Saturday, January 27, 2007
FIRE: THE LAST TEMPTATION
TOP: "Male Geometry #5," Holly Crawford
BOTTOM: "Persephone Devoured by Pluto," Yuliya Lanina
God does not play dice with the universe.
Or does he?
You were always playing dice with your own life, weren’t you? You kept making pacts with the universe. If there was no resolution to the financial crisis resulting from your single-minded pursuit of the avant-garde, then you were going to accept an offer to go to Afghanistan to help liberate the women. But if you met your partner before that, then you would give up writing and devote yourself ENTIRELY to the relationship.
Life at the cutting edge of the avant-garde had just become too…well…uncertain. Your search – through so many religions, so many disciples – required wiping your mirror clean of projection. So you finally found the profession (if one could call it that)
This morning you have been staring into Pluto’s mouth. In trying to capture an image of the snuffing out of innocence in Yuliya Lanina’s “Persephone Devoured By Pluto” you gazed backward…to the final temptation.
light of innocence is such a precious thing. My healing instructor used to say, “every time there is abuse, a light is snuffed out and the entire world suffers because of it.”
On your path, keeping your flame burning was the most important thing. Indeed, it was the ONLY thing.
The dark energy has only recently been discovered by scientists. When the core of a massive star grows too large, it collapses under its own gravity. The flood of neutrinos released became a tool for studying dark energy.
How else to interpret the dark but in contrast with the light?
Pluto’s final temptation was the biggest challenge of all. It might have snuffed out your light for good. Luckily, the universe provided warnings and you were grounded enough to heed them. Then, as now, you were fasting.
It seems to be a ritual with you, to meet Pluto in the flesh when you are high from a fast. Just when you are at your most vulnerable, when the process of self-devouring brings you to that wondrous lift, suddenly and not so unexpectedly, Pluto enters!
Perhaps the Henry Jones symbols undergoing alchemical transmutation on the screen had you mesmerized. You were just groovin’ on the energy – so sixties yet so contemporary – when J______ started up a conversation about the work. He seemed to be familiar with the territory. You told him that you are a writer and he gave you a card announcing his one-man show.
Oh, the chill in the air!
It is January 27, the Moon entered Gemini three hours ago, you have just two more hours to post this chapter, and you are feeling a distinct chill around your persona as you go about structuring the manner that you are going to rise out of the nest and go to Lily’s to greet the public who have been waving to you as if you are an old friend as they passed by all week.
And in this public manner, your residence in the Nest of the Phoenix between FAME (the silver opaque mirror) and PROJECTION (the glossy banner of Champagne Tango) brings you to the point of no return.
Has the fire gone out?? Or is it simply contained??
You have suddenly reversed your karma. Instead of running away from projections that interfere with your freedom you invite them in. And in they come, staring in the window, asking WHAT IS IT?
Pluto is getting more impatient by the hour. He too feels he can’t go further without his rightful bride. He is filing his teeth, preparing for – not just any virgin flesh, but Persephone. Only she had the hunger that could match his own.
You see, says MP, the starving artist isn’t just hungry for lack of food. The starving artist is hungry for just about everything! The appetite has no bounds.
So he is ornery, scraping the ground, stomping around his old East Village haunts, circling the entrances and too disgusted to go in. He is feeling abandoned by Persephone. He pulled her down to the Underground, didn’t he? The least she could do is spend some time with him!
The archetype and the man converged into your path on September 14. It was supposed to be a sixties happening at the old synagogue on Stanton Street. They were showing Henry Jones films from the sixties and you had long been curious about this iconic filmmaker so you wandered down Joyce SoHo where you attended a Mexican Dancescores performance created in Oaxaca caves.
Your run in with the primitive only underscored the danger of the attraction. He was dripping with charisma and unattached. WHOA! A tall guy with broad shoulders with a dark energy that seemed overpowering …until you saw him smile. When he smiled he was on FIRE. But the heat was delivered with a singular charm. You believed he must have been quite a magician in one, or several, of his past lives.
Or did you read the magic in meeting your partner in a synagogue?
This hadn’t happened for years. Not since before when you lived in the East Village did Pluto try to redirect your life to fit his own.
He wanted nothing less than SURRENDER.
