THE HOLLOW MAN - GRAVITY AGAIN
Day 50 Into Santa Fe
today: 26 miles cumulative: 1000
I am dehydrated today, from the extra beer I bought to pretend that everything was OK, from an hour of crying. I have a headache. Today was going to be my glorious homecoming, walking to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, beer and dancing and a night with the woman I love, the perfect day, the perfect life I had the day I walked away from it. As though time would stand still until I returned. Instead I am walking into town broken down and bleeding, wishing I hadnt come here. Now, instead of walking to my favorite bar I am walking to a coffee cart where Alissa works to talk to her again. To sit by the sun I cannot touch. Do you know how hard it is for me not to touch her? I am crying as I write this. How long will I have to cry?
I see that I build for myself giant towers, trying to reach the sun. They are made of sticks and twine and they sway and creak in the wind, but I build them higher thinking that if I reach the sun it wont matter how fragile my tower was, because when I reach the sun I can stay forever and all the towers and the temples I have built can crumble and I will just laugh because I made it. I have built my biggest tower ever for this love, and now I lay broken in this pile of sticks. Did I really think I could tell the sun when to shine?
I am the hollow man.
"This is the dead land,
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead mans hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
Is it like this
In deaths other kingdom
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone." - TS Elliot
Between an idea and reality, motion and action, emotion and response, there falls a shadow. The world of the hollow man. Prayers to broken stone. And I realize that I built more temples when I was afraid, after Socorro. Because I thought that if I believed enough, if I said the right things and worshipped and honesty and if I gave her everything I had and offered even my breath and my bloody heart, if I built the temples, if I built the religion, that she would be God. I dont want my god to be at the end of time, I want my god to lie in my bed, a god that can touch me, a god that wakes up in my arms. I want to see god sleeping beside me. I want to see god open her eyes beside me at 8:02 am so I can tell her how beautiful she is and then make love to her. I want my god to kiss me so deeply that I dont have to breathe, because her breath fills my lungs.
I have spent 1,000 miles criticizing religious fanatics, and the dogma of Christ and all the personality masks that cover up the truth. I have said that no one else can carry your cross and give poor Jesus a break and carry your own and this whole time I have been trying to hand mine to Alissa. I have been building temples out of love, but also out of fear. I have given Greater Love a face and swore by that face and that face alone.
That is not the only face of God of Love. I knew that, I knew that I drank from a tributary called Alissa, but that behind her was a River, and behind that an Ocean. For the last 1,000 miles I have been a religious fanatic. God is love, Love is my God, Alissa is my God. It is always easier to give your god a face. That is religion. We are supposed to go beyond religion.
Into Santa Fe on Cerillos Road, and I am hurting too much to go on without talking to someone. I call Emily from the first pay phone. She says she can come right away. Sitting in the Horsemens Haven, my favorite place to eat in Santa Fe, they say the green chili is spiked, because no green chili can be that hot. This is supposed to be part of what I love about this town, but I cannot see what I saw before, I cannot see why I am here, I have forgotten about all the things I love and the people that I love and that love me. I walked today so I am still in a loop. I cry for Emily and really I think I just need to hear the words come out and realize that she is one of the things I love in Santa Fe too, and all the other faces start to come back, and I will see them tonight, because the world is not just one woman.
Walking to Alissa. She is working and I will not cry too much, they will be smaller tears and they will hang on the edge of my lashes and not fall, because there is energy that I need to conserve and I am starting to understand. I am seeing the pressure of me being here for 4 days, the expectations, the energy that it would take to renew something so big just for 4 days then just walk away from each other again. She is moving. She is busy, she needs to finish here, to say good-byes, to finish her shows, to pack, to pay bills, and all the things that one does in the last week before they move away from home. I smile and hold her hand and I understand, and I am sorry that I was so blind, and I am sorry I was so selfish, and I am sorry that I tried to tell the sun when to shine. I am grateful for what we had, for what we have, for this right here. And the long hug of understanding makes all of that hurting go away, I will see you tomorrow. Thank you for breathing so much life into me for those short weeks that felt like the end of time. That felt like we made it. Immortal for those weeks.
Gravity returns. And when gravity returns, the waters recede and now, to drink of the unknown I will have to follow this creek down from the lonely peak and find out where it runs into the river, the Ganges River of my mind, and then I will follow the river until it runs into the Ocean, and in the depths of that ocean I will find the place where she came from. And once I have found that place I will see those waters in every woman and in every man. And love will have no face and love will have every face. Beyond the masks, beyond the dogma, the doctrine, the rule, beyond language.
At the Cowgirl the people I love have come to see me. And just as I remembered it we drink Tecate with a lime and Joe West plays his song about Rehab Girl, and Emily is doing the country swing on the dance floor and hallelujah I am beginning to feel alive again.
One year ago I was in love with a woman addicted to cocaine. I cried everyday for 3 months. I was not willing to let go of love when there was even one percent still there because it filled me up that much. But I let it hurt me so much, and when I should have left her I stayed and life got worse and worse, and when it was time to say good-bye I didnt, I couldnt let go. I didnt believe that it would come again (but it has come again). And then a mentor, a man who loves me, taught me the greatest lesson of my life, the conservation of energy. And I let go. And now I have to let go of the part of me that wants to give god a face. To let go of my expectations, not my hopes. Swim into the deep, find an ocean inside myself.