Raw, adjective: 7. brutally or grossly frank: a raw portrayal of human passions.

I sat down to write just a blurb this morning before breakfast, and couldn't stop. Care of the Soul is rocking my world. Now, to the mango and some strong coffee. Good morning from a cloudy, thick Koh Samui.

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Loving Thomas Moore and the ways in which he understands living soulfully as at once ethereal art, that which is the "craft of life," and a pragmatic, day-to-day, of-the-earth practice:
My life work is an attempt to ground the pure, visionary spirit in the imperfect, intoxicating sensuousness of worldly life....

It takes a broad vision to know that a piece of the sky and a chunk of the earth lie lodged in the heart of every human being, and that if we are going to care for that heart we will have to know the sky and the earth as well as human behavior.
He's a gangster, that Moore; a renegade. He owns, and embraces, the shadows. And he's got a sense for the wild, the deviant, the non-conformist.

Check it:
As we get to know the soul and fearlessly consider its oddities and the many different ways it shows itself among individuals, we may develop a taste for the perverse. We may come to appreciate its quirks and deviances. Indeed, we may eventually come to realize that individuality is born in the eccentricities and unexpected shadow tendencies of the soul, moreso than in normality and conformity.
Be still my anti-establishment heart. There is so much beautiful overlap here with Hinduism and ecofeminist theologies and Beat literature and yoga philosophy and queer theologies and Buddhism and mysticism and Transcendentalism and body theologies and panentheism and poetry and process theology, my head wants to explode. Scribbling in margins like there's no tomorrow.

Have you been ignoring your dirt in favor of the sky? The mundane, the run-of-the-mill, the unsexy reality of being alive in a body, day in and day out? The grind, the stuff that you try to get through until the holidays, until vacation rolls around, until you get out of school, until you meet the right person or get the right job or get the right body?

Don't.

Dig your hands into the soil: yes, this soil, this very mucky muddy sludgy stuff that doesn't feel as clear as you'd like. Roll around in it a bit. See the light, the truth, that rests therein. And know that therein, too, lies as much the real stuff of life as in the cameo moments: the sunsets and the weddings and the graduations and the births and the unadulterated successes, those rare flashes when you feel you've got your shit together.

I was walking by the water lilies yesterday, growing down by the glimmering, shimmering, so-beautiful-that-it-catches-in-my-throat infinity pool streaming out toward the sand, and without thought, that old unattributed saying came to mind:

May we live like the lotus, at home in the muddy water.

Yes. Earth and sky. All of it, at once, rooted deep in the dark, murky, muddy stuff of life, growing up toward the sun, even — especially — when it's hard to catch a ray through the shadows. All lodged in that beating heart of yours.

Comments

Farrah Sunderji said…
the lotus...something that has meant so much more to me then before. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and you light Rachel!
Rach said…
I love that, Farrah. Hope you are having a wonderful time — and blooming — at home. See you when you return!!

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