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Love letters.

April 4, 2009

I think about what would happen if Paulo Coelho and I were sitting in the same waiting room at the airport. He has a swarm of people around him (because he’s Paulo Coelho after all), and he is wearing his black turtleneck and smiling and being polite and most probably thinking “I should have gone to the first class lounge” (the only reason that he isn’t in the first place is because he’s in my story).

With Milan Kundera, mind you, it would be different– I wouldn’t meet him in an airport, I’d be sitting at a cafe drinking coffee and writing and he would sit down at a table near me with his espresso (I picture him drinking espresso), and maybe with a friend, who will leave eventually, and then he will be left alone, leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed, with a furrow in his brow and a cigarette dangling from his fingers.

So at some point I would have to approach them, because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and so at first thought, my little speech goes something like this:

“I think I love you. Is that okay? I don’t need anything in return, except your blessing to love you freely from afar, I mean, it might sound weird, but I’m sure you’ve heard weirder. Anyway, that’s it. Goodbye.”

Which, of course, might warrant a call to the police and/or a restraining order.

And then, I think, that it probably isn’t them specifically that I love, because I don’t really know them as people at all. What I love is the art that they create, the themes that they communicate, and the skill and grace with which they do it. I think about my yoga teacher, and how he is two different people– he is Dom the person (who I won’t pin down by naming off his personality traits), and then he is Dom the yoga teacher, who is more like an alien being with such intense focus and precision and intuition. Really what’s happening when Dom the man becomes Dom the yogi is that he is shoving Dom the man aside, and allowing something… let’s call it god, just to stir things up a bit, to shine through and act through him. So then, would I say

“I love your art. The stuff that you channel is absolutely incredible and it resounds with me so perfectly that every time I read it I swear that you were thinking of me when you picked it up from the ethers.”

Well, no… because it sounds trite AND awfully distant. Like I’m shouting it all the way from Jupiter and it has to pass through the meteor belt and all the other planets on the way before reaching earth. So that by the time it reaches somebody’s ears it has been stripped of all warmth and loses much of the intention and feeling behind it. I hand it to them like an icicle and they hold it in their hands for a minute trying to figure out what this strange gift means, and why it is chilling them so, and then it has melted and is gone forever.

And then, I think, that I couldn’t write these things that they write– I can only write the things that I write. And I couldn’t teach like Dom teaches, and I’ve never met anybody else who does. So there must be something of the individual in this “shoving-aside-and-letting-god-flow” thing.

The ancient Greeks, I’m sure would have said that this is the personality of the Daemon (or muse) that you have. Which is a kinda cool idea, but it doesn’t go over so well in our extremely scientifically oriented society. And I don’t know what it is. You don’t hear me admit this very often, you know. I don’t know.

And I think it’s this not knowing that causes the love part to come in. So in awe are we (am I) of the part-of-god that these people are letting flow through them, that often times it does that strange thing in my chest where I feel like I could explode with emotion. In fact, because I don’t have enough love in my body, it flows over into sadness and anger and fear as well, and all of my emotions are lit up at once, and like a massive supernova, I feel with such extreme intensity for a matter of seconds, and then I collapse  in an exhausted heap and feel nothing for a while.

So then, would I say “I love a part of you. It’s not this part of you, but the part of you that is there when you shove this part of you aside. And I know that this part of you is a part of the whole, and that you can’t really take one without the other, because what’s left when you shove this aside is there as a result of what is here in the first place, but since the other part of you is the part that you put on paper, and because of that you let me get to know it quite well, and because I have never met this other part of you, the one that is listening to me now and thinking that I’m quite strange, I choose the other. So if you’re in there, Other, I would like you to know that you are loved and appreciated (these words don’t quite describe it but for previously mentioned restraining order issues, I’ll leave it there), by Rebecca who lives in California, and if you’re ever on holiday (without this strange guy who is looking at me funnily), you have a place to stay and I can take you to some cool restaurants and stuff.”

Of course, they might have gone running out the door (or into the first class lounge) by then. You see, I don’t think that there’s any way to convey this stuff. Like when you are driving and you see the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life. Something ineffible. Something that makes you wish you could dissolve to become a part of it. And then somebody says “That’s pretty”. Which reduces something magical and holy into a single word that is also used to describe cakes and shoes and stuff. I mean, I’m sure that cakes and shoes can be holy… I saw a pair of Givency shoes a couple of seasons ago that could almost be described as godlike… but for the most part, “pretty” is something that is used for things that are tangible. TO reduce an ineffible thing to something so silly as to try and describe it in words is, well, it’s… it’s… it’s like reducing a person to a label, to a composite of their parts.

And by now, you might have an idea that I am not a fan of splitting things up into its composite parts. Especially not people. And so then, I think, that it might be better to just (for once) shut up. I remember a favourite teacher of mine saying that he stood in line for hours to meet Krishnamurti once, and when he finally got to the front, he shook his hand and said “oh, sir, how very happy I am to meet you finally”. And he meant it, truly. And he looked into Krishnamurti’s eyes, and they were so deep and big and the man didn’t say anything in return– just looked into his eyes, and my teacher said that he felt so small, and so silly, and so embarrased that he had tried to verbalise something that really didn’t need to be. Of course, my favourite authors aren’t world renowned spiritual teachers or anything but I think the basic principle still stands. Some things don’t need to be said. Like describing a beautiful sunset. Like describing the feeling of connecting with another human being. Like compartmentalising an experience that should be allowed to expand instead of forcing it to contract.

Paulo Coelho and I might be sitting in the same waiting room at the airport. He has a swarm of people around him, and they are all chattering at him, and he is wearing his black turtleneck and smiling and being polite and most probably thinking “I should have gone to the first class lounge”. Milan Kundera walks into the cafe where I am drinking coffee and writing and he sits down at a table near me with his espresso, and has a conversation with a friend, who leaves eventually, and then he is left alone, leaning back in his chair with his legs crossed, with a furrow in his brow and a cigarette dangling from his fingers. And a flight is called, Paulo extracts himself from the hordes of people, pulls out the handle of his carry-on, and boards the plane. Milan looks at his watch, uncrosses his legs, and stubs his cigarette out. He’s a final stubber, not a repetitive stubber (like those frantic OCD people who stub and stub and stub until you think they’ve stubbed their fingers out too)– it’s one of those big expressive stubs where you can feel the remaining tobacco crunch in on itself in the remainder of the cigarette. He stands up, and walks out the door and down the street and is lost in the crowds. A lone trail of smoke raises itself from the stub, curls around itself, and hangs like a question mark over the empty espresso cup for a second before it too, is gone.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2009 09:22

    I usually don’t read things that are this long but you are a good writer and I enjoyed it very much! I was looking for an image of Rumi. Do you know where the image is from?
    Walking Satellite

    • fairybekk permalink*
      November 2, 2009 09:54

      Thank you 🙂
      I think I may have just googled Rumi and borrowed the picture from somewhere– it didn’t look like the personal art of the website I got it from and I couldn’t find a source, so I’m not sure about the original location.

  2. Liquidspectrum permalink
    November 6, 2009 17:36

    Let the Beauty you Love Be what you Do….keep Breathing!

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