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Scorpio season is so great for revealing what’s beneath. Lying awake in the wee hours, I noticed my own hand on my shoulder. I felt comforted, loved, by the holding of myself, and one of those odd revelations struck me. I realized that I expected to be loved less as I grow older.
I suppose that belief is not a surprise to anyone in my society, for in a sense it’s ordered along cultural lines. I am well aware that it’s a thing; the increasingly aged population in my society being isolated, perhaps living for years or decades in care facilities. Depression and feelings of uselessness. Bodily deterioration restricting activities, maybe a life that consists of mostly just staying alive. Isolation and other forms of misery tend to make us feel unloved.
However, I had never realized that, in my psyche, staring down this dysfunctional latter year sentence was underscored by a belief about how much love I would receive. I found this scenario lurking in the shadows; my life as a 4th of July rocket that had already burst into brilliant, colorful, exuberant display, now a charred spent casing spinning to ground, nothing left of my glory but the echo of a report, the impression of light on the rods of the retina.
I’ve not ever accomplished anything that would be termed glorious in the worldly sense, and so I realized that the glory was, surprisingly and indeed, a measure of how much I was loved. Certainly many of us have children in part because our children know how to love us; in fact before puberty they pretty much have no choice, and we know that, too. People have pets for the same reason, though of course such simplistic expectations do not always pan out, for Life has its own reasons. Point is, we trust that they will love us unconditionally, and so we believe. And in that state of belief we are ready to receive.
I’m also not a person who consciously measures how much I am loved, though obviously much goes on behind the scenes; that’s one reason the thought is such a revelation. Back in my youth I thought about whether a man I was in relationship loved me, but then that got tiresome at best. So I gave it up. As far as humans are concerned, I generally trust we are always doing our best.
I have for some time been aware that I am not yet a pro at RECEIVING love, though- unless it’s from one of my children, maybe. My rocket is still climbing the skies in that regard. I have the greatest, most loving friends in the world, but still, on occasion I feel some of their love bouncing off my armor, flying away like bullets from Superman’s chest, out of reach before I can snatch it back. I have thought, I wonder what it would be like to be able to absorb all of it?
And it’s not like I have a belief that I, as a person, am unlovable. We all have some measure of hangup in that department. But if anything I am somewhat aloof from such concerns, actually; which is nice, I suppose. I did do the mothering thing, of course. I don’t need a lot of social interaction, however lovely it is to do so; I have an introvert streak. My friends are not a necessity, in the dependent sense. They are added value, abundance, a bonus, a luxurious garden full of roses that I get to visit sometimes. Dependency matters could change if I live long enough. Anything can happen!
However, it seems that my ability to be happy, or more like fulfilled, in my own skin has a caveat; this relative inability to receive as much as I might. Not needing it, I find it convenient to keep the door somewhat ajar. I would like to learn to open it wider. And the key to its opening wider is my beliefs, for it is my belief system that keeps me from receiving, as my revelation clarifies.
Reception is the key for me, I think, but then another question; who is it that will be loving me more every day? For humans are, as I said, already giving what they can. It could be that my friends shall pass, or even those younger family members, and the door will squeak towards its latch again. Luckily I am a consummate animist, or perhaps anthropomorphist, a word I just made up. Meaning, I attribute beingness, soul, the ability to radiate love, to everything. I have a relationship with my glitchy stove, with my faithful white Car-car, our circle of friends plus purple beanbag Froggie always cheerily navigating on the dash beside me. I have heard my house speak to me; not in words, but in stone-held emanations of gratitude and joy, and its love of service to the comfort and beauty we both desire. We are partners. We love each other.
Beyond my possessions though, is an unlimited source of love that, as a human, I could never tap out; Gaia’s wise, gravity-holding affection. Though the love is always there, my culture is poor receiver. Gaia’s world is no longer a source of love to us, but a collection of objects we view on screens, scrutinize or utilize, take for granted, record and idolize. Though we may believe that we love Earth and her countless denizens, we don’t believe that the Earth loves us; a tragedy of tremendous proportions. We may enjoy receiving her love in the form of food and drink, glory in her beauty, but still experience her as inanimate, as “thing”, as receiver only. May I learn to be loved more by her, every day.
And how shall I know I am loved? We do know it in obvious ways by the smiles on faces, the eager wagging of tails, the gifts and the lovely candlelit tables surrounded by friends and family, by supportive hands on our shoulders. Love can also be color, light, music, fruits and flowers, the beauty of the seasons, the emotions and the thoughts that lay more and more wisdom layers upon the life-pearl we are creating. Love is both my creativity and my peace; it’s the increasing ability to love myself regardless of what I haven’t done, regardless of my body’s increasing need for attention. After all, love is always in the service the body renders; my body loves me. My tending of it brings us closer, a more intimate dance.
Beyond those sources of love there are, in my belief, unseen beings that constantly support and love us; ancestors, angels, helpers, guides, those to whom the Scorpio days of Samhain and Halloween and Dia de los Muertos are dedicated. They are there in the stars, and at my elbow; the light-ghosts hardest to hear, the ones that most beg belief. I may forget their love in my daily round, but I can easily say, as the dawning sun shows its face, that I shall feel more loved every day by its faithful warmth. I can each night close my eyes more loved by the moon, the distant stars, and by the blanketing dark.
Ultimately, it is what I say it is. If I say I am loved more every day, it’s a remodel, for I delete that old belief of waning love. I’m replacing it with a new one. So be it. The day that I die will be the big fireworks show, then; my peak ability to give and receive love in this life is in nowise behind me. When I send up that last rocket Terra herself will admire the display; the sun and moon will wave fond parting. The stones, perhaps, shall weep upon that hour, if I believe I am more loved every day.
I kept thinking of this song during my insight. It is indeed about a fireworks display of parting; Dave Carter’s When I Go.
I admit to being amused by this song, though it paints beautiful pictures; I keep thinking that this guy is going to be very, very busy when he dies. It’s ambitious in the extreme. But it does bring in Gaia’s supporting love for humans that my society has lost. For we would assume that it’s not only upon our death that the natural world will get excited about us.
I think I first heard it live from Bryan Bowers, and I still think he does an amazing job with it. He comes here to Crystal Falls and does a concert every year. Bowers is a consummate autoharpist, responsible for an American revival of the instrument decades ago; Bowers is now 79 years old.
Judy Collins and Willie Nelson also recorded it, but I think they drag it out. Bowers is full of power when he renders the song. He gives it his all; it’s not meant to be sappy, we assume, just because it is about death. Quite the opposite; it’s about going out with a bang. Collins and Nelson ignored that point, and so they sound more like the falling rocket shell metaphor. Come to think of it, Carter’s version sounds slow to me as well. So Bryan gets the prize.