I don’t know if y’all are noticing this, but it seems like life just keeps speeding up and getting stranger and stranger, more and more connected, more and more intensely entangled. Perhaps it’s simply the centrifugal force of the paradigm shift of 2012 picking up energy and sucking us in to the inevitable Something Else. To the end of the world, or to the beginning of what some visionaries call The Great Turning. Being a bit of an intuitive retard, I’m not sure what’s going on. But I can feel something happening.
Or perhaps it’s a personal experience that I, with the charming narcissism so prevalent in my generation, am assuming has global resonance. Whatevs, as my Generation Y roommate would say. I’m just really excited to tell you guys about one of my recent Top Favorite Spiritual Moments, cause it was so so awesome and I think, if I tell it right, you are gonna dig it.
It’s a beautiful evening in early fall. Just past midnight or so. Earlier, an unfairly huge juicy orange moon has risen up through the sky, threatening to take all of Colorado prisoner with its mysterious looming beauty. Now, although slightly less mysterious, it’s still hanging out, basking in its own perfection, like, “Hey. Yeah. I’m the Freakin’ MOON, fool. What you lookin’ at?”
The air is crisp, clean, cool but not cold. I’m sitting on the balcony of my townhouse, looking out onto the mellifluous night and the quiet street below, free of cars for the moment. The night is hushed, waiting, lurking with hidden potential, and I am one with this night. I am in an unusual state of mind, or rather, occupying an unusual state of being—one that comes to me every now and then.
This state has something to do with meditation, something to do with clearing my consciousness of the Business as Usual Ellen Nonsense that tends to go on. For a moment, sometimes many moments in a row, I am free of my story. True, I have done terrible things. I have also done good things. I have made horrendous mistakes and probably am making more as I speak. (Did I mention that earlier I blew off writing my class syllabus so I could watch VH-1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 00’s? Yeah, I know. But look, does my class really need to know what we’re going to do in this workshop as much as I need to know the back story behind Kellis’s 2003 “My Milkshake Brings All the Boys to the Yard”?)
But somehow, in this particular state of being, none of this matters.
Nature, we are told, abhors a vacuum. Into the temporary vacuum of my non-judgment, all kinds of strong emotion pour in. I feel myself filling up with something huge, warm, and spacious, something that runs through the center of my chest like bourbon, only better. I look at the moon with awe, and remember another Giant Moon: Athens, Greece, 1987. I am on a European vacation with my art class and Bob, who is from Germany, looks up at the spectacular moon looming immediately over our heads and lifts his drink to it, “Moon! You are Yoooge! (translation: “Huge!”) For those of us present, this becomes a favorite toast for years.
As I sit on my balcony, here, in 2011, I am filled with love for that moon of 1987, for the people who were there with me, people who tonight are grownups scattered all over the world, grownups writing checks for mortgages and begging their children to do their homework. I am full of love for their houses and their children and for this moon, the moon that floats gently above us all.
Actually, to tell the truth, I am full of love in general. Wow. Where did all this come from? For just this moment I can look on everything around me with astonishment and wonder—all surrounding objects have dropped their ordinary pretense of “hey, yeah, so I’m a tree—big deal.” Instead, they shimmer with clarity and possibility and intention, with the power of something ELSE no longer hidden. I look and feel more love. Then more love. My love rises up to meet that love and becomes more than that. I am overwhelmed with love, and I must tell someone.
“I love you!” I whisper to the trees, to the moon. “Oh, I love you! I love you!” I whisper to the night, to the planet, to the Universe. I feel all of us—me, the trees, the moon, the night, my old friends, Bob, the children and their homework—all of us pulsing together as one fluid heartbeat: “I love you! I love you! I love you!”
At this exact moment, a lone car shoots past on the street below. A man is yelling at someone on a cell phone, his window open. “I hate you, you f*****g bitch!”
I love this. It is perfect. I love this man for providing the perfect point of contrast to all this love—and for allowing me to observe that this love is large enough to include the man and his anger and obscenities. I love that the Universe brought us together at this precise intersection of each of our emotional lives. “I love you too, you f*****g a**hole!” I say to the man, now long gone down the street. “I love you! I love you! Thank you! I hope you and your girl make up!”
I’m pretty sure they made up. After all, there’s a lot of love available, some of it from sources you would not expect.