Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove.
O, no! it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken.
If you want to really roll
You got to do the thing with soul
Shake the shake with all your might
and if you do it, do it right... Shake!
To presume to speak at all is already dangerous. Best first to make obeisance, burn whatever incense you may have to hand, draw up the circle, huddle in it, wait. Submit.
Talking to a friend once this must have been around 1977, '78 I said something I'd been trying to say for so long I couldn't remember. Trying and not being able to get it out. Not sure if I can now. The words went something like: if I lived for a thousand years I couldn't describe what I've experienced. It would take a year to express the thoughts and feelings of a single minute.
If this had been merely passing observation, the sort of smarmy self-important realization one might write into one's unwarranted memoirs, it would be trivial. Or worse. Yeah? So what. Lighten up. Have a snack or something! But it was said in desperation and the desperation is the interesting thing.
I drank in those days. I drank a lot. Not to forget but to remember. We used to laugh when they said psychedelics led to heroin, but there's a lot of truth in that, though for all the wrong reasons. There is no surer hell than glimpsing paradise. Rivers of silver and turquoise flowing free, snaking the world together in its own dark curious liquid wisdom. Look on the tree of life, of knowledge, unseparate at last, ancient and eternal. Look on your own vision then, within that mind, within some impossibly larger heart loosening finally from the iron grip you once thought was yourself. Helpless, leaving, unraveling out into the night. Dying, being born.
She was so kind to me in those fragile moments. Fierce but never false. Learning to walk again. Learning for the first time colors, elements, seasons, moonrise, where the sun came up. I would go down to the water and pray into it. I would encounter other animals and we would recognize each other.
And now this, I would think. Not the en