J_____ had the right approach. He handed you the announcement of his one man show engaged you in conversation and then he asked you out for a tea. You left together and he said he was going to take you somewhere with a positive vibration. You ended up in what felt like a tree house in the upstairs of the café in the Ludlow Street organic market. He talked about his life and his art and how they intermingled in his one-man show and script about growing up in the Bronx and his heroin addiction. He has a mission, to disprove the popular conception about heroin addiction.
Did you believe that he was the artist you were searching for – the one who went to hell and back – and lives to tell the tale?
His power puts the others to shame.
And so you surrendered to the fascination, to the IDEA of him and you together with so very little in common but this inexplicable attraction….
…And a willingness to play dice with your own life.
Did it occur to you that you were gambling your future away by opening yourself up to him, granting him a sympathetic ear, allowing yourself to be drawn into his myth, finding a place for yourself in his professional life?
When the conversation waned that first night listening to the rainfall on the roof of your common perch, he insisted on playing a word game. Then he drew you up to dance. You could feel his manliness, and the inevitable demand. “Come back to my place,” he said.
“No, I prefer to get to know you better.”
It was so cozy in the tree house, where you could hear the rain hitting the rooftop. There it suddenly dawned on you that the universe had fulfilled your command: it had delivered into your path a man, an artist who balances dark and light, an artist who is available in every way, a creative individual who has a extra room and is inviting you to come and stay. You finally found the man in the flesh that could drastically change your life and take you out of the eternal realm of the almost becoming!
To succumb to either side would mean the end of the lifestyle you created!
As he took your hand and you grew repulsed about the idea of having a partner, you suddenly had a revelation. You realized that you are most comfortable in the in-between realm– the grey area that is not quite in the domain of the mother but not quite that of the dark lover either. The grey realm is where you get your power. Thus is the true cusp of the avant-garde where dark and light interchange to illuminate a new archetype!
And what of the alternative? What would it mean to spend the night in his bed? Oh, the danger! The warning came in the form of a lovely woman with self-contained, very focused energy, who goes to your church. She handed you a casting list for the short film she was planning on making.
And there was J______ on the list! The description fit perfectly! He was avoiding entering the emotional VOID while attempting to reconcile a past relationship. He projected his confused feelings onto an ethereal woman who was dancing as if in the air. She was the image of the Sky Goddess who could lead him to higher ground. You asked to see the entire script. When you read it, the truth was evident about J_______. He had wrapped up his feelings in a nice package with the script but, like his namesake in “Crystal Palace,” he was basking in illusion rather than face the karmic truth.
And your intuition told you that he needed you to prove that he had worked it out but he hadn’t, so he would have to smash up your relationship in order to face the truth.
The cold bony finger of fate reaching down and you were the chosen bride.
You always made sport of traveling to this edge – this cold clammy realm where fate and destiny existed side by side, where one was hard to distinguish from the other because Saturn, that Old Devil, was so good at adopting disguises.
Funny, when you first saw the card announcing his show in your regular haunt, Pick Me Up Café, you were intrigued. You had the feeling he might be the next to arise from Underground, on a schedule synchronized with your own. But the dates of the show were when you would be out of town.
So, you already felt swept up in his karma and it was therefore inevitable that you would make his acquaintance when you were fasting in preparation for a cosmic gateway.
He was the shadow standing before the door as it prepared to open to a marvelous future.
But this shadow emitted so much light!
The second time you traveled from uptown to meet him in the East Village (you were staying uptown, he invited you for one of those fancy Japanese tea shakes and handed you his scrip. He talked about his acting career and insisted on holding hands as you walked down the street.
FIRE was raging. He stood right in front of a neon fire sign before a spanking new barbeque take out and railed against the loss of his neighborhood. “The East Village has been hijacked by developers!” he wailed.
You said you wanted to get home to read the script and kissed him farewell at the subway. He stood in full Pluto character with his arms outstretched and a plaintive look. As if to say, why are you doing this to me??
How dastardly of Pluto to insist on going where he wasn’t invited!
