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Archive for August, 2007

I’ll never forget the first time I was conscious of being attracted to another woman.

I was probably about 18 or so, and had driven down for the weekend to Rutgers to visit the curious world of college life and a couple of my high school friends currently living it. We were making our way to a round of frat house parties, but had stopped at one of the student centers to hear someone’s band playing in the basement.

I can’t remember a thing about the band anymore. But I remember, vividly, sitting in the back on a wide windowsill, hugging a knee to my chest and chilling out, when I caught sight of a girl amongst the dancers. She was petite, as delicately built as a pixie, and in fact that’s what I called her in my head, the Pixie. She had on the long tiered skirt and oversized shapeless sweater of your average arty hippie college chick, and long pale cornsilk hair in an unhindered fall down her back, with Bettie Page bangs over beautiful features. She danced so unselfconsciously, swooping in circles and swishing her hair, Doc Martened feet keeping rhythm on the floor, dancing in the joyful uninhibited way children do when they don’t know anyone’s watching. (more…)

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I was contemplating topics for this week’s Love Bhakti when I came across this video. It’s one of my favorite songs ever, and in a long-ago journal entry I’d written about coming to understand it. How, when I first heard it, I thought it was just an uncommonly gorgeous love song to a specific person; how, once I’d absorbed it into my bones, I realized that I’d been wrong, that it was a song sung to Love itself, to some divine power, that it wasn’t about winning over a person at all but rather presenting oneself at Love’s door, asking to be let in.

And I knew that this particular video was my bhakti today when, at the beginning, the singer’s intro confirms what exactly the song is about.

Listen closely to the words when you watch it…she’s one of the most (nondenominationally) spiritual/soulful singers out there, in my opinion, and in this piece she is nothing less than a priestess of Love:

(video is SFW)

The secret to living in love is not hidden. Mysterious, yes, enough mystery to fill inexhaustible numbers of posts, but not hidden; it’s written everywhere.

Just offer it, and there will be more love in your existence than you could ever give away. Love the world, with wonder and courage and fierce hope; love its incomparable beauties and immense brilliance as well as its faults and frailties, hardships and broken parts, and it will love those things in you.

Just open the door to welcome it, generous and unafraid, and it will always come in. Maybe it will enter only as a stray moth, or a beggar, or a chilly breeze, but give it hospitality, and it will drop its disguise and reveal the face of god.

Don’t believe me. Do it. Choose to love– to embody love– and see where it takes you.

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Inspired again this week by something in a friend’s post, I wanted to devote this week’s Love Bhakti to the idea that, because of the interconnection of all things, loving others is a valuable act of self-love– and conversely, treating yourself lovingly is good for the world.

Many are the pop psychologists and self-help gurus who will proclaim that the best thing to do when you feel like crap about yourself is to go out and do something nice for someone else. I don’t disagree with them. I just don’t think it’s an idea that gets explained very well.

What tends to get left out, and what makes all the difference, is whether it’s an act of connection or an act of desperation. Let me explain. (more…)

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This Friday’s love bhakti was inspired by a tangent in a discussion on another friend’s journal. (Her awesome mom’s comments lent me the title of this post.) In talking about day jobs and survival, we were talking about the importance of the perspective you take towards it, and how to be happy in a job that’s not at all your great calling in life.

There is a Rumi quote that says, Let the beauty you love be what you do. I interpreted it, initially, as a “follow your bliss” kind of statement– find what it is you love, and make it your life. I still see it that way, and still value it for that wisdom and for the “permission” it seems to give, encouraging the reader to live with purpose and joy according to their heart’s delight.

But at some point I suddenly read it differently– like seeing one of those pictures where it’s either an ornate vase or the silhouettes of two people’s profiles depending how you look– and I thought that it could also be read from the other end, as it were: Look at the things you do as something beautiful, something worthy of love. (more…)

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