+I am sliding out of control at 50mph on my motorcycle somewhere on the outskirts of the legendary salt flats of Bolivia, a desolate isolated area surrounded by strange unfertile dirt and salt. Distantly to my left the long line of the Andes, to my right rolling hills of dirt, white salt, and cliffs. I just hit a long hidden patch of sugar sand while driving back to the small city of Uyuni. About 50km away in our hotel in Uyuni, she waited for me, and little did I know with her silly Hello Kitty hat, that she wore the first time we met.
+It’s a strange moment when you know you will wreck and you know it’s gonna hurt. For me it is a surreal curiosity. Normally time slows, but this wreck took a long time to happen , and so it seemed like the moments were infinite. How is this going to end, well not with a plate of pancakes? Rapidly back and forth my handlebars slapped furiously like humming bird wings. Recklessly out of control I was the rollercoaster off course, the train going into the wall, the bullet shot out of a curved barrel, the plane crashing into the mountain, and I knew there is no way to stop what is coming. My intuition told me to grip the handlebars tighter, but little did I know the more I tried to control the situation the more out of control the bike became.
And this is how Love entered my life, like a long grinding uncontrollable wrestling match with only one outcome, complete and utter submission. I loved her the first time I laid eyes on her. Our eyes met somehow through the maze tourists that were climbing the long uphill stone path towards the center of the little island of Taquile. Everyone had their heads down miserably pacing upwards, but she was smiling and happy deeply taking in the beauty surrounding her. I was humoring myself while watching the group of tourists all pass by, one by one. Protected from their glances, I hid behind a small square window hidden behind the reflection of a pane of glass in one of the two tiny bodegas available on the island.
I peered through the tiny mirror to the world, smiling realizing nobody could see my amusement of the world turning in front of my eyes. She absorbed all the sights and sounds, and then within 20 feet of the store she looked up into the glass I hid behind. I was still smiling when our eyes met. I wasn’t sure if she could see me behind the glass yet, as none of the 20 or so others had, but her face instantly lit up. She wore a pair of worn-down grey addidas tennis shoes with no laces, sequenced brown and tanned cotton/wool tights with patterns of colorful red and white images of dancing stick figures, A red replica North Face jacket and her dark tanned face contrasted with the purple and white Hello Kitty wool hat that had a face on the front two tiny purple ears sticking up and purple interlaced lines lead down the front with two poofy purple balls at each end.
e entered I tried my best to control the situation, placing my desires and needs hoping to mold her into what I felt safe with. But the more I held on tightly to this newly found power the more she slipped out of control.
I realized she could see me, and although I wanted to retract my probably over joyous smile from my face I braved through the awkwardness and held it for a few moments longer until she passed out of my site. I was relieved for a moment, and for the first time in awhile I saw someone who took my breath away. I felt like a teenager again unable to have the courage to say hello. Luckily I wouldn’t have to think too long about this insecurity because she walked into the store.
+Hitting the ground hard was the reality and only solution now, and it was coming up fast. First my head then right shoulder and elbow fell down with such a velocity I was sure I had broken every bone on my right side, there seemed to be no way of getting out of this without some serious injury. I submitted my body to the red dirt. My glasses shattered and my helmet split. I began suffocating grasping for the air between the red dust splattered in the atmosphere, the unsettled aftereffects of my machine and I crash landing.
I had convinced her to stay with me and camp on the island. The next day would be one of the most memorable in my llife. On the sacred ground on the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca we were surrounded by deep pure dark blue water. The wind rippling over the surface made the lake look like a heart with it’s veins spreading out in all directions. On the top of the hill, unmolested by anything, we sat with our backs against ancient ruins
. and I received a message. Out beyond the world of goodness and evil there in silence we were happy. I received the vision, watching humming birds drinking from her heart, like two thirsty messengers tasting the true flow of Love pouring out from each heartbeat. I watched my death, realized the beauty of my bones empty and smiling as yellow flowers pushed through the sockets and surrounded my corpse. I stared into the light of a star and asked for help, to guide me through this new world I was embarking on. Can you hear me now celestial friends?
I laid down beside her, my rational brain and self preservation told me to leave. I had found a love already, and it was all around in the world. I had made a decision for the first time ever to finally accept what was coming. Love had arrived and the ride was going to be tough ad I knew it.
