Thursday, December 21, 2017


Today is the solstice - or maybe I should say tonight is the solstice? I'm not sure. I've appropriated this holiday as a date that represents a scientific occurrence - the great leaning away. But I'm not sure I know what it means for me. It's the middle child between Hannukah and Christmas, the neutral force in the middle that makes no claim to magic, other than the cosmic dance of huge planetary masses floating in time around a fireball, mostly without incident.

I'm on the north side, which feels like a Fact from Science, except that it's arbitrary and man-made, like money and language.

Men make things we cling to, it seems. Like time, space, gravity.

The magic of women cannot be explained, which is why we like to blame ourselves for the things that don't make sense.

Just because we cannot be explained does not mean we are senseless.

The power of a woman is her prayer - her faith that the light will come again, or the baby will come out (even without knowing how the hell it got in there), or the oil will last. Faith is what we practice in the dark, cold moments before the dawn when God leans in and asks what is really inside of our hearts.

Valves - blood - bizarre muscle cells that operate in synchrony, more like a flock of birds turning this way and that, impossibly quickly without someone at the helm commanding "6 degrees right!" The physical heart is so easily explained - it starts from two cells - one with age, wisdom, and experience, and one with a tail. Eighteen days later, a few cells volunteer as tribute and start beating.

The man-splanation of the heart skips over the sorcery required.

I've spent so long on the science of the heart, trying to live in the logical world that I've negated the mystery of love, which cannot so easily be compartmentalized. It would be so nice and tidy - so convenient - to think of love as somewhere in a ventricle, or the result of a particular equation.

But my experience of the essence of the heart defies explanation, as does yours, I imagine. We might say that it is built on a foundation of respect, trust, mutual understanding, and maybe that is true. But at some point the logic fails and there is simply a placeholder for Mystery. And sometimes it manifests out in a manger, like a virgin birth, and the series of events that follows changes the course of the world.

My experience of love is that it is like gravity - evident, observable, reciprocal, and completely illogical.

I have written a book, trying to untangle the tired mess of the men I have and do love. Mother India cracked open the logical scientist in me and invited me to release some heavy and unneeded baggage as I prepare to lean in.

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