Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Splendid Death

Playa Mermejita, where Mexico’s southernmost expanse of land rests on the shores of the Pacific, is as spacious and open as a seeker would have hoped. 

At the beginning of the beach, where a sand path brings arrivals from the nearby village of Mazunte, a dozen local families have brought their numerous children to fly kites on this Sunday afternoon, and the sky is full of color, shouts, and laughter. But only ten minutes of walking on the wild beach, towards the setting sun, and I am immersed in the profound sense of solitude I have come to seek. From here, the kites look like small, restless birds who have lost their sense of direction in the bright sky. The fine sand now only holds the marks of my own feet, and within moments the memory of my path is surrendered to the amnesia of crushing waves. 

Not far from the shore, two grand rocks rise out of the water, two ancient bodies petrified eternally in each other’s company. Their faces are carved like human profiles gazing at each other, one’s protruded nose playfully extended into the other´s cheek. An ageless kiss. 

The sun is already getting larger and is turning a blood orange as it nears the line where it will die a splendid death. I watch it without blinking, as it slides invisibly, with the mastery of a dancer, toward the finest line in existence: the ephemeral stroke between sky and ocean, where earth and heavens touch so tangibly yet so elusively that one can’t help but rest on the balancing line of paradox. 

Only the sun knows about crossing that line…

This perfect and timeless geometry, of the sun kissing the ocean and the sky at once– a perfect circle sitting on a perfect line– will last but a moment, and its transient epicness sends electricity through my body, takes me over, I fall breathless on my back. The sky is a mirror reflecting nothing. 

I no longer see the sun, but I know in this moment it is surrendering to the deep waters of the Pacific, or to a mystery yet deeper, beyond the ocean, beneath the depths. Its fleeting death and the anticipation of twilight brings over me the profound sadness of loss, of lostness, of not belonging. Not here, not anywhere, not if I can’t follow the sun…

Why am alive? What am I here for, why am I staying? Why, if I too will die? Why, why….Quiet tears disappear in the hot sand.

For some long moments, my heart is sunken to the bottom of the ocean's sadness, the grieving heart of the universe beats in my own, acknowledging another death, another completion. 

And then my eyes, wide open to the sky’s mirror, detect a glow, just over the tip of my forehead, behind me. The moon’s face, fully round tonight, is emerging slowly, shyly. I move to stand and face this stunning beauty. In her face I recognize my face. It seems to me that she is whispering, but I can’t tell if it’s her or the ocean giggling in splashes. 

I fall to my knees. This is why. This is why! I am here to see off the dying sun. To meet the birth of it’s gentle counterpart. To witness another circle come full and begin again, the metamorphosis, the small death inside me, the rebirth. 

One day, I know, the sun and the moon will witness my own departure, and become deeply moved as the ocean washes me into its depths and raises me into the sky, on the fingertips of waves.

Here, in this knowing, in this moving circle I belong. Here, I am part of the great wheel.

A passion surges in my body; something strong and great begins to move inside. My hips sway, my arms reach, and a dance possesses me. Uncontrollably, I dance. I dance. 

Wild, naked, and eternal, I dance in the phantom temple of the Moon. 

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