Monday, December 19, 2016

Sonnet 116



I love this Shakespeare sonnet. It reminds me of someone with connections to the sea. Someone who has a sea inside him, sometimes calm and tranquil, sometimes raging and tempestuous. His burning heart is full of fire and, as everyone knows, fire and water don't mix. So he must become the magician and blend opposing elements with the alchemy of Temperance to discover something more precious than gold. The wisdom of his soul.

I always knew that when I met him I would know. But I didn't know how hard it was going to be for both of us. We come from very different backgrounds. We were born in different countries and our mother tongue is not the same. He is a strong patriot of his country, I am not. He loves pageantry and ceremony, I do not. He is religious, I am not. He has his feet on the ground, I live in the clouds. I understand why he would want someone more like him. It is the sensible choice. I am sure he loves his family and he will want to make his mother happy.

I am not a patriot of my country but a patriot of my planet. I love the Earth. When I forget why I am here, when it all seems so pointless and superficial, I go outside and smell the plants and take off my shoes and walk on the grass. I listen to the birds and I thank the trees. I remember how much I love my family and I send my gratitude to them. I am not religious but I pray to God for the strength to do what I came here to do. I don't take part in ceremony but I believe in the vows of a sacred union offered with a pure heart before God.

We both care about tradition and mourn the loss of values that have guided society through the ages. For my part, I have often wished I had been born in another time. My grandparents understood how important these values were. They were honest people with strong integrity. The people we call "the salt of the earth". He and I both care about our people and we want the world to be a better place not only for ourselves.

I love him deeply without knowing him well enough to have any reasons to love him. This love goes beyond reasons, beyond the personality, beyond shared experience, beyond romantic gestures. It is indefinable but tangible and I feel it as a living thing inside me. It is a love that never goes away even when I try to convince myself it's just my imagination. I know now that it is here to stay regardless of what happens between the two of us.

Our union is greater than two people. It is a union of spirit. It is a love great enough to heal centuries of suffering imprinted in the genetic code, passed down from generation to generation to be acted out again and again in cycles of pain and limitation. We are some of those that through our love for each other, surmounting the obstacles between us, dissolve the barriers placed there by those who came before us and allow the love to flow more freely between our people.

We are the alchemists of our time.