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August 15, 2013

Words for Lovers & for Myself. ~ Cigdem Toskay

Stepping down from the Throne of Catharsis and Taking a Train to Zen

I used to be a person of letters.

I wrote in celebration of love, heartbreak, wishes and dreams. I was never afraid of writing, until I wrote a short poem one day and gave it to my lover. It was ”A Message in a Bottle;” a call of hope. He might be ”the one,” he might have the courage to be ”the warrior,” entering the castle of my heart and knocking down my walls of doubt.

My short poem was about how we choose our words, how we wash them white but wear them black. An eternal karmic dance of our actions and language.

I was young and romantic. I knew it deep down, my belly knew it. Call it the sixth sense if you will, I just never wanted to believe how Satya (truth telling) was—is—the most challenging yama (ethical code) of all. Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) may be even harder. I was desperately in love and afraid of rejection.

So, my lover took the paper.

As he opened my letter and started reading, my words were flying on birds’ wings. The meaning escaped him. Maybe the context too.

Words are magic, sometimes black.

My lover stuffed the letter in one of his pockets. This gesture felt like the end of the world, and was a lesson well learned. What seems like gold to you is someone else’s pebbles—it is called disappointment.

My road to a romantic catharsis was forever blocked.

Love is not a gold medal. It is not passing a test and scoring straight A’s. Love is ubiquitous. I forget. It is an offering to the Divine. I always forget. No strings attached, green pastures of the heart full of sunshine, sky is blue and the clouds of doubt pass soon.

What is important and meaningful to you at any given moment does not have to be a priority to anyone else. Nor does it have to be a Kill-Bill story.

So, dear dear heart, tell me, why do you cast your light on the unattainable? Do you ever surrender? This warm feeling is just the fever of the chase. Love is not a hunt. The thrill of the kill is what’s calling you, blood ever throbbing. Is this how you feel alive?

I used to think I chose to stay out of weary and tedious, pointless conversations because I cherish intimacy. Now, as I meditate daily, I suspect the thrill is gone. A sense of ruthless pride and stubborness makes everything unforgiven. I want to be intimate with myself.

A dialogue may be possible.

The twang of pride and a big wave of anger washes over me. But it doesn’t knock me down. I sit in meditation. I sometimes pretend to sit in meditation. Then suddenly I am meditating, at least for a  short while.

There is a certain quality of being ”raw” and ”open.”Needless to say, I am no big fan of hidden dark closets.

I like the dawn after a long night in the forest. I like truth over a lie. I like the sun dancing with my shadow. I like the tears that pave the way to enlightenment of the heart and soul. Maybe I used to like tears beyond logic.

Not that I believe in dreary drama but I remember the olden ways, the words of the Great Greek Masters, the cathartic experience and light reborn out of emotional chaos, a climax. The sun was born out of many possibilities, the universe was the darkest mother ever.

The orgasmic soul, tremors of the heart… I stop. The chase is over. I center.

Oh, let me fly, set my wings free! My pearl of wisdom is somewhere, why not take a deep breath, be brave and dive into my own blue sea? Paul Simon once said, ”the Heart is an Endless Ocean.”

It is primal and embarrassing. It feels good just being in your own skin. My animal is inside and looks me in the eye. I dreamt of two little snakes the other night, one black, the other white. They were just standing side by side, completely identical if not for their colour.

How can you tell left from right and dark from light? Would you give up on your left hand, your left leg or your left eye and say the right is better?

So, I embrace them both howling against the call of the Goddess Moon in the night and celebrating the warmth on a simmering rock under the sun, I nest and I let myself be. I take life in.

Life nourishes me; I sit in meditation daily.

Dear Lovers of my past and future,

I have done my share of howling and hunting. I am done with my catharsis and plotting. I changed tracks and hopped on a train heading towards Zen. We’ll see where it takes me. Now, it doesn’t hurt so much as it used to.

I am still raw and green, I bleed when you try to cut me open, your words are still as sharp as a blade, you have such mastery. But murder? Oh, no! Trying to kill me will only hurt yourself!

I set you free.

You do not have to understand me, nor even love me. Your capacity of life, love and death, of words will never define a single moment of me. I will not be pinned down with adjectives, I will elude your fantasies. Nor will you ever be offended by my notorious attempts. I set us all free.

So, I cast my words in white spelling, a white light I am wearing. I take the dive and when my time is up, I reach for the sun.

Dear Lovers, you may not be there to wait upon my return. It doesn’t matter. All the hurt and drama is gone. There is no one to be forgiven, since there is no one. I was never afraid of writing, nor am I of silence.

My heart is paving its way through the labyrinth of emotions to the center of the universe.

Each day I discover the meaning of love anew. It is Satya setting us all free, may Aparigraha be a gentle guide to me.

 

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Assistant Ed.: Andie Britton-Foster/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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Cigdem Toskay