Friday, March 14, 2008

friendship that dissolves boundaries

I ran into my friend Suzi at the gym yesterday. Suzi is one of the friends I love to write with. A few summers back, we tried to make a habit of it---Suzi would come to my back door and we'd set up our notebooks and cups of tea at my big round kitchen table and we'd write. Just sitting beside each other, pens scratching furiously. Then we'd read our work out loud. And then we'd write again--and the work, this time, would be so rich and so full that sometimes, I reached a state of flow, of joy that filled me to the brim.

There is something in Suzi and in her work that gives me permission--to abandon boundaries, to break into forbidden boxes, to wield my pen like a dance partner, to spin words into wooly skeins and weave worlds; to shatter into pieces of gold.

How can I explain what happens--windows and doors are thrown open, birds fly in, zig zagging through the rooms; when they swoop out, all of my furniture has been rearranged. When I write with Suzi it feels as if my molecules are being reorganized.

I have several friend like this--and you know who you are--the friends who leap right over the usual "How do you dos" to soul level. Almost always, our encounters feel arranged--orchestrated. Almost always, each of us walks away after one of these meetings enriched and full.

Yesterday, as Suzi and I talked, the gym with its pounding music and hundred other people disappeared. There was no gym--in fact, my memory tells me we stood in silent white space. Though I couldn't report the details of our conversation, I can remember the things that flashed brightest, the things that felt like "keys" brought to help unlock our questions. Later, Suzi said she noticed a few things like that, too.

Here is one: Fire (like melting) burns away forms. Without the forms we are left with what is unburnable, the only essential there is, love. When we have love, we have everything. This is why the Buddha is smiling. This is the awakening we are reaching for when we ask God, "Transform my life." This is the aftermath of the storm, of the melting down of our leaden attachments so that they can reveal the gold of the essential self.

We wake up and find that we've been dreaming. We keep our eyes open and let the dream unfold without fear.

What really matters is the love, not the lover; the famliy, not the house; the soul, not the body; the experience, not the goal; the journey, not the arrival. All of the avatars have taught this: All you need is love. Love is all there is. All is one.

We are eternal energetic beings living an experience of materialism for a time. When the material forms (body, personality, "lifetime") dissolve, there is still the essential self--and it is made of love.

All of that at the gym. I learn so much from these soul friends. I am so grateful when they (you) show up in my life--on the exercise mats at the gym, at my back door, in a cafe, workshops, or sidewalk, at work, in a dream.

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