Wednesday, September 1, 2010
conversations with abraham
i have a tendency for falling in love with people everywhere i go. it's a condition i simply cannot shake. yesterday at the big bear cafe, abraham was no exception.
we were sitting catty-cornered at the common table that was long with deep grooves from many years of use, many mugs and plates clanking down on it.
i was drawing and he was typing. peering over his laptop with a slight grin on his face and love in his eyes, he asked me, what are you making?
--sorry, what did you say? with his soft voice and east african accent, it was hard to make out his words.
what are you making, love? it's beautiful.
--oh, thank you. a flier.
ahh... what is it for?
--an arts festival.
oh, you're an artist, yes? i nodded... what kind of art do yo do?
--writing and painting, mostly.
his brow perched up. i'm a writer, too. what do you write about?
--umm... being human, i suppose. you know... fear, trust, love. my nerves must have shown through the confidence i projected. but something in me knew that neither nerves nor confidence were important here. what about you?
he paused. yes yes... ego is the sneakiest of human struggles, he said finally, stroking his beautiful white beard in a quiet and thoughtful way. you never really rid yourself of it. you just learn how to control it. and fear is at the center of everything. i write about these things, too.
i put my pen down, took off my reading glasses, and smiled. hello, love, i thought, let us begin.
our conversation stretched on for hours with velocity and ease. at times when abraham went into longer stories i let my mind quiet and watched the widening and narrowing of his glossy eyes--the space between his barrier-breaking smile and curious furrowed brow.
i've learned through practice to let go of individualizing myself and others... to become part of the universe.
do you still have fear? i asked.
yes, but my fear does not haunt me. from the center of his chest out toward his sides, he motioned with his hands, shaking out the space, patting down the air. this was his letting go, his shaking free. i love to dance, he told me. too much, sometimes.
i knew this was true beyond words, without ever seeing it happen. dancing is freedom, and abraham seemed to know both.
there are two paths you can choose: the average path or the spiritual path. choosing the spiritual path does not land you at the ending like *that*. it takes you on a journey. he leaned back smiling, tilting his head to almost touch his shoulder, as if he saw me straighter that way. i never know where it's taking me. but i'm glad to be on it.
i understand that intellectually, i told him, followed by an exhale of honesty, but i'm still very afraid in my heart.
ah, you are young. you have many experiences waiting for you and much exploration to do. the universe will teach you many things. many lessons about impermanence and loss. my acceptance of impermanence has liberated me from fear for the most part. but like they say, if you're not an idealistic marxist in your twenties then something's wrong with you. this idealism makes it hard to accept loss. you have many experiences waiting for you. you will live to explore many ideas and truths. but right now, this is enough.
yes, abraham, i thought, right now--this is more than enough.