So-called. Slept in, again. Jumped out of bed and hit a Crossfit session to the brink of nausea before standard Sabbath activities. Had attended celebrations with many delicious delicacies and desserts over the weekend, a friend invited me to her gym, an opportunity I literally jumped at - I loveth Crossfit, said friend is a studess, and I was in need. Didn't puke, didn't pass out on the bench during the following hours of Church, did take notes and meet new people, and - am going to sleep like a rock tonight.
I forfeited sleep in the name of new horizons and empires for many, many of my young adult moons. A deep debt is mine for the repaying; the sweet reaper has come to collect. I sleep now, routinely, deeply, hard. Some days I can't draw the lines between the lucidity of nights' dreamscapes and real-time moments. It's crazy beautiful awesome. Right about the time Freudian theory was turning a lens on sleep consciousness, Surrealist painter Salvador Dali utilized a technique of approaching sleep often sitting upright, key in hand, so that the moment sleep came, the key would drop and awake the artist. He would do his work on that buzz, and love it. I can relate. A Dali print hangs in my room - surrealism, that's pretty much life, right?
Fall term last year was a circus. I left academia for the year following, in part drawn to a consecrated inquiry of the meaning and modes of love, swearing I wouldn't return until I had some answers. The words of the poet Kahlil Gibran speak well to how that journey has gone/is going;
"And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course."
And that it has.
It's been harrowing. Humbling. Potentially humiliating. Love demands its price, even as a seductress, even as the light dancing just ahead on the dark and thoroughly barbed path. It will be worth its weight (or not) in both risk and reward. Jonathan Franzen wrote beautifully on the subject in the NY Times, read it here. The takeaway quote, the line that keeps reaching back at me - "...the dirt that love inevitably splatters on the mirror of our self-
regard." There's some serious dirt on this mirror, and justly so. Also said by Gibran, and to this a hearty AMEN from me -
"For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning."
I have learned often and repetitiously that I really don't know love at all, as said by the luminous Joni Mitchell. Her voice in youth had the clarity and purity of a brook, a bright silver bell; the version of the Both Sides from the seventies is charming, yet the pure weather in her vocals, the sound and feel of thirty years' wisdom and maturation conveyed in her performance of the song in 2000 is... words fail. I suggest them both, in succession. Something tells me, despite her modesty, I could sit for hours listening to miss Mitchell's findings on love and life.
Yet by now you're probably sick of my thoughts on the subject. I am. This self-imposed sabbatical indeed changed my course as well as my courses; what I'll register for in the following semesters as much as who I'll be as I travel forward from here, forever. Grateful for the words, people, philosophies and experiences that have graced my path. And I got enough, more than enough of what I went inquiring after, and so - it's time for me to go back to class, back to scholarly endeavors, weed through it all and put it to good use.
In other news, it's been another beautiful fall in the Wasatch. I re-enter into this valley after summers away in awe and appreciation for the days of ever-cooling warmth and brilliant foliage, temperatures dancing the seasonal transaction, Old Man Winter awakening from his months of slumber, ready to turn the key on skiers' surrealist dreams and paint these mountains white with powder ripe for the turn-taking...
Exhales of tenderness.
Blessings of peace.