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Fear and Pain walk with me and are my constant friends. Their honest reports concerning my plans and actions cause me to rethink what I intend to do and what actions I have taken. Without Fear I would walk on fire; I would eat glass; I would do that which I want but should not. Without Pain the signals that my mind and soul and body send me would go unheard and unheeded and I would damage myself to ruin. Without Fear and Pain I would be Icarus: I would fly too close to the sun. I would die from a lack of oxygen: I would fall mortally wounded into a sea of fire. When Fear and Pain are given too much credence I wallow in lethargy, immobility and ennui. As with all friendships I must decide when to listen and take advice and when to act in defiance of the messages sent. My Love is like Fear and Pain. She keeps me grounded so that I do not succumb to asphyxia in my peaks of glory and yet never does she pull me to the ground and cover me in stones of life robbing doubt. As Fear and Pain must be valued counselors so too is my Beloved as she anchors me in a drifting and surging ocean of life.

Ecstasy, Triumph and Exultation buoy me and drive me to ever higher deeds, thoughts and feelings. When I walk with Ecstasy Bacchus smiles and strokes my brow: “Drink deeply and leave the world of flesh for a realm without limitations.” Triumph urges me to taunt those with whom I have raced and grappled: “Shout to them of your power! Defeat them with your might!” Exultation casts forth a radiant globe that illuminates all within its sphere: “Make merry, be bright and quick and dance in the gift of Life.” These three buoyant companions make light my steps and spin my head with drink and yet for all their intoxicating enchantments have not the constancy of my Beloved as she revels and wrestles raising me skyward. Where Ecstasy, Triumph and Exultation are boisterous in their play my Love brings slow and lasting warmth to the heart that can sustain through the cold and lonely hours of the night. It is through her that I am nourished. It is by her that I am maintained.

Sadness and Melancholy remain distant companions that are always available to remind me of what is both fragile and important. Seldom do I sing with Sadness, rarely does Melancholy mesmerize me but in time of greatest need my two distant friends return to my side and point me in the direction of reflection. Sadness walked with me upon the altar when I eulogized first my Mother and then Father. Melancholy takes me by the hand when I think of lost “sisters” and “brothers,” when we mark the anniversary of those who have passed on the days of their births. Lost friends, lost youth, a body that no longer answers as quickly when called: All of these bring short visits from Sadness and Melancholy. My Love will visit with us as need arises. We four will remember what we had and cherish that we have lost. All four of us remain wary of tarrying in the home of Sadness and Melancholy. We visit, we cherish and my Love returns me to our proper home among those that are alive and vital and beckoning.

My Love is my rock and my pillar. She both grounds me and raises me skyward. My foundation and the support for my world are intertwined, they are one, they are my Beloved. Life is forever changing; the constant is the ebb and flow that hurtles us along in its path. Our craft is tested in currents and upon breakers and yet together we weather the storms and emerge from the tumult ready to put our trust in one another again and to do battle with forces that oppose us. My Love is my anchor and without her I would be lost and adrift.

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