Saturday, July 12, 2014

Always Flowering Tree

Long ago I developed a symbolic relationship with the flowering trees but I never really new what they stood for. Life is a puzzle in which the pieces can come together only after decades. At the time I was reading a lot of sufism and the flowering tree symbolized, among other unarticulated things, the beloved. The primary quality of the beloved is that of generosity, the one who gives you a  precious gift of love, worthiness, significance, beauty even if you've always been treated like you weren't worthy of any of that. There's no hint of scarcity and withholding, neurosis or paranoia. it's as if every second the beloved would give all for you. What is the beloved to you, I wonder? Is it something like a tree that is always flowering and can't be stopped, that can't hold grudges, find fault, judge, compare, label but always dances with the pulse of your blood, giving each beat adequate space to bloom?

If that is the case then perhaps this moment is a flowering tree, a tree that is always flowering, the hoop-huppa under which one can visit the beloved, or G-d, or one's constant eternity. Nothing has ever been real except the present moment, and yet we spend most of our moments planning futures or reviewing the past, and these elaborations accumulate worries and feelings of regret, fear, and sadness. Yet even as all of this happens, as we spin fantasies of any time other than now, this moment flowers like a tree. If one stops to feel this, to feel this moment like water pouring out of a pitcher that never goes dry, to feel this current of electricity flowering throughout one's being in various tiny currents and tendencies, these fantasies of past and present and their significance disappear.

Black Elk found it painful that even as the tree of life bloomed in his visions, in reality he saw his people and their ways of life disappearing. The moment can't hold narratives, the moment is the place where narratives emerge. The moment grants refuge even in the midst of heart break and discord. It is customary to labor the present with narratives based on events, but in that case the present can't emerge as the originator of the event of one's life. The tree of life is always blooming and it isn't even enough to simply stop and see it. One has to be it and find one's hands filled with flowers.

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