Amazed by Death


The body: here is what I’m most interested in. My shoulders, neck, chest – I’ve been feeling so profoundly how held and tight and lifted and stiff this area is – and wanting so badly for it to melt away, soften, become sweet honey. Today in yoga I tuned in to giving this area more space to be – not rushing it to change, trusting in it. The holding and stiffness developed as protection, as my best ability at some point to care for myself. As this shifts I must care for it, love it, give it room to let go as it’s ready. I want to meet it, be with it, midwife it.

It was very exciting and felt like a relief to know this. I don’t have to force it and control it. This is just what this part of me is about – all my controlling/objectifying has been centered here. And to soften this I must come from another part of me – from the strength of my core, the softness of my heart, and the knowing/trusting of my head. All these parts spinning and working together will allow my shoulders and neck to feel the support they need to release and ease away from their rigidity and stiffness. To peek out, explore, and be curious about themselves and their potential.

I’m in relationship with my body: and if I and thou, you and me, self and other, inner and outer, yin and yang are in relationship there is no place for control, only influence. With control one can not know other, nor can one know self and so there is no relationship – because relationship exists when we recognize and relate to what is within and without and see how they interrelate, how they depend on and – or better, how they influence shape. As I shift to a relational experience, away from an object experience, I’m amazed by death. Death no longer seems to be this stand alone misfortune that we all have to grit our teeth and bear or deny, or cordon off, or push, or accept or do anything with; it is part of the relationship, and relationships are not about control, they are about influence and effect and movement and connection.

In my relationship to life, in my self as life, I have death. It simply is. It is uncertain, as all is uncertain; when it arrives is unknown, as all is unknown. Fantasy is an object; feeling is relation. Concepts and beliefs are objects; experience is relation. Relationship simply is. It is the nature of the universe. Everything that is labeled and boxed up and extrapolated and feared and wished and denied is veneer – a false finish – is an object, a hardened picture – not the reality, although it can be lived within and existed by. But a deeper order runs beneath it whether it is seen or not. This is not to say that this relational reality is objective reality: as in the one and only fixed. In fact, it is within the reality of objects that the interest in objective reality exists. No – this relational reality – it has no center but the center is everywhere – every movement, breath, silence, noise, shifts the entire frame.

This post is an excerpt from a book I’m working on. This entry was written on October 10, 2005.

This post is part of the series The Late Summer Garden of Listening and includes the post Tiny Little Pixie Girls and Days I Can Trust and In The Presence of My Love and Wild With Burning.

Photo from Goldring’s photostream.

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