“What if you knew you’d be the last to touch someone?”
~ Ellen Bass*
I read these words. My mind flashes back.
I was the last…as he was dying; then, as he lay dead.
So many times, I’ve wished I could have known what was coming so I could have said what (in hindsight) I would liked to have said.
My mind flashes forward. I no longer touch him and I am not the last.
I find endings so damn hard.
Some sweet part of this personality hates letting go of those I’ve loved…those final letting goes that happen when I must part from the bodies of those I’ve loved.
Some dead. Some alive.
In the hardness, I go a little unconscious and do things that (after the fact) I wish I hadn’t done. I tighten up against the impending ending and leaving.
Yes, yes, I know they stay with me. In my heart. Their spirits always here. Yes, yes, I know. And, I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about how my body will never be with their body in the same way.
Body to body… touching, connecting, loving, making love. So many times, my touch on the skin of my lover has been unconscious AND so many times my touch has truly been a prayer in motion.
“…before you make love to a woman or to a man, first pray — because it is going to be a divine meeting of energies. God will surround you. Wherever two lovers are, there is God. Wherever two lovers’ energies are meeting and mingling, there is life, alive, at its best; God surrounds you. Churches are empty; love-chambers are full of God. If you have tasted love the way Tantra says to taste it, if you have known love the way Tao says to know it, then by the time you reach forty-two, love starts disappearing on its own accord. And you say goodbye to it with deep gratitude, because you are fulfilled. It has been delightful, it has been a blessing; you say good-bye to it.”
“…you say goodbye to it with deep gratitude, because you are fulfilled. It has been delightful, it has been a blessing; you say good-bye to it.”
These words are so foreign to this sweet part of me that has such a hard time letting go. It has been delightful. It has been a blessing. Can’t it continue? Forever? Can’t I hold you through eternity?
My soul knows the answer is, “No”. My soul knows this No. To know the deepest joy in a moment of touch, I must know the ending of that touch. To know the deepest joy in the full inhale, I must know the letting go in the exhale.
Life in the body is life in limitation. Learning this makes it all the sweeter. Not necessarily easier at all, yet all the while sweeter.
Knowing touch is a momentary kiss of skin to skin sweetens the magic.
I can hover over the past (I do) as if I can still touch it…but that touch is not touch, it is remembering how it was to touch.
This sweet part wants to hang on, fingers curled; but, fingers curled tightly can’t touch… again, … anew.
Uncurling brings open palms and fingertips ready for new skin.
And the old loves still breathing? I’m learning to touch with the tenderness of friend.
In the end, touch is prayer in motion. It comes and it goes, as everything that moves does. And it all moves.
* I found this here. (Thanks, Laurie!)