tightrope


I'm on a tightrope
Walking
slowly, carefully
lest I fall.
Fall into an abyss.
Lest I be too extreme
Lest I be less-than
Up-right, Up-tight.

Only becoming gradually more aware that these
stiff knees
I keep locked so that I won't 
displease
others, my sisters and brothers
will cause me to fall.

If I'm going to walk this rope, this life, with success
I've got to stay loose
to choose
to be myself
right or wrong
but sweet Jesus, 
I can't help myself 
from tightening
up
in
fear.

I'm afraid of falling off either "side"
felt torn in a divide
afraid of picking between polarized extremes
monopolized dreams
by the right or the righteous
clenching their fists so tight
around heaven
it might
cease to exist.

Afraid of the seemingly few
but the loud
the ones who hug the Bible
but not the trees that brought it to be
The shit-
ton of words and doctrines
With compassion
trailing behind, not present.

I fear this.
And while I know it's a projection
a broadcast in my subconscious for my own alleged protection
I grow tired of saying, "Dear God,
I can't walk in that direction."

I also fear a loving God of generalities, no specifics.
Don't get me wrong, I love the mystics
but while this cryptic
language sounds slick
I get sick
of avoiding the "what-not-to-say" religiously to avoid being religious.
And I can't help feeling like it's the same thing in reverse.
Perhaps worse
with Christ in a hearse 
being driven and divided by terse 
words toward the "fundamentalists" 
who steal all the fun and worse,
support every act of violence with a Bible verse.

I get the anger, I've felt it myself
and it can be so damn hard to take my heart-pressing thoughts
off the shelf
and 
share them
bare them,
wear them
proud.
It feels like I'm not allowed 
by another "side"
to live and believe and doubt
out loud.
And so I stand.
Looking back, forth, occasionally down
afraid to bare my soul
and unsure of my motives in wanting to do so.
It's precarious
scary, thus
I stand... albeit quietly.

What you don't see is me convulsing internally.


I think to myself, 
"If I jump...
Could I bring both destinations with me?
Can I find myself as I lose myself?
Can I tear down the shelf,
or at least the need to
sort out all my bookish thoughts myself?
Is that giving up? Cheating? Losing?
Will impact kill me?
Will I survive but with broken bones
and a consequent limp
with some scrapes and a bad bruising?
Will God be the one to break my fall?
Will God be the one
To unite me, 
as I lose
sight of me
and move into the
light
of pure peace, grace, 
wholeness and fullness?"

I don't know the answer to those questions
at least not cognitively
but there is a deeper knowing
a trust
an "I must...
DO THIS."

I look down past the rope
I see nothing with clarity
And at once, I don't care.
In that instant, a spark
what was murky and dark, 
abysmal,
becomes a full spectrum of color, 
possibility. 
Rather than seeing the rope as a line 
between two sides,
I see it for what it is:
a game
steeped in fear
sheer...
torture. 
And I'm resolved, done.
No more of this game.
Really.

I heard somewhere
that if someone
wants to save their life...
they have to lose it.
And now I realize what that means:
Our tightropes become our nooses.
But if we jump...
maybe, just maybe...
we can be reborn. 
Live freely, abundantly, recklessly, compassionately,
joyfully. 
If we refuse
to play this egoic game
If we refuse it, we can produce it.
I can give up my imagined role in my favorite stories
Give up the images, the fables, the labels
and live.
Get out of my head, and onto the stage
out of the box, free of my cage...
All that is required is a little jump rope.
Before, would I have jumped... nope
but now, I have hope.

I still don't know all the answers...
but 
trust
is 
enough.

What happens when I jump?
I don't know.
Here goes...
Benjamin FaderComment