Making Love With Life In the Face of Death
I am in the midst of a great dying. A dying to the way I thought, was taught, I would be held by this world. The way I imagined my children would be held in this world. And in this place there is so little that goes unquestioned. In this place, so much needs to be remembered. In this place, making love is the most critical practice.
Several weeks ago, one night, in the wake of my oldest son finding his way back into a deeper more intimate and dangerous relationship with heroin, this practice looked like being held, loved, cracked open, witnessed and pushed to the far end of ecstasy by a man whose purpose was to assist me to do, exactly and only, that. Delivered by a dear sister to my bed, the way old-world women and men do, this man’s purpose was simply to remind me that my life, Life itself, was anything but over: that I may be strong, but I’m not so strong: that Life itself continues to thrive, to pulse, to hum, to insist on itself. He asked me, “are you sure, are you certain this is what you want right now, on this night? I can just hold you here, and you could cry deeply.” There was not a moment’s hesitation in me. “I need to remember the other conversation. I need to celebrate Life alive in and all around me. I need to offer myself to Life. If I’m to stand for anything I need to attend to this now.”
While my son slept in the next room, coming down into his own hell of withdrawal, I committed to remembering what the other end of this thing of living, of Life, feels like, the part of the story that does not know anything other than wildness, surrender, the largest capacity. They are simply two ends of the same relationship. The divine spectrum of Life and Death. Constantly circling onto itself. There is no end and no beginning. Like masculine and feminine, polar opposites yet two inextricable parts of the One.
I found myself voracious here. If my son was not going to choose Life then let me choose it for him, for all of us. Let me remember for all of us what it looks to say “YES” to beauty, to unfolding creation, to great heaving rib-cage wrenching sobbing, to deep-womb orgasms, from the very place this young man gestated himself into being, dreaming a different dream than the nightmare that has him. Pulsations from the universe of possibility that can no longer hold him in his own personal passage through Hell. Nothing to prove. Nothing to attend to other than my truth and this man’s palpable reverence and love. All right here. Two human bodies responding to something that drives us in an original primal way. Yes. Saying yes. Over and over. He slows down. I do not let him. We start again. I am relentless. ‘Do not stop. Please, do not stop.’ I want to imagine this force is big enough to sweep us all into its gravitational pull. Even if my son is determined to do otherwise. Every part of me needs more. This man takes me in his arms and slows me down. ‘Pay attention’.....”look at me here.....breath....stay in this feeling”........I remember. ‘Right’. There is the mother of me. She is desperate. Then....there is the Soul Guide of me. She simply rides this experience, paying attention to what wants...no, needs.......to happen all around her. “Thank you.....” Mouths finding each other in gratitude. Breath finding itself in unison. Wisdom in every wave of motion. Something larger moving us. “Thank you....Thank you....”
There is only Life. Whether my son chooses his life, Life will go on undaunted. The places I find, at the hands of this adept and generous man, the places of my own depth and bottomlessness, are merely one end of the universe of possibilities. Nothing personal. But attending here, paying attention here, participating here, is as important as anything else we could do in these moments of such a great tormenting unknown as a child’s possible death. Believe me. Please do not stop living and loving yourselves and each other, simply because someone you love might be choosing something else. In fact, in this place it is all the more important that we absolutely choose to live. Choose to love. Choose to make love. Come alive. Stay alive. Celebrate aliveness. Generate. Pray to the thing that brought you here though your voice may be hoarse from screaming at the night sky. Pray to the thing that keeps you here. It is the first – and will be the last – impulse of this impossible extravagant experiment. The only wisdom. We orphans can learn this wisdom. We must learn this wisdom.
The next morning, on the land with the elkhound, comes the other part of my offering, my attending. My own continuous awe for the beauty of this impossible extravagant experiment alive in me, I find myself speechless and breathless in a similar process as the last night. There are not words to convey what happens here. My body still alive and attuned from the process of love making to Life, I am alive with my own love for this time. All of it. I understand, however heartbreaking, the fact of it all. We are stewards of Life. Nothing is personal. Everything matters. Make love as if everything matters.