That Moon Language, Love, Nectar, Pollen, and the Crack in Everything
It’s dark. Our time is so dark in my opinion, that I think my eyes have adjusted. I don’t want that! I remind myself of the famous Leonard Cohen line, “There is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in.”
Now is when we have to redouble our efforts to find the light, find the love. Some days it ain’t easy. I’m going to try to get back on that pollen path.
Oh beauty before me,
Beauty behind me,
Beauty to the right of me,
Beauty to the left of me,
Beauty above me
Beauty below me,
I am on the pollen path.
This is a Navajo saying, that I first came across in Joseph Campbell's writings years ago.
So, because I am at that peak stage in my Springsteen-love where I can work him into almost any conversation, I give you this quotation from Esquire:
“I was well into my forties before I figured this out. I don’t know how to describe [that breakthrough] except you think you’re seeing all of yourself, and then it’s like a finger pokes at this boundary in front of you and suddenly a little brick drops out, and you look through [the wall], and you go, Oh my God—there’s this entire other world in there that I’ve never seen. And a lot of it, you’ve sort of been living in—I don’t know how to describe it—a cruel universe, and it’s just a little ray of light that allows you to see more of your experience and existence. [Pauses] I mean, what are you doing in analysis? You’re trying to take all this misunderstanding and loathing, and you’re trying to turn it into love—which is the wonderful thing that happens when you’re trying to make music out of the rough, hard, bad things. You’re trying to turn it into love. So along with that effort came the realization, through a lot of studying and analysis, of how rough I’d been on myself and had continued to be until a very late stage in life.”
This is what it all is, making art, writing, making music:
Which leads me to Lady Gaga. Do you remember when people were apparently complaining because she kept telling the two stories about Bradley Cooper over and over? Well, I was all like, tell me again, Lady Gaga. Here’s what she said that I love so much:
“We're both from the East Coast, we're both coming from Italian families, I was like ‘Are you hungry?' I cooked him up some leftover pasta, and we were eating, and before I knew it, he said, 'I would like to sing with you, if that's OK.’”
“And we went to the piano, and I printed out the sheet music for a song that he wanted to sing called ‘Midnight Special,’” Gaga continued. "I sat down and started to play, and he began to sing and I just stopped instantly in my tracks, and I looked at him and I said, ‘Bradley, you have an incredible voice, you sing from your gut, you sing from your soul, you sing from the nectar of your being.’”
Because, I wanted that reminder to SING FROM THE NECTAR OF YOUR BEING. You know?? Let’s turn whatever the heck messed up muddled up darkness and all of our welping and confusion and rage and disappointments into pollen, into nectar, into love, and also into light, babies.
And, then, and then, just as I was thinking about all these things, I came across a new piece on 49th Shelf, “The Chat with Ian Williams” and there he is talking about love. That his “operating principle, as a writer, is love.” Okay, novel ordered, Ian Williams, novel ordered.
From the interview:
“The alternative to approaching our projects with love is approaching them with scowling faces and saying to them every morning, You’re not good enough and you will never be good enough. The alternative is abuse.
Approaching a manuscript with love means that we recognize that there are stages of development for a project, that we can’t expect the same amount of refinement from a four-month-old as we can from a forty-year-old. When we love our work, we stop avoiding it. We make efforts to connect with it, however briefly, to touch its cheek after dinner.”
What if we could look at ourselves with love? at our projects? And what if we could look at each other that way too? What if we could all be Lady Gaga, looking at the light and the nectar and the soul of someone else’s work? or our own. Our own! How radical. Totally serious here! Or, as Hafiz would say, why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye? Why not answer that great call to connect?
That Sweet Moon Language
Everyone you see, you say to them,
Of course you do not do this out loud,
someone would call the authorities.
Still, though, think about this,
this great pull in us to
Why not become the one who lives with a
full moon in each eye that is
with that sweet moon
what every other eye in this world
is dying to