Friday, November 19, 2010
"Shaddaim" (A God with Breasts)
Brown, yes, but somehow different than any other brown I have ever seen. It is almost as if it is the first color my eyes have ever beheld. Perhaps it is.
It is a deep color, a three-, or possibly three-hundred- dimensional color, something more alive and more real than any of the browns in my life: the bark of the oak tree in the middle of our yard in Clovis, the coat of my grandmother’s dachshund, Shautzie, the brown of my daughter's hair, still damp from birth, or the leathery skin of our housemaid, Mantuya, in Papua New Guinea. Those were brown and this is....somehow different.
I am mesmerized. I would be happy to see only one color forever, if it could be this color.
I feel myself being pulled and tugged, as if a rope is tied to my heart and the brown is holding the other side. I give in, letting myself be drawn I know not where by the invisible rope. As my skin, my bones, my mind and even my soul, are moved by this unseen force, I am filled with a feeling that can only be described as pure, ultimate joy. It is the feeling of finally moving in the direction I have always tried to move in but could never quite find the door to. It is the feeling of an aching need that has been as part of me as my own flesh being finally fulfilled more exquisitely than I could ever have imagined. I am not fighting. I am joyfully going where I am being taken, with every fiber of my being. It is a feeling of falling, deliciously, into joy.
And then I land. I am in The Brown. The Brown is all around me, enfolding me and caressing me. I have never known this deep, brown joy. I never even dreamed it. I spread my arms, my legs, my mouth, my pores in a joyous acceptance of The Brown. I drink it, eat it, breathe it in, spread it all over my skin and then turn my body around and around in it. I am wanting to be full of this Brown. A warmth fills me as every cell of my body willingly absorbs The Brown.
Now I realize: this has been my only unfulfilled desire. I thought I desired so many things, but now that I am here in this moment, I realize those desires were really only one. And here I am, being utterly satisfied. Every moment in The Brown is more lovely than the last, and as my heart and mind embrace the multi-dimensions of this realization, it is as though my capacity to desire grows. I desire more; it is fulfilled. I desire even more; it is fulfilled. I am fuller and fuller, yet I know I can never be too full. I know now what in some part of myself I have always known: Joy is The Brown; The Brown is Joy.
And then from The Brown, comes a voice. Not like any noise I have ever heard, but like every noise I have ever heart, all at once. My body responds without my mind willing it to. It turns of its own volition, toward the voice and moves toward it. My eyes strain, for in that voice was a call to look, and of course I must do just that. My body is full of eyes, it seems, all of them, looking, looking. I will know when I see what I am looking for. My ears were made to hear this sound and I have been, without knowing, straining to hear this voice all my life. Now, suddenly, it is close. It’s so close I can almost touch it, taste it and hold it.
And then it is here….right here. It was there all along, I realize, but my ears were not ready until this moment. My eyes didn't know how to see until this moment. They dance: here is what they were made to see. A feeling of deep knowing overtakes me, temporarily banishing all other thoughts and I can not help but weep with the emotion of it. Through my tears, I see the source of that voice. I see The Brown. I know what it is, and I remember that this is not the first time my eyes have seen this sight, after all. It was this memory, almost forgotten, that drove me on for a lifetime. And it has all been leading up to this….
Oh! I realize all of life was a wall with little cracks through which, every once in awhile, I could see bits of this. I remember seeing those cracks in the beauty of a sunset on Nissan Island, reflected in the pink, purple and orange waves. I saw a corner of this in the face of my newborn sister as she took her first breath. I saw a speck of it in a friend’s artwork, the colors and shapes mixing and meeting in a way that touched something deep inside of me.
I see Her.
The voice was Her voice. The Brown was her eyes - deep, dark eyes. Each second, more of her comes into focus. Everything makes sense, fits perfectly, and seems so achingly, beautifully familiar, more familiar than my own body.
My eyes drink in this beauty, but they can't keep up. My eyes seem to see in slower motion than the beauty is growing. Every nerve in my body responds to Her, moves toward her Brown, breathes Her in and is breathed in by Her. I realize that I am becoming lost in her at the same time that I am becoming more real, more solid, more alive than I have ever been.
Then I look deeper into the eyes. This is The Brown I saw first. This is what pulled me as surely as a magnet. This is what has always been pulling me. I gaze deeply, unblinking, into a pool of something both strange and familiar. Where have I seen those eyes before? I can not remember, but I know that I have seen these eyes, as surely as I know this is the first time I have seen them. This is not a contradiction. Both are somehow equally true, equally real.
I realize that she is looking at me. I relax, burn and become in her gaze. This is what I have always longed for: to be looked full in the face and to feel that I am understood completely, not loved in spite of that understanding, but because of it.
The Brown is love. Just as this Brown is different but truer than any brown I have known, so this love I see, feel, and know, coming from her eyes is different and true. I feel it settling into me, but it feels like a new feeling. As if I've gained a seventh sense.
I know even as I feel this love that without it I would never be happy or content again, yet I find within myself no fear at all. I have never known a love without fear. Love and fear are two sides of the same coin in my world. To love is to risk losing, to risk being betrayed, hurt, rejected and left behind. But these things are impossible to feel as she gazes at me, love in her eyes. I look for the familiar tell-tale signs of anxiety and suspicion in my heart and mind but they are nowhere inside of me. I am full of love and it is overflowing. I am so full. There is no room for fear.
She opens her mouth to speak and my entire body listens. My whole being becomes an ear, taking in this sound. It is a voice I know, that I have always known, I realize with surprise. From deep within me bubbles up a response that I can’t hold back, can’t not say. It erupts form me involuntarily.
“Mother…” I sob.
Another word wells up inside of me and explodes from my moth, from every pore in my body.
“Shaddaim,” I hear myself say.
And then what I have been longing for all along, but didn’t know to ask for or even want….what I have been hungering and thirsting for since my first breath in this world... fills my mouth, my heart and every part of me, utterly and completely.
It is flesh: soft, warm flesh and from it comes a taste that transcends any and all tastes I have tasted before. It is how truth tastes, I realize. How joy tastes. How pleasure tastes. How completeness and fulfillment taste. When I was hungry, I was hungry for this. When I was thirsty, I was thirsty for this. When I felt there was something I desired…something more…but couldn’t pinpoint what, it was this.
This is the milk I was made to drink and I drink deeply.