Sunday, May 11, 2014

run naked

this is actually a river in burma, not manitou.
but it's the closest i had.
sitting upon a boulder, surrounded by a crashing white river, beneath the hot sun, i wrote this poem:

i sometimes sit naked 
with god
and we laugh
and we make love
and i forget to wonder
if i'm on the right path
and i forget to feel
shame at my nakedness
and i forget everything
for that 
one
moment.

i wasn't actually naked when i wrote the poem. but, reading it over to myself, i smiled and thought... hey, why not?
i'm no stranger to spending time with god naked in the forest. there was only one problem - i was not that far from where people could potentially walk by and see me. so i stood up to cross the river in order to go down behind some large boulders where my nakedness would be shielded "from the eyes of the unclean". so i made a flying leap from one boulder to another, over the crashing waves. i was wearing my longyi, the burmese men's skirt that i often wear. if you've ever worn a skirt and tried to make leaps, i'm sure you know what came next.
my leaping legs came to a sudden halt as the unstretching skirt disallowed them from spanning too wide of a gap. my front foot didn't quite make it to the expectant boulder in front of me, and i dropped like a pine cone into the small waterfall, my chin striking the spot that had been preordained for my foot. my beard didn't break the fall very well, and as soon as i had climbed out of the water, i found that the blood upon the rock and my hands was flowing from beneath my unprotective beard.

since i couldn't see the wound on my chin, and there did seem to be a fair amount of blood, i hesitantly decided to abandon my naked meditation project and headed back to downtown manitou where i could have friends make sure that i wasn't going to die from blood loss. so as i walked back down the river and then down the road, i tried to avoid dripping any blood in my pocket notebook as i wrote this second poem, a piece of advice for any who may follow in my footsteps:

when you run to god,
run naked.
if you run with clothes on,
you're likely to get hurt.