Monday, October 10, 2011

There Is A

The Weary Monk
"There is a love like a small lamp, which goes out when the oil is consumed; or like a stream, which dries up when it doesn't rain. But there is a love that is like a mighty spring gushing up out of the earth; it keeps flowing forever, and is inexhaustible."

- Isaac of Nineveh

* * *

Isaac The Syrian, Isaac of Nineveh lived until study and his asceticism induced blindness and his weary bones, like the small lamp he wrote about, gave out. He refused to write about the controversies of his time, the theology, the politics of his time and instead lived as a hermit writing and writing and writing about an inexhaustible stream of which politics and theology mattered not.

Would all the saints were so.

* * *

The politics of our time, this time, has become a theology filled with true believers and heretics and councils to decide how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It is feverish and entirely out of balance, lacking any sense of proportion, justice, equity, or comity. I rage and rail among those close to me about it, but not here and I never will. Here's why: it's a pig fuck that keeps you distracted from attending to your work; a cluster fuck of lamps going out and streams running dry. There's no life in it.

And if you (and I) are going to unfuck our lives then we need to focus on life, not theology; life, not politics; our work instead of being someone else's pawns.

* * *

The shelf life of politics is about that of a household fly. And by politics I mean anything that is external - any arrangement, any organized prerogatives, any influence that is not self born, self described, self administered. Some politics is necessary and inevitable, but to elevate it to a passionate hatred of all who do not think or act or look like you do is to fuck yourself and those you oppose. Remember, things change. Politics and politicians come and go like lamps using up their oil, like streams running dry from a lack of rain. Clinging to these things, like guns and religion, is to mistake the puddle for the stream, the stream for a river, the river for the sea.

To unfuck yourself you have to find the inexhaustible waters inside of yourself. My friend Isaac names these waters as love, inexhaustible love, a love outside of time and politics and theology.

I'm good with that.

* * *

David Grey sang about This Year's Love, a weary plea for this love, the love in this moment to last. Who hasn't felt that sense of love never taking hold, taking root, of too many possible loves fading into regret and the ache of what could have been if only...  It is that "if only" that fucks you because you are looking outside of yourself for the thing you already possess - ancient and inexhaustible. You cannot cause another to love you. It never lasts because it is all a manipulation, a personal politics that exhausts itself. It is a sputtering lamp. You can however tap into the well spring of love that walks around inside you, going where you go, expressing itself when you allow it some breathing room. This is what will allow you to walk in this time, your time, tending to your immediate needs, a member of this time and place and still not be tempest tossed by it.

This is how Isaac of Nineveh still lives: He refused to write about the controversies of his time, the theology, the politics of his time and instead lived as a hermit writing and writing and writing about an inexhaustible stream of which politics and theology mattered not.

When you tie yourself to the politics of the moment (and all politics is not only local, but also momentary) you remain tied to that moment and when things change - as they will, as they must - the stream you've been floating down dries up.

Before you can unfuck the world you have to unfuck yourself. Before you can be loved by another, you must love yourself first. Same thing. There's no way around it, but there is a way through it: on the waters that forever flow through you.

* * *

O, Love, that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee.
 
Damne, I am tired, me!

__________

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