I’m in the midst of transformation, in between death and birth, and I’m thinking these things:
Write it – your book, your life – like the guy sings, “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.” That first line. Just ooh, just true. What’s been holding me back? I don’t know. I can’t see the gremlin that has kept this thing from becoming itself, and that’s why the gremlin is so seductive. I can’t quite see it, but I want to see it, just to be sure it’s really there, just to be sure I wasn’t making it all up, so I end up chasing it, and testing it, and imagining what it might look like. But really, there is no gremlin. The chasing, the testing, the imagining, that is the gremlin. So be free. Write it ooh and true. Relax and lean in. Lean into the earth, lean into community, lean into your relationships, lean into love, lean into God, lean into the flow, lean into who you really are, the one who flexes wings of magnificent color and wears green stars above his head like a halo.
You’ve gotten yourself this far by following a certain modality. This modality has now run its course. You are at the funeral, here in New Orleans. At the funerals here they bring out the brass bands and they play, “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and the tubas fwomp and the trumpets blang and the trombones whowng, and it’s a beautiful thing. You might cry, but it’s still a beautiful thing. It’s a celebration, my friend! It got you this far, and now you no longer need it. Let it go. And dance. You can finally dance without giving a shit. You are free. You can fall in love again.
So what’s the eulogy? What has this dead modality given you? How should it be honored? We have to honor it now, otherwise you might forget just how much you needed it. If you don’t honor it, you might think it was a mistake, or a distraction, or a dead-end. Which it wasn’t. It was a stepping stone. You couldn’t have gotten here without having been there. So, the eulogy:
I thought I had to do it all alone. It sounds dumb, but I really did, so I kept moving. I saw so much, so many different ways of being – cities, seasons, people. Traveling alone, I sampled all these different ways. I gathered information from the outside. What works? What doesn’t? And then I inured myself. Defense and protection. Will I fuck it all up? Gotta hold it all together. I kept myself from going too deep with anyone. Hiding. I became, at times, a false ascetic in a cave of illusions. I was afraid of losing it all, because somehow I knew I would, so I grasped and grasped and found myself staring at a great blankness leading nowhere. It sounds bleak, but here’s the jewel: if I hadn’t touched all these things I never would have discovered they’re unnecessary. They’re not who I am. They’re not how I want to become. The deprivation, the isolation, the striving, the little self at center, the running, running, running – I had to experience all of it to see that I don’t want any of it anymore. I don’t need it. Enough. No more. But I had to walk in order to sit. I had to make it as difficult as possible to realize that it doesn’t have to be. It can be so easy. I know this to be true. It’s what I learned last month in San Francisco. It is so easy. It is wild and free.
So now what, here in New Orleans? Let the brass band play, I suppose, and dance, dance, dance. You have arrived, at long last. Welcome home, my friend. Love has come. Let it take you where it wants.