Standing Down

Rotting on the vine never appealed to anyone. What gets under our skin? Gratitude does. The heart is the boss of all of us. The heart which suffers. Earth is paradise, and heaven will be too when we learn to pick up the earth and turn it right-side-up. There is a way it should be. We have gender roles. Every great man has a great woman behind him, and women are made from Adam’s rib, or so the story goes.

He will have no demanding to be seen, being rude, letting anyone dirty up the chapel, training men, introducing the alter-ego, taking keys from the elders. She will have no training women or standing down. He allows bringing herbs to the hospital room, intelligence, being beautiful and pretty, dwelling in the valley, withdrawal, being submissive, planned parenthood. She allows other people to know, being assertive, taking life, going viral, putting a timer on.

The way it should be is letting body, soul and spirit in, giving me space, being able to breathe and discern biology from AI, volition from a-volition. Life should be colorful, grey, and black and white. Everything is included, and that gets messy. The “chit” does not belong to one unique, inspired individual at the time, who feels warm, who catches a glimpse of things as they are, perfect vessels of love through and through. The “chit” belongs to all interactions, and the heart is what lets go of conceit and takes a consistent look at the house as it turns. The world is my child. My child is an orphan.

I was twenty-one, twenty-two or so when the suicide bombers starting offing themselves in in Iraq and the surrounding area. It was a really loving message to us Americans that they knew we are not as stupid as pop culture shows on tv, but killing ourselves is really questionable. I mean, what about Romeo and Juliette? Is that ethical, to kill oneself out of loneliness? What about a French kiss with a large dose of something, since the body sometimes holds on? I thought I wasn’t good enough. I am sorry.

I was eighteen when I had my first out of body experience and saw death everywhere, sixteen when I jumped into the stream, very superstitious before that, and four years old when I first saw the sun in broad day light, when my mom was trying to force me to take a nap. It’s raining open eyes, and some of us cannot close them anymore, for fear of the blackness and the neon streamers. Islam builds temples with lovely philosophy behind them, leaving open room for only light, surrounded by high walls and ceilings carved with plant, geometry and scriptural motifs, wandering halls and chapels with floor after floor of tile. “Vedana” knows the feeling of battle as well a peace. I will not believe you, nor steal you. You do have the power to do that. So do. I know my people, and I regret my mistakes.

Maybe my mom was not forcing me to nap. Perhaps she wanted me to just be quiet and watch, which is all I really want, though I never truly knew that. This is poetry. Wilting flowers.

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