She asked me what Love was like. And I related to our recent experience. Much like entering the ocean with a small boat in rough seas. Once you’ve made the decision to leave port there is no turning back. There are no lifejackets, there is no safety, you must accept and suffer what will come. If the boat overturns you
will not swim to shore alone but would sink along with your lover to sink to the bottom of the sea . It doesn’t matter if the other wouldn’t reciprocate this in you, for Love is mysterious. The hope that you can reach paradise with Love is what put you on this creaky ship anyways. are always changing. Happiness is not a constant state. Even as I write this moment by moment. There is no stopping this.
+I am in shock now, but I’ve been here before, it’s not the first motorcycle accident I’ve had. A 4x4 truck full of tourists seeking an adventure to the backcountry of Bolivia stop, get out and help me pull the moto off my semi-trapped leg. I stand and realize there is no way to determine the damage until my mind returns. I look into their faces and they are confused and scared. I could see they were wondering what the hell I was doing out here in the middle of nowhere trapped under a motorcycle.
Similar to my crushing fall on hard ground, I cant breath now, but not because of physical pain, but from lack of acceptance of my heart. . How am I to hold our relationship together and keep myself? The pain from her past spilled out in everything I did. Her trouble with the world was now my task to unravel for her. My imperfections were amplified, and my inaction was a rejection from her childhood without Love. My patience although huge, and my heart large were constantly at war with her needs. She gained energy from fighting with me, perhaps a tactic needed before to save her. I couldn’t remember a day when we had not fought. Now was a time of peace in our lives, but this was a river I could not force her to drink from. Happiness and acceptance were ideas too transparent to hold onto. Every day I felt she was just on the verge, the verge of acceptance, the verge of tranquility, to see the world through a warmer tone. And my past too conflicted with my own understanding of the situation.
There is a Sufi poem called The Conference of Birds. In this story the birds must cross seven valleys in order to find the Simorgh who they wish to be their king. The Valleys are Talab (Yearning), Eshq (Love), Marifat (Gnosis), Istighnah (Detachment), Tawheed (Unity of God), Hayrat (Bewilderment) and, finally, Fuqur and Fana (Selflessness and Oblivion in God). These represent the stations that a Sufi or any individual must pass through to realize the true nature of God.
Am I to fall out from the race with this Love? I am battling Love and desire seeing my perspective change. Old friends whom I had forgotten long ago reappeared. They whisper, steal, cheat, and kill for this. How am I to balance my Love for her and my faith in a reality that I have such a deep belief in? Is the path to complete transformation only met through a life of singularity. How am I to do this?
I believe this existence is the only one we are going to have, this life this energy, these breaths that I take, this Love I feel, this suffering that consumes me, it is in this life. I don’t preoccupy myself with what happens next, and I don’t try to better myself for a promise of an eternal reward. There is some opportunity. A way to eliminate the wrongs in my life but the “Karma” of family which through genetic engineering has passed onto me. I transverse through the world and now stand at a precipice of a time to act I don’t want to fall short of the goal. I’m tired of missing the easy penalty, to corner the 8 ball on the table, to choke. The alternative to being wrong, well it is not a world I want to be in any longer.
The decisions I make to be Just have not always been easy for me. What evils do we commit for our lovers, our friends, our children, and our family. How much longer will our desires rule us, how much longer am I to be a slave to this desire. I see it now, failing, watching an infomercial, what and how can I prove this. I want to be happy, but at what cost.
The earth turned to bring us closer, it spun on itself and within us, and finally joined us together in this dream as written in the Symposium. Nights passed by, snowfalls and solstices; time passed in minutes and millennia. An ox cart that was on its way to Nineveh arrived in Nebraska. A rooster was singing some distance from the world, in one of the thousand pre-lives of our fathers. The earth was spinning with its music carrying us on board; it didn’t stop turning a single moment as if so much love, so much that’s miraculous was only an adagio written long ago in the Symposium’s score.
- Eugenio Montejo
Headed for the wreck, and not the legend of this legend. It wont be easy, We first met our eyes locked. How many times had this happened before? A dream within many dreams, I can’t escape this illusion. After the damage that was done, what prize will prevail? The thing itself, Love, and not the myth. Once I felt I had the opportunity to see the full glory of God. Luckily barely breathing and heart racing I chose not to understand. And this path I’ve stumbled upon, creasing and stitching the lines of my life
has brought me right here right now.
Was it just the right timing? You mountain range of cut off limbs I let you into my heart. You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. The bright rays of your sun gaze opened my heart like the uncurling spines of a caterpillar.