Falling is Like This…
“Fear is the natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.”
– Pema Chodron
When you gamble with your heart, you gamble with your mind. And, when you gamble with either of those factories of light, you gamble with the fabric of your entire life.
I am not threatened by the idea that our reason is slave to the passions. Not usually. Standing outside of this concept and talking about it makes all the rational sense in the world to me. Outside of this concept actually happening in my life and, I am secure.
But begin to fall for a girl and those passions will rise up in a near-revolt to their rational suppressors. And while you will march behind these deafening passions, because you have no choice in this dictatorship in which you were born into – you will feel the fear because you are unsteady; because the ground beneath you is thunderous and shaking.
Falling implies a descent. Flying implies an ascent. Sometimes both can feel effortless.
Either way: I am falling for a girl. I am flying for a girl.
It is here, in how I fly and fall and stutter, that you will find the articulation of everything I have ever learned. In everything I do in front of her, I am trying to say: This may not be graceful. I do not completely know how to fly. I am learning as I go…
These are those vignettes, the sum total of the knowledge of my heart.
I haven’t seen straight for weeks now on account of this glorious rapture. On account of her. And while this could be a catalyst for my mind to say that this new and profound bundle of impressions and emotions may be false, or mistaken – I do not believe this to be true. Because my heart speaks clearly.
For this, I do not need my eyes.
Because it is true that I have seen clearly. I have seen shockingly clearly, one thing and primarily one thing only: this girl. And this girl may be the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
I am not scared of this. I am not scared of the temporary blindness and the sharp burning in my chest as though I am having a heart attack. Because if this is a heart attack, then this is everything that I have ever wanted.
On the same hand: I am terrified.
For weeks now I have been spinning. Everything has been musical. And while I have been occupied by life and duty and ambition, I am certain:
I am falling for a girl. The girl.
Now, these Ferris wheel days no longer have names, just a simple demarcation: those with her. Those without.
I am strong and unafraid as to whether I may be progressing into some cross-eyed state or moreover, morphing into something new altogether. Whatever this is, I tell myself, I hope that it is not temporary.
Because what I do know is that, this is different. I think: This is big.
I am strong. I am scared. I am healthy. I am completely nuts. I am completely not. I am nervous. I am present. I am not. I am in some alternate, watery world. I am me. I am this moment. I am now.
Sometimes: When I look at her, when I think of her – my eyes burn and fill with fluid. Not water. Not tears. But fluid from my heart.
I think that I am having a heart attack.
When I come to the bed, our first shared bed, she is already in it. She is laying on her side and as I slip in next to her, I find that she is naked.
Immediately, as I pick up the sheets and slide under them, my chest is heavy and I feel like I am holding my breath. Everything, absolutely everything feels fluid and as though I am now underwater.
I take a long dive toward her and press my naked torso into her.
This is the first time.
I touch the girl’s skin. Her shoulder. Her arm. Her spine.
Inhale. I rise to the surface and like a whale, gulp-in all the oxygenated life around me.
With my finger I trace her lines and curves.
This is the first time.
In this silent room, where I can only hear two hearts breathing in our shared forcefield, I have uninterrupted access to her. To everything.
Here there is no clothing. No tables. No center consoles or desks or duty.
I smile coyly, press myself again into her and exhale.
Our hearts talk to our brains.
Up until recently, science has one-sidedly concluded that the mind-heart relationship is ruled by the brain. However, research now says that the heart also has lasting and profound affects on the mind neurologically, biophysically, biochemically and energetically.
The heart produces the largest rhythmic electromagnetic field of any organ in the human body. The heart’s magnetic field is about 5,000 times greater than the brain’s. This field can be detected several feet away from our bodies. As well, the heart’s electrical field is about 60 times greater than the electrical activity generated by the brain.
These cardiac fields are modulated by emotional states and these fields affect how we cognate; how we act and react to a situation. And while we are still as uncertain about all of this as I am nervous – this might be the grand equation, the one we’ve always assumed: In our heart is love. Our heart is our Assayer and our mouthpiece for love.
Just as you should listen to your gut, you should also spend more time listening to your heart.
I am sitting in front of her and I want to cross my legs, but I fear that I will fall over. So, I err on the side of caution: I keep myself symmetrically balanced with two legs holding up my weight. Holding up all of this.
For a long second, I wonder if I am strong enough. If I am big enough to hold all that she has. If I am the kind of cosmic man that she deserves and wants.
Breathing this all in and I think that, in front of her I am bigger than I once was. I am stronger. I am the kind of being that I want to be, perfect in my vulnerabilities and clumsy in my virtues.
She is sparkling and I can barely breathe when I speak, so I try to keep my sentences short. My chest is warm and the wine that whets my words fires my whole body up to a near boil. And I feel something resonating that makes me feel light of head and heart and foot and breath.
In front of her I unlearn what I’ve learned. In front of her I am as mature and immature as that little boy that I once was, and now again, am.
I do not know any different, but in front of me she says she is brave. She is unabashed about her history and where she has stumbled. She says that she doesn’t just share these things with anybody. As I listen to her I am nothing but light, beaming.
