What Is a Man?

Picture credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Da_Vinci%27s_Anatomical_Man.jpg
Picture credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/ce/Da_Vinci%27s_Anatomical_Man.jpg

I don’t pretend to

understand

the intricate complexities of

who and

what I really am –

 

an ego housed in a

body it’s true, with

hopes and dreams,

fears and doubts,

desires…

 

to be or have or do

something

more.

 

A history,

memories…

 

some of pain and suffering,

some of light and joy.

 

And that’s not all…

 

I’m the rich inheritor of a long

lineage of DNA that

bespoke who I have

become –

 

the kink in my hair,

my slender wrists and ankles,

the veins breaking through my skin –

 

gifts

given to me

by my ancestors.

 

And surely it is also them I

have to thank for the

less visible legacies of

intellect and

character.

 

And I am, too, the

product of my

environment –

 

a love of books and learning

instilled when young

well-worn companions to this day.

 

Now an anomalous

blend of

East and West after

half a lifetime spent

in a home away from

home.

 

And yet…

 

None of this even begins to

penetrate the ambiguities,

barely grazes the surface of my

depths.

 

I’m so much more.

 

I’m the compassionate heart;

the perceptive mind;

the determined will;

the loving soul;

the blood that runs through veins;

the prana that enlivens;

the eyes that see;

the ears that hear;

the hands that touch and comfort and hold.

 

Hold onto what?

 

Hold onto whatsoever

I

deem

important.

 

And now that I think of it,

it’s not just the hands that hold…

 

My mind – conscious and not – holds on to

concepts,

beliefs,

outlived emotions,

all the things I’ve been told,

all the things I’ve read and

seen and heard…

 

All the things I’ve thought I am.

 

Until awakened

questioning – yes;

but not contemplating if a

thought-form was conducive to

wholeness or not…,

 

holding on to

so many that

weren’t.

 

And still I love this mind of mine,

this deep unfathomable enigma…

 

for even as it holds fast to

limited notions of who and

what I am,

it’s all the time

grasping

for the truth

beyond.

 

Broaching the subject and the

boundaries of intellectual

understanding I would have to say

from lived experience that it’s

when we let go of everything –

break through our preconceptions –

that we come

closest to the

 

truth.

 

And what do

I

find

 

when I allow myself to

look and really see,

to perceive with the

heart

as well as the

mind?

 

To look with the

eyes of the

soul?

 

That I’m everything and

nothing

all at once…

 

a divine spark of

life

in human form…

 

an entity made of the same

cosmic building blocks as the

stars in the sky,

the fish in the rivers,

the leaves that rustle in the wind…

 

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

 

Everything – for the

Universe

is contained

within my depths.

 

Nothing – for there is no

“me,”

only the

breath of life

that flows through

all.

 

I am

Life

Love

Birth

Rebirth

Change

Regeneration

Dying

Death…

 

An impermanent

Infinite

breath of

Life.

 

What are we

really

when the flesh is

burned away to

reveal

charred and

brittle bones

and all we are left with is

Truth?

 

That answer will come in its own time, but

for now…

 

I love the

breath of life

that

breathes through me

graces me my days.

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Dancing In The Night

Icarus, Henri Matisse.

Typhoon night.

 

But not a drop of rain.

 

Typhoon Nangka passed us by

headed for western shores,

trailing in its wake

a hot and humid night –

the kind that gets in your

nose and under your

skin…

 

awakens sensation.

 

I step into the night

and the viscous heat

scoops me into

its stronghold, gathers me

in its embrace.

 

The wind – a warm

caress – tangles my

hair and strokes the

skin on my arms. It’s

intensity evokes a

response in me and

lifeblood

rises:

 

I am a child again

walking the beach with the

wind in my hair, branded by

sea-salt as its kin.

 

A deep sense of

freedom arises,

a heightened awareness.

 

I feel I know myself as

what I am:

 

a child of the elements,

 

nature in me and

I in it,

one with the Universe,

made of earth, water, wind and

fire – one with life itself.

 

Lifeblood moves

in me, awakens the

urge to stir my

limbs, to dance.

 

Under the dark starless

night I reach a tentative

arm skywards,

watching it unfold – a

graceful curve that

carves through the

stillness of night.

 

In delightful release the rest

of my body takes

possession of the

age-old song.

 

My spine extends,

my neck elongating as

my body moves to

rhythms

all its own.

 

What pleasure to know the

strength

and reach of me,

to let my body

explore itself in space, to

sing the

song its known

since before time was

born.

 

As I dance

slowly

beneath the

inky blue-black

sky, I am

returned

to myself.

 

Rooted in my

physicality I know the

visceral sensual being

I am.

 

Communing with the

Universe through the

lexicon of dance

I traverse oceans of

eternity;

know the

infinite being

I am.

 

Poised on this shoreline

I know myself to be

a child of creation,

made of earth, water, wind and

fire – spirit and

body combined, one with life itself.

the path unraveled before me

Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Goodman.
Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Goodman.

The whole world is home –

right where I find myself is

right where I belong.