Monday, May 16, 2016

Wall Hunger



There has been an idea for an art/music/and/or writing project I've been wanting to start called "Letters to Walls". The idea was to chew the hell out of that metaphor, and my original impetus for the idea came from my own experience of "walls": people who shut me out on a multitude of levels. It isn't the same as hearing "no". It is the experience of having your humanity denied on a very real level, and my own awareness of the compulsion I have to seek out walls in front of which to beg.
Then my dear, beautiful friend Sylvia published this love story, a story of self-betrayal and courage to face your truth.  It could have been a love story I've written over and over, with myriad variations but the same theme. Her description of the lower feminine was, for me, a description of  hunger....deep hunger. 
My hungers, for lots of reasons, ancient, childhood reasons, have been laid in front of walls. My hungers have turned me into desperate and begging for love,at,of all things, walls. Walls that can't even hear me or know that I exist as a human. "You won't feed my angry hungers!" I would rail. "Maybe if I make myself good enough, alter my routine" I would bargain. " "please love me", I would beg, as if any of that could change the heart of a wall-person, as if my hunger could soften their significant walls.This is not health, this is not desire, this is not need, this is not prayer, this is not strength. This is greedy compulsion, an overwhelming sense of lack. And although it may be true that someone had shut me out, or abused me in some way, my hungers allowed me to protect them from themselves, and me from looking at the truth. 
Often, this begging is how I have prayed, rather than in humble acknowledgement of my valid needs and desires, or my grief in loss around lacking those very things I want.  Yet I know in my heart that when I come with the reality of myself, of accepting my needs and desires without shame or editing, this is when I feel heard and connected to God and people.  There can then be a "we",where we are free to see the other whole. We can be free to meet each other in the field of wants and needs. In fact, that gives us lots to play with and a place to find pleasure, truth, divinity, and love.
The alternative is to become needless and wantless, and I have done that to accommodate relationships. What fun is being needless and wantless? Do I want to be a mindless automaton? No, I simply need to acknowledge the fear that comes with my sense of lack, of being starved, of pressing my lips to dry breasts, of desperately supping at empty plates, of anything to lift the heavy burden of hunger. Others might have a sense of confusion,or being suffocated, of being overwhelmed.

Like Sylvia, I will add a Bible verse to crystallize my insight, gained with her help:

"As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God. '-Psalm 42:1 KJV
The whole Psalm is an honoring of longing, of dealing with these very hungers, of holding discomfort and hope in the same breath, and of ultimately placing hope in God (however you understand God...as the Divine, Spirit, the Great Mother, however you experience spirit).

I believe that when we are clothed in angry hunger, we are not trusting the divine and we are hidden. When we drink at dry wells we are not in the light of truth. We have, as Sylvia points out, betrayed ourselves. We betray ourselves because we blame the well for being dry while drying up our own well. However, this is not our innate nature. Eventually, a longing will come and God will find it. When we are radiating vibrant thirst, we search for and find streams of clear, cool, flowing water, and realize that water is everywhere. The garments of  beautiful, passionate longing display the goodness of spirit, within and without, with a sense of plenty. Then we are free to love those dry wells without requiring them to address our hunger or slake our thirst.

Love calls us to acknowledge, to be compassionate for the dividing hungers in each other while showing the holy truth of our own wants and needs.

This morning, as I write this, as I meditate on my own walls and how my hungers create them, as I see the walls of others, I am moved to love and finding the courage to let go. I am not sure if I am up for the task. I still grieve.
I liberate trust.

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