber of her being to that kiss, undistracted in what is a pretty busy afternoon. We have the chance to bring similar aliveness and attention to any moment. Cultivating that capacity is worthwhile. If our minds are in the right state as we cross over, do we begin our next life from a better place? Either way, don’t you crave that your passage out of here be not a crawl but a flight?

Flight trumps crawl: they did studies.

Is it possible that, like a hip-opening class where an hour and ten minutes have been paving the way for you to bust warmly into that full pigeon, our whole lives are preparation for that moment just before death? Do you think there was a special on question marks at writers’ mart today or something?

Shelly Rubinstein

Can daily meditation and prayer awaken us not only to moments when we should refrain from kicking the cat, but also pave the way for flight freedom when there are no turns left? I hope so. I pray so.

And meanwhile, let’s kiss, with every fiber of our beings, everything that comes within kissing distance.



About Karl Saliter

Karl is a circus artist sculptor writer miscreant gypsy, living in Mexico. He has written two novels, "Compassion's Bitch," and "Breakfast In A Cloud," and has published neither. He often feels as if he was born under a silver whale of a frisbee moon in the back of a red cartoon pickup truck. That careening down route 66 at speed, he leapt up into the cab, took the wheel, stuck his baby elbow out the rolled-down window, and that though the truck had awesome chrome mirrors, he never looked back. He hopes you frequently feel the same.


20 Responses to “The Kiss That Ate Arizona.”

  1. Ann N. says:

    Too cool Karl, just the topic I needed to have a new fresh perspective on. The sustainability of present moment, balls to the wall, living is still something I struggle with. But the reminder that it is indeed attainable, is usually just what I need. Right on and write on my friend!

  2. karlsaliter says:

    Many Thanks to Bruce Halley for a keenly-observed correction!

  3. Ann N. says:

    P.S. Sorry about everyone's pug-ugly nephews.

  4. I wanna kiss my cat….

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the brand new Elephant Spirituality Homepage.

    Braja Sorensen
    Lost & Found in India
    Editor, Elephant Spirituality
    Please go and "Like" Elephant Spirituality on Facebook

  5. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks Ann! Writing is easy, when feedback like yours comes through. Cheers!

  6. karlsaliter says:

    Ann, me too. Thay are everywhere! Braja thank you, and I know the feeling.
    The Minx, my cat, is the last word in otherworld power and unintentional charm.

  7. Anna Laura says:

    To have so very special persons like you in my life is the preparation path and also the enjoyable way of living…
    Big Hug and Kiss…

  8. karlsaliter says:

    Gracias Amiga. Keep teaching them warmly in Mexico City, though we miss you in Playa!

  9. Woodcutters Daughter says:

    I think of death as just nature’s way of killing us….rimshot.

  10. karlsaliter says:

    HA! Nice handle, WC. We do what we can here, in our little theater.

  11. Linda Morelli says:

    Way, WAY up there in the realm of joyous loving and, oh yes, kissing and seizing the moments life sends our way. Still living, but having one hellova race with nature nipping at my heels. Not ready to "gun it" yet, besides I would miss my morning read!

  12. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks, Linda, that means something, from an avid reader such as yourself. Keep running!

  13. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks for that, Bob.

  14. ValCarruthers says:

    Delicious writing, Karl. "That kiss is the ultimate surrender, happening during the ultimate surrender, within the context of a flat refusal to surrender." LOVE that. Lookin' forward to more of your words here @ ej.

  15. karlsaliter says:

    Thanks so much, Val! Todays article is less poetic, and thornier, but I managed to wrangle a few bright grass patches into the landscape, I think. Let me know!

  16. Love this Karl–beautiful! Mwuah!

  17. karlsaliter says:

    Kate! My very first Mwuah!

    Gracias and then some.

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