Just Begin…

A week before Christmas, I heard Canadian singer/songwriter Jann Arden perform her song, Insensitive, on television. For some reason, the song’s haunting melody stayed with me after I finished watching. Not really knowing the words, I decided to look them up on the ‘Net – and here is what I found. Perhaps you know this verse…

 How do you numb your skin
       after the warmest touch?
 How do you slow your blood
       after the body rush?
 How do you free your soul
      after you’ve found a friend?
 How do you teach your heart
      it’s a crime to fall in love again….

Oh, you probably won’t remember me,
      it’s probably ancient history
 I’m one of the chosen few
     who went ahead and fell for you
 I’m out of hope, I’m out of touch
     I fell too fast, I feel too much
 I thought that you might have
     some advice to give on how to be

The song is about a lover whose partner suddenly turns cold; whose now casual manner and embrace tell her (or him) that there’s no longer love between them. And the singer asks how to cool her own feelings, and become “insensitive”…

Something about the song kept calling me. But as I read and re-read the words, I didn’t understand; they didn’t seem to apply to me. I haven’t had that experience, I thought. I must be mistaken. It must be something else… And then I realized: I have done that to myself.

In my experiences with the Spirit, I have known that bliss, that love, that call. I’ve felt it grab me by the throat and fill my senses. Wash over me and wrap itself around my heart. Dance with its light in my mind, and then speak to me in words. It’s spoken of love so deep I could barely accept it. Of actions to take. Of new possibilities for living life in new ways, in science, in healing, in relationships, work and social change.

And yet I have also been that partner who shunned his lover. Who longed for its touch, yet ran screaming from the room when invited to look in its face. Or who backed out in the night, afraid to admit and acknowledge my love.

But tonight was different. Still feeling its call to me, I decided to listen and then write. And here’s what came forth…

Just Begin
How do I begin to speak about the way I feel? What can I say openly, honestly, about my truth, my love… without being laughed at?

Just begin…
Just begin…
And so I do.It has been so hard. So hard… to hold back all these feelings I have for you. You…. God. You… God? On no… not that. Inside I feel like a religious zealot, or fear I will be told that I sound like one. Or a foolish mystic, a silly romantic. So how do I describe the beauty I’ve seen and felt, yet struggle even to touch when in my darkest moments?I want to speak it, but don’t want to sound silly. I want to know it, but at times I can barely remember. I want to live it, but I fear not knowing enough, not being enough. So how do I come out and say it?

Just begin…
Just begin…

Those words sound so easy, but I find them so hard. A part of me is so self protected that I fear to go there, afraid to let my real self out. Then the tears well up. The feelings rush in. The desire becomes so strong… so strong. And the truth is, that IS what my insides call out to do.

And then I listen – to caution within. To the voice inside that whispers, then shouts, “Shh…. No…. Don’t do that! What will people think?!” And I step back; I hold it, myself, down, once, again.

Oh Rumi, dear friend, what did you do to dispense with your head? What did you do to cool the fears and stop the shouts and whispers? How did you so unabashedly express the Lover and the Beloved inside of you?

How did you say “No” to the voices of the world telling you to stay safe, then bare your soul before it? Did you do so just in private? Did it just not matter to you? Or did you do it after whirling with dervishes and writing before your thoughts returned to sanity?

How did you disrobe your self and dance so nakedly, so joyously, in front of all? How did you stand up, when others stoop to not be seen? How did you let through that love, when every ounce of energy inside tells us not to? For lest we be like Icarus, and go too close to our Sun, then fall.

And yet… and yet…. That is what we long for. That warmth. That heat. That heart. That rush within that speaks to us of betrothal. And that open flow of being that knows — of being loved, loving another, and being love…

Just begin.
Just begin.

And so I did…

One Response to “Just Begin…”

  1. My dear Eric,

    Ijust poured my heart out to you in response to this blog. Then I pressed, submit comment … and up came a screeen that said ‘answer the question’ but it didn’t let me… I forgot to add the numbers and my comments when into cyberspace…

    I am too tired right now to conjure up what I may have written…so suffice it to say, your words moved me deeply…deeply…deeply

    I am so happy I found you here tonight, dear Eric.

    Once again you have touched my heart.
    Rumi couldn’t have done it any better.

    blessings and love my dear friend,