Over the past few decades, I’ve come to a sort of peace with a certain part of me that I’ve been a little concerned about. It’s the part of me that knows all of the details of the above, that watches the news to catch the lies and reads the net and continues to delve into the intricacies of power politics, supermoney and the depradations of the global elite.
That part of me that I’ve been concerned about is my soldier’s heart. The part of me that grew up an Air Force brat for 18 years of my life and chose to volunteer to serve my country at the age of 19-23, that wore camoflauge and combat boots, loved firing my M-16 A-1 rifle and counting cadence, and was fiercely proud of my service and of being an American. The part of me that watched Desert Storm on CNN with the rest of the world while stationed in Germany on constant alert and working twelve and twenty-four hour shifts while moving troops and equipment to the Gulf, waiting with pounding heart for the deployment of the ‘Second Wave’ of soldiers – we, the active duty support battalions already near the Middle Eastern Theatre – which only came a decade later, after the fall of the Twin Towers. The part of me that knew and cared little for the inconsistencies in my American life, the greater issues of justice and racial politics, historical wrongs never righted and current problems continuing, unrelentingly negative and genocidal in nature.
I love the sweet-science and martial arts, the perfect kick or punch delivered in the heat of competition causes my heart to pound and muscles to twitch in resonation with those of the puglists and warriors. Although I don’t partake in sports or watch them regularly the heart of competition, of martial fervor still flames deep inside of me, to be brought to the fore in those moments and occasions that are familiar to us all, when certain buttons are pressed, triggers released. The deep, calming breath of movement that suppresses fight or flight, allowing the mind and spirit to bear upon the matter circumscribes the internal movement of energy, controlling it, often repressing it until its usage is truly necessary. The ability to make that decision rather than being controlled by the emotions is a skillset developed consciously, over a lifetime.
The joy of movement, of expressing the abilities of your Temple, my Temple, our Temples, jumping, laughing, screaming into the future encloaked in the pure exuberance of life itself. Walking down the street, feeling the irresistable urge to jump or dance, laugh or shout, startling all in proximity to such a seemingly unwarranted expression of the joy de vivre, the wonderful expression of life as lived. This lies at the core, and finds its expression in the moral play of justice versus injustice, right versus wrong, which is often personal, but which can also be greater, and truly impersonal.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my ‘soldier’s heart’ is an expression of the core of me. Who I am. A protector. I’ve always taken up for those smaller than me, spoken out for like-minded groups and those who could not speak out for themselves, even before I knew that this was an unpopular mode of Being. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I had no one to stick up for me when i was younger and being bullied, but since I’ve been this way since before that time period I rather think that it predates that time of my life. I’m the kind of guy that runs toward the gunshots not away. Who’ll reach out to help someone get up, rather than walk on by them. Who feels the tug and the involuntary twitch of a hand moving toward a pocket or wallet when someone asks me for spare change. Who smiles at anybody’s baby and feels an almost irrestistable urge to volunteer for something if nobody else does.
Since my earliest teen years, I’ve always felt that my destiny was to ‘die for the world’. Don’t ask me what that means. I have no idea. But, given the opportunity to give my life for a cause, or to save another, I would do so willingly and gladly. I’m not exactly sure how this relates to my spiritual side. If the fact that I would pick up a weapon to protect those I love keeps me from spiritual evolution during this cycle of life. It may indeed come down to that test, since this is one of the ‘big questions’ of ‘who I am’ that I have not yet answered fully for myself. When I say I love you, I mean it. If you are in my circle, are my friend, and you are attacked, I am on your side because I have chosen you to be close to me, as you have done the same.
If you are my ‘old friend’, that means that, out of the thousands of people that I have known, that we have been brought back together across time and space and have, against all odds, reawakened a connection that was real at one time and that is real now in the sense of hearts reconnected, lives once again lived in tandem, even if we don’t see each other or are half a world apart. If you are my ‘new friend’, that means that, out of the billions of people in the world, we have been brought together across time and space and have, against all odds, awakened a connection that is real in the sense of hearts connected, lives lived in tandem, even if we don’t see each other or are half a world apart.
I would give my life for you. I will love you through this life and beyond. If there are those who feel this love is too broad, so wide and encompassing as to be virtually meaningless, I understand that.
How can you give yourself for someone that you do not know? Who may not even be, truly, your friend?
I don’t know. I suppose the answer is in the upwelling of love that rises when you enter a situation where you have to make a choice that will change you life. The movement of adrenaline courses around and through the depthless passion of unconditional love, invigorating it, like stars across the firmament, creating the structure that overrides natural law, fight or flight and self-preservation.
Give me your love and I will give you mine. Let me be a part of your life and you will be a part of mine. There are no accidents, which means that you and I are meant to be. Our friendship, our connection is real, no matter how deep or how shallow. Your perusal of this blog, your casual messages saying hello are Letters to the Void, eternal communications between you and I that speak to our deeper connection, our agreement before life to engage upon this path and interact for a certain time in a certain place for a certain reason.
I live my life feeling this truth and through faith in that which lies beyond, I love. I love without reservation and without regret, independent of any one else’s ideas or conceptions of who I am or what love is. I love knowing that pain is a part of it, as is disappointment. I love trusting in life’s lesson and fate’s inevitable outcome, trusting that all distress has its reasons and committing myself to experiencing all that life, and love, has to offer. And, no matter the depth of the heartache, no matter the ache of the trust broken, it all feels good, is all good.
It feels good to live, to love. To know that death is our reward and, past that, life again, everlasting.