When you told him about your talk on THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE at Caramoor the following day, Friday, he insisted on coming. It flattered you that he took an interest in your work. Still, you were hesitant about having him at your first presentation of this material. Mad, passionate phone calls all the way to Connecticut and only when the storm clouds were ominous did you tell him not to come. But his desires were pulling at you, even as you tossed out savory tidbits for the audience on the practical applications of THE ALCHEMY OF LOVE. Eros was in the air. The single man danced with three woman as a bat circled the rafters.
The arrogance of a man insisting on imposing himself in every area of your life. Something you cannot imagine anyone doing. You always hated taking responsibility for other people!
Or perhaps it was your own light being reflected by his darkness?
Like the darkest night just before the dawn, the last temptation to enter the mouth of Pluto arrived just prior to the Solar Eclipse, not just any Solar Eclipse but one arriving the day before the Autumn Equinox. It was a gateway and you planned to mark it with a public ceremony in Peekskill, Daniel Rothbart’s Hudson River: Meditation/Mediation.
J_____wanted to participate. But you regarded his enthusiam with suspicion. It wasn’t that he wanted to share your spirituality. He just saw a potential role he could act in. In fact, he got angry when you told him about it during a long one sided conversation you had with him while standing in line waiting for tickets for the dress rehearsal to Madama Butterfly.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded.
“You didn’t ask!”
It was an undeniable truth. What you didn’t learn about him on the first night of your meeting, you learned from his script, but when it came to your life, he assumed everything and asked nothing. Like other East Village male artists who have trouble with female relationships, he had this annoying habit of yelling: “YOU DON’T LISTEN!” whenever you tried to get a word in edgewise to their monologues. Why would the projection from this one surprise you when monologue was his art form?
So, this time you listened. You listened because you had become friendly with the people in line at 9 AM and by the time the line started moving at 11 AM you didn’t want them to know your personal business. So you let him talk as you followed the line all around the City Opera to where it snaked back to the center line proceeding to the box office of the Metropolitan Opera House.
You don’t know why, but you kept trying to make a point about addiction being a universal experience. You were trying to tell him that you weren’t interested in signing up for his crusade regarding heroin addiction.
Finally, as you continued to skirt away when he tried to tie you down to a meeting, he said: “Oh, I see. You are afraid this will be an addiction.”
Such an utterance of truth could only be followed by silence.
“How would I know?” you ask.
You could feel his retreat. “Call me when you are free,” he says.
And that, as they say, was that. You got your tickets and went to visit a collaborator who paid you an advance for a book.
The karma was immediate. By letting go of Pluto, you invoked real change in your life. A pathway to financial independence opened to you.
Scientist think that Neutrinos have their spectrum distorted as they bounce off dark energy and by reading this effect, could learn about the nature of dark energy. Perhaps this explains the pattern of attraction between Pluto and Persephone. Only by having her light bounce off his darkness, could Pluto gain the inner knowledge he hungers!
Your body told you whatever they had shared in a week that drew them together – the hunger -- was over.
You dedicated Hudson River: Meditation Mediation to the realignment of the archetypal energies in the Persephone-Demeter myth. You said a prayer that the demotion of Pluto into an asteroid paved the way for equal partnership. Pluto would no longer be Lord of the Underworld, destroyer of all that refuses to bend ot his Power. He will now be equal partner to Persephone. Dark and light will be balanced.
During the ceremony you planted two Narcissus bulbs with your menstrual blood to bring this prayer into fruition. As the narcissus bloomed, you began planning FIRE.
“Sparks fly. Sparks burst into Flames. Buenos Aires is on fire.”
No, YOU ARE ON FIRE!
And as you sit under the red lights at 4:40, awaiting the visit of your collaborator, Daniel Rothbart, to the Nest of the Phoenix, you feel that fire contained in yourself. There is no doubt in your mind that you will never give it away.
“Oh to burn, to burn like this forever! That is my desire”
Reading the opening and closing words to Champagne Tango in the Nest of the Phoenix brings you full circle on your journey to contain FIRE.
It is 4:55 and your visitor is due in five minutes. You have had a plan of what to do, you are going to put on the rhinestone pumps on the shattered ruby goblet and repeat the steps of last night’s ceremony to the window where you will remove your Argentine outfit -- the sizzling hot fuchsia velvet appliqué tunic -- off Inanna and place it on your own body.
Then you will celebrate FIRE!