Walking a tight rope between love and fear

OCEAN2
Don’t look down

Eyes kept shut

This I have to do on my own

 

I have been trying to write this for a long time, because I have been here for an even longer time

Precariously balancing on a thin wire that spans the schism between love and fear

This is where I live my life, walking…slowly…with shoulders mantled heavily with insecurities that constantly throw punches at my equilibrium

 

Beneath this tight rope, a dichotomy

One or the other- never both- no middle ground

And although I desperately want to fall to the side of love

fear is my first language, my hometown

 

I wish for width; security under foot

Because I am scared to death

Scared of plunging

 

Oh I’ve fallen before, into both fear and into love-but I never stayed long, flailing and thrashing back to this wire of ambivalence with fingers bleeding as I clutch at this damned wire and claw into the air groping for my balance atop this place I was never supposed to find

 

Some days I just don’t know what to tell my detached heart- the exhaustion that comes from compassion, the shame I feel towards the apathy

And can I become what I desire or is my fate sealed by a sphere of thick determinism

 

Vacillation worked for a while- but the truth is… time’s up -I can’t do this any more- my body is too weak to hoist itself back onto this sordid place of temporality

They say courage comes in waves; if that’s true, please tell me this isn’t what courage looks like because if it is, when the flow turns into the ebb, I’ll have nothing left

 

The next fall will be my last

I’m too weak anymore to keep my head above water

I will drown for sure…

 

But when my fingers loosen and my legs stop kicking, what will be the substance that closes around my skin and covers my head

 

Will it be the familiar feeling of fear

Fear that creeps up my spine, wraps cold fingers around my throat and sinks sharp claws into my palpable, impressionable heart

Fear that curls in-between the synapses of my mind and makes me believe in “us vs. them” and in classification, differentiation, marginalization, discrimination and second class ratings

Fear of continual waves shattering and splintering egos into tiny bits of glass-like fragility

It’s so hard to unearth love when swimming barefoot through a sea of shards

 

 

Or- when my grip gives way, will I fall beneath the cool, uncompromising Waters of Life that seep into my nose into my mouth, choking out my hollow, egocentric breath

Smothering my disorientation and incomprehension of reality- concussing me with unfaltering truth

 

Panting for oxygen

Instead inhaling THE truth that there is NOTHING I can do to fall outside of G-d’s love

The truth that there is NOTHING anyone else can do to fall outside of G-d’s love

 

Intimidatingly inclusive, reckless, wild, uncontrolled, Icarus- like, fiercely clutching at my soul until my heart beats out of my chest- LOVE

 

The love that charges my feet to run towards my enemy, stand beside them and plead to G-d for them

Illuminating, Invincible LOVE that rages loudly at evil, but is itself louder still

Love that drips with grace and breathes acceptance

Love made of truth

And if truth is not an ideal but a person, perhaps this bone and marrow- flesh and blood person will drag my body from these waves, place hands on my chest and press life into my heart and free me finally to say with unreserved conviction

 

“I CAN LOVE”

Shouting into the tormenting face of evil

“I CAN LOVE”

 

Shouting into the face of child abuse, ISIS, domestic violence, human trafficking, genocide, suicide, mental illness, lack of forgiveness, hate lying in wait for a world full of hopelessness

 

“I CAN LOVE”

 

And what would I become then-if wholly swallowed up by those perfect waters of life- if I ran towards these enemies and instead of resisting or fighting or hating or oppressing

Instead… pleading on hands and knees for them

With both arms around them insistently weeping

“Father- forgive us, for we know not what we do”

 

Shouting into the traumatic source darkness

 

“I CAN LOVE”

 

But only… only if the object of my love is greater than that of my fear, because only perfect love can drive out fear

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