Saturday, November 22, 2008

Portrait of The Beloved


This photograph was taken by my wife. An unwitting self-portrait.


Perhaps unwitting.


She is a deep soul. Sometimes I see us as an island in the middle of the sea. I am the island, with a big, green, jungle-covered mountain, dramatic waterfalls, palm trees waving and clattering in the breeze, everything visible, demanding attention. And she the dark sea. Sure, there's plenty of drama on the surface, all those waves crashing on the shore, rolling across the vast emptiness toward some distant, unknowable land. Tempests and waterspouts and raging weathers. And bestilled lagoons of warm turquoise waters, filled with the flashing jewels of tropical fishes and coral reefs. Changeable and vast, life-giving and pitiless.

But great depths that are known only to her.


I am undone by her daily. I mean, she's just a regular human being, just like the rest of us. She can't fly or spout fire or teleport. But she provides all that I crave. Love and strength and steadiness of heart. Laughter in abundance. Quiet, the most quiet, fierce determination to proceed. Damn the cost. She would walk across a mine field as if she were taking a stroll along the beach.

You can't control her. You're not the boss of her.

And how she loves. And how we are bound together. We have stitched up each other's wounds so many times that we've sewn ourselves together.



I like her pretty bad.


My wish for you today is that you have someone like this for yourself. I know that some of you do. Also, some of you think that you don't, that you lack this kind of love. But I would then give you the same assignment I give myself, and that is to be that kind of lover of your own self. Find the wildness to love in the depths of your great, dark sea. Give of yourself to yourself the same compassion and tenderness you seek from your most desired imaginary lover. Fall in love with yourself and love yourself fiercely, with great devotion.

Sweep yourself off your feet.


Namaste, motherfuckers.



Blogger LJCohen said...


This is most true. Most important. Maybe the most important thing there is.

Loving and being beloved. My big, hulking 15 year old son hugged me this morning. For no reason and for all reasons. It was just a hug, for him, probably not even something he pays attention to. But for me? It is the world in that moment. Knowing that love flows between us, that we are separate and also connected. He is growing and moving into his own life, yet he keeps returning to touch base with me, with his father.

I feel blessed beyond measure by this love. I do not own it or control it, it just exists in the coffee my husband makes for me on a cold morning or the way my 12 year old son will slip his hand in mine when we walk the dog. The way both boys are so fiercely gentle with the dog and so rough and tumble with each other.

Undone is such a true word to describe this feeling. Undone, but also knitted together.

Namaste, right back at you.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is where i come to read about love.

quite frankly.

11:17 AM  
Blogger ButtonHole said...

That looks like Frida Kahlo.

9:55 AM  

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