Tonight I tried my hand at a rubai—a Persian form of poetry that includes themes of carpe diem, calls to action, invitations to lovers, and so on. Here is mine:
Dive! Poseidon swears no Safety, still—
Dive to the Deep and Dark and Roar,
Lift your dead, kiss them whole,
and carry them to shore.
Right now, I feel the deep, darkness of Life. I’ve been reading Anna Karenina, and what strikes me most, so far, is Tolstoy’s pursuit of Life —what he calls “the bottomless deep”—the abyss that roars before us and asks us to immerse ourselves in its rage and mystery.
Love—mover of movers—brings me to this new edge. It’s light brings shadows, too, and some are so frightening I think I will never be able to move beyond them, but I am learning. Part of this learning is the act of diving in and following the siren’s call. All my insecurities—my jealousies, my fears of not being accepted, of not being enough, or of being too much, the frustration of not knowing what the future holds—have grown so loud that I can no longer ignore them. And I don’t want to. I want to notice them, understand them, fight with them, and (eventually) love them. This will take work and a lot of kindness and patience, but it feels good to get my hands in the dirt.
I’ve also been thinking about how life is formed in the deep and dark places: the womb, the earth, the belly, the egg. It’s in the darkness and the mud that we find life and where we find the discarded, cast-off, and cast-away parts of ourselves—those emotions, insecurities, wounds, and traumas that most need to be uncovered and embraced.
Mermaids, treasures chests, jewels, scuba divers, gardeners, fishers, precipices, cliffs, rocky shores, “Dark Night of the Soul,” silence, caves, the woods at night, primordial ooze, moles, earthworms, “muck,” “muddy,” and “mess”—all these pictures and words have made home in my imagination. The world turns to spring, to warmer weather and longer days, and I want to sink into mud puddles and ocean caverns, to jump off a cliff into the bottomless deep, to feel the discomfort of the unknown and uncertain, and to learn, especially in these places, that I am beloved.