Thursday, December 10, 2009

As She Touches Me

Vinisha pointed something out. If I may paraphrase it, “Is there no solitary path?”

I think I will sit with this for a few days. I know that what has moved me most are the relationships that have engaged me, and I believe that is the spiritual walk of most of us, in and through intimacy with family, friends, even strangers. I also know as I wrote not long ago that the great price of being self taught is a too heavy passage through the material, that the burden of the self taught is very heavy. It is too much responsibility. Yet I also know that God meets us right where we are at. That means a solitary call comes to some of us. There is no question of that. I think that is all I shall say, though I should add this: some of the most erotic love poems to God come from solitary contemplatives. That is a fact. Vinisha, remind me in a while. I am letting it sink down now into the deep of me. What I mean is, Vinisha, that I took your question to mean a practice of some kind not in the monastic setting or in vows. That is the direct answer of course. There are monastic orders designed to accommodate a solitary path.

As She Touches Me

She contains power
collected from the craggy
outcrops, from the cones
of the northern trees,
from the cries of the osprey
building atop poles
set by men for them
though men thought for their own use.

She gives of that force
let out carefully in small
measure, gentle, sweet
as she touches me
in the sore spots and they melt
lost, fallen in love.

March 5, 2009 10:47 AM


  1. What a beautiful post. It's so refreshing to read this kind of expression of spiritual intimacy. I think I remember your saying that you had been through a 12-step program. I wonder if the most connected people to source are those who fight demons.

    The self-taught person may have a long road, but I am so wary of gurus. I like my best friend, solitude.

  2. Kass, I have never followed a guru. One would have to arrive organically out of the normal twists and turns of my life. I had a spiritual mentor, but that's way different. I never agreed with his spiritual walk directly. We agreed on one form of spiritual practice which was so rare for me to find, so surprising, that the tension in the rest was worth it. We raised each other in this way, but I would go home afterwards, muttering, muttering. I would complain to my wife. She never thought as highly of him than I did. He was my best friend, now passed of a form of Parkinson's a few years ago. We had grown distant for many years.

    I am a member of a AA, active daily. I have been sober for 26 years, will celebrate 27 next February. I'm a newcomer around here, chasing after a guy who will celebrate 50 years that same month, a couple days earlier, and my original sponsor, one of them, in AA who is 33 years sober now and still attends meetings regularly. I know where my other sponsor is too, living as a hermit in Utah or Nevada somewhere, a crazy desert rat, but still sober too. He keeps in touch with the former husband of the woman who rents my back house. She's been sober 20 some odd years, her ex somewhat less.

    We are all active daily in local AA, except the desert rat who is too far from meetings now, or he would be too. He pays for it according to reports, but stays dry.

    We all fight demons. The fight is now the right size and the demons basically powerless instead of us, but they are not gone. They require a daily vigilance. We practice, practice practice, just like keeping up a musical skill. In fact I use some of the same musical skill set staying sober.

    I respect your wariness about gurus, believe in these matters that one follows an inner light, a calling, a destiny. There is always more time in these matters because they extend indefinitely beyond birth, death, love, and enlightenment :)

  3. See, this is where i come up short, am the anxious kid at the candy counter. I see that other kid back there, against the wall, leg up, knowing he'll get candy, enough, maybe not the one he'd chose, but the right one nonetheless. And I can't help myself, press forward, like i have to pee and just know i gotta get my candy first.

    I could do solitary seeking.
    Perhaps I just haven't been called to that.

    I greatly appreciate what you do here, Christopher. You slow me down, even when i think i hafta pee.


  4. Christopher, since you wrote this poem, I have had it on my computer desktop at work, typed over the photo of a bare-limbed aspen tree. It is one of my favourites of yours.

  5. Thank you for that, dear. We are both players in a world that displays love and magic in equal parts. That is what I think. I love it that we have found a way to share the journey, even though you are far from me.

  6. Those are some really great lines. The burden of self taught is heavy but the result is out of this world. To possess knowledge unknown to many, to bask in the glory of living that knowledge, to know that is what you have to share with the rest, to know you are getting closer in the quest to make this place and moment special - it's worth it. :)

  7. At one point in my life, Vinisha, I was living with the burden of my brilliance. It was isolating me in my feelings about my life. I was somewhere around twenty at this stage of my life. I was living a desperate existence in some ways, and I felt that I was at risk in my life, might die of my isolation. There is much more that goes into the defining of this moment of misery, but one piece of it was I felt singled out, not only alone but alone and exposed, not only exposed but persecuted.

    One step in my salvation was to turn around and embrace my aloneness and my brilliance. I tested and passed for Mensa, an organization that claims to only allow geniuses as measured by a certain qualifying entry test. I thought that this might define a group to which I could belong if no other.

    What happened is that turn didn't satisfy and my search continued. I couldn't be a member even of Mensa. If God hadn't intervened with me I might actually have died of this not belonging. It is certainly what I felt like at the time, that I was close to dying.

    I don't know what this means, but your description puts me in recall of that time in my life. I am happy to hear you have found a reconciliation in the path that was killing me. Your experience signals me that my fear of dying was an illusion as I think it probably was. If I had not had the turn to life that happened to me as a life defining intervention, then some other result would have led on to another life. Here is a moment that defines destiny I think.

  8. Moment that defines destiny, I always enjoyed looking back for them. I hope your heart smiled when you did.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

Get Your Own Visitor Map!