In-between her songs, I think: vulnerability is like gambling.
“If you do not want me, starving and hysterical – then have me not at all…”
For weeks now I have been in a freefall. And in this feathery fall I am in a constant state of trying to locate the melody and moreover: the reason. The equation that says, indeed, my mathematics are adept and correct. The equation that says, indeed, your path does lead to her. All of the days prior and you have been on the right path all along.
But I do not find this in my rational mind. I feel it in my passions.
In a moment of trepidation, my mind asks about the size and volume of the chemistry between us. In this moment she says something that makes the blood fall from my face. And for a few minutes I am certain that I am, indeed, mistaken about all of this. Weeks and weeks of some of the strongest sensations I have ever had and the conclusions I have come to have been foolish at best.
I rise from my chair and excuse myself. I cannot breathe and I only see blurs and swatches of light.
Then, she asks if she can come with me.
I am uncertain if this is a metaphor or not.
Moments are fulcrum points, and fulcrum points are moments: the hinges on which everything rests. Turns. Develops.
In my uncertainty about what she imparted to me, I am walking outside, blurry and cold and sad. She is close. I begin to speak and she clarifies her previous words, only moments before. She says exactly what I needed to hear. Silently I curse myself for needing those words – but I know that this is where my emotions are within this. My emotions, are sharp.
Then, in my supreme nervousness, and for the strangest of reasons, I open myself and let something leak out of me that I had been slightly terrified of revealing.
We stop and stand under a lamppost on a winter’s night, bundled tight. Our breath like grand exaltations, blossoming out in front of us.
And as I am revealing more of my intimate, apprehensive self, she looks me sweetly in the eyes. Our hands are clasped together in a motionless dance.
When I finish speaking, she pulls me in and it is her lips that say everything I will ever need to know – in this falling night, or any painted night subsequent. And despite my fear – of saying too much or too little, or ruining any of this precious place that we have built together – in only a couple of hours I will tell her that:
I am in love.
These are big words and I know their implications, clearly:
This is the first time in a long time.
This is the first time in a near eternity.
This is the first time.
I want what is impossible.
Irreversibly and forevermore:
I will want
this impossibility and,
any other one we ever create.
Only a week ago and I had first learned about her lips, and the power she has in saying everything to me with just them. My hands are still nervous in hers. I am still learning her touch, her gait, her melody.
In my elementary knowledge about her, I know that I am proud of the moments we are creating. I am proud of what I hear from her. I am grateful for her bravery and I want to tell her that I will not let you fall. I will hold you up. If you stand with me, I can promise that you will never hit the ground, if I have any say in it.
I am so mad for her that I have not sat still for weeks on end and I buzz and hold my arms out into the invisible night, practicing to catch her. So I know what it feels like to catch me.
And while I will write her Ode to Love, for now I am simple: I am just going to feel my way through this and learn how it feels to love with my heart first.
The sun rises the next morning and I wake from one of our very brief spells of sleep. Each time I look over and see her. There. Beside me. Each time I am impressed. Flattered. Completely heart broken and happy.
In this first night together, naked and wide open and there was not much sleeping to be had.
Words were spoken. But mostly it was her eyes, looking at me the way I’ve always wanted to be seen. It was her hands and fingers, touching me in the ways that I’ve always wanted to be touched.
She laid on top of me. Playfully. Front to back. Back to front. Front to front.
Then we rolled over and I climbed between her legs. In intoxicated disbelief I slid inside her for the second time confirming that, yes: this is happening.
This is really happening.
As we ready to leave the warmth of our room and this provenance, she, like me, dresses. And while she searches for the pieces of her wardrobe, I know where mine are and watch her for my entire, secretive time.
I do not want to leave this bed. And her. And our nakedness.
Neither does she.
While she dresses I see something that, unbeknownst to me in that moment, will interrupt the world outside of me for many hours. Maybe even days. Possibly whole lifetimes.
She is bent at the waist, and with the half-light that is coming through the blinds I see her, the girl, in her panties. This is the first time. Her body steals the life from my mine and replaces it with something instead, something that I have never before known.
This girl in her underwear in that half-light may be the sexiest, most adorable sight I have ever seen.
This is true:
I have created situations.
I have simulated lust. I have simulated love.
I have pushed myself into all of those folds, those curves. Those angles.
And then everything always came unfolded because I was nowhere near what it was that I truly wanted, or thought I was going to receive.
And then I stumbled into this. Into her.
Falling, is like flight.
Falling, is like this…
Vulnerability feels like gambling.
And sure, walking through the world as a raw nerve is frightening.
But if you conceptualize all of the cliffs around you; and if you think about where things will go wrong; and if you dwell on disaster – all of those cliffs will close in on you like a noose.
But if you think about her arms opening; and if you can feel her perfectly wet kiss and her warm body touching yours for the first time – then you will know that the reward is too great to not step forward into her embrace on a cold wintry night and struggle to find the perfect way to hold her tight.
…and just maybe – if you are lucky: You may be granted the opportunity to, in your grasp of her, never let go…