The incessant mumblings of can’t and won’t will always win if I let them hold sway in the senate of my head. But I know better now after fifty years than to recognize them at all. So there must be something I don’t want to know, something I refuse to see. Milton says:
“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.”
I know this too because I traced Dante’s steps and forged my own hellish rings with the power of a reckless imagination, a creative gift that I choose now to spin my sugar floss into a more persistent, albeit sometimes elusive, heaven of my understanding.
We are what we think and we can’t learn what we don’t want to know. If I could travel back through time and visit my boyhood self I might insist that he hear and understand this. We make our own reality.
When I met Stu – a barefoot, weathered, nomad-hippie with a twinkle in his eye – I sat, and I shrunk, and I listened, and I was recognized and I was loved. And all barriers fell, and the world around us receded, and we sat naked in our clothes speaking to the boys that we were from the men that we are. And in those moments beneath a copse of redwoods, two veritable strangers recognized the holiness in each other and we shared the only thing in this known world that is real – love.
Being alive means nothing else. It is not a state of body. Air and water does not make us alive, they only allow us to perceive each other, and ourselves, in physical form. Love is life and love is eternal so life is eternal and there is no death. And every time I recognize you as me I learn this again as if for the very first time and wonder, when will it persist? When will it stick? When I cease to listen to any voice but yours.