Love and Volcanoes

A Prologue:

In this world of wild and crazy realities, there are a few things that I can identify as real and essential to the planet.
Both are the substance through which foundations are formed.
One explicit and visible in mountains, islands, and land masses, its power and majesty so great it looms over our physical world
The other implicit and experienced as in the tenderness of the culture, the humility as one being caresses another
Thank you for the reminder that the atmosphere love intends is not only as explosive as the volcano but creates the foundation for which transformations depend.

Self-conscious, tired, excited, nervous on the bus waiting unknowingly for what’s yet to come
Voices are chattering, “who’s that, where are they from, what’s that over there”
Then there’s me… “did I bring enough clothes, what’s everyone gonna wear, who are they?”
Faces are different and the same, hellos are long, and eyes awkward in their sockets
We get checked in, curious to what is building.

Like a mountain, the volcano protrudes from the earth, more though, is what lays in its underside
Pressured, awkward, bubbling with energy and heat
The volcano’s height and stature says nothing of what’s inside
It’s force and momentum are inherent in its purpose
No matter it’s shape, size, texture, or age.

While dressing, mind rattles, “is this enough, am I enough?”
There is an excitement for what is unknown
Walking into the cocktail party, there are more faces, always more faces
Voices, unsure of what to say, not sure yet with whom to make eye contact
And then there’s a friendly gesture, an introduction, hors d’oeuvres, a glass of wine.

Bodies, sharing where they’re from, how we know him, how we know her
There’s an unease in meeting new people, and drinking, and drinking, and lots of drinking
“We’re supposed to get selfies with follks from these different parts of R ‘n’ R’s lives”
“That’s awesome, wanna get a picture in front of the hydrangeas with me?”
Snap, snap, click, clink, cameras, headphones, and glasses abound.

The volcano is rarely alone standing stoic in the landscape
Always there are mounds and rolls, channels and lines connected and spread out, where pressure moves, curls, winds, and waits for the moment of release
Together, the cohesion–gaining structure, the channels–sharing intricacies, the dynamisms mingling
The configuration of the region holds THAT which magic creates
So unknowingly, so unintendingly, so willingly open to its atmosphere, to its essence.

Another bus, more faces, and more opportunity for new conversations
Now eyes are twinkling, smiles are genuine, relaxation is setting in
We’re all together on this adventure becoming friends perhaps
Upon arrival, we’re more focused, we get drinks, pick lanes, throw balls, put on shoes, dance, eat, talk, laugh, discuss, and giggle
A group of friends and family incrementally growing with one more new face at a time.

Words leap out of the mouth, telling of wishes, prayers, and long ago stories
Giggles and smiles get shared to the left and to the right
We’re all here listening, wishing, hoping, expressing, experiencing, holding this together
In this moment, both explicitly and implicitly, we’re closer than we’ve been before
And yet, we prepare ourselves to hold so much more.

Prior to explosion, the heightened awareness of heat, movement, activity is known to all creatures moving about
There is a swelling, where once my foot stepped in a cradle that held water now I stand on a slope where water trickles
However intricate and subtle, the difference is tangible
The pressure is forming, creatures that live and breathe know that its coming
We, the creatures upon this mound of earth, must begin preparations.

More buses, goodbyes, smiles, there’s a recognition now amongst us
We have a part to play, we’ve been given our lines and now we must rehearse
An appreciation for all the actors is apparent, all the roles, every story
The shy ones still hiding, the drunks sobered, the artists inspired
We’re all here to be touched, to share, to cultivate, most importantly to witness.

The morning comes with another bus, this time just to enjoy a moment of getaway
Like a slice of sunshine in a thunderstorm, it’s casual, quiet, unwitty, unannounced
Like waking for morning meditation… it’s something that fades into the background of everyday experience
Taken for granted by some, nurtured as the medicine of life by others
The simple moment of the harbor, the boats, the fish market, the rocks on the beach, an impression permeates our reality, the calm before the storm.

Before eruption, there’s always that stillness as though the earth will slow its speed and begin to spin the opposite direction, like the eclipse of heavenly bodies
The waiting hour, the time upon waking when the sun is coming up but the busy activities of the day haven’t begun
That hour all creatures wait through, some anxious and nervous for the unfolding of the next
And others, reveling in each second of the stillness, counting down until the energy of the motion takes over
We are who we are in that quiet simplicity.

Gathered, stepping off of busses, dresses flowing, pants hanging, shirts coddling, purses clutched, shoes spectacular, kids laughing, sun beating
Birds pass overhead, the experience is tangible
For all those outfits and events prior, we are now at the church prepared to celebrate the communion of souls
To pray for love, union, understanding, and witness the work of those investing in this experience we call love
It is a job, a duty, a calling for each of us to hold the paradox of suffering and joy, of anger and compassion, of progress and inertia, of being two and being one.

In these moments as two people commit to one another, it is a calling for all of us watching to remind them of this hour, to listen, to accept ourselves, to hold them in acceptance
As the unfolding of life inevitably becomes so messy at times, we lose sight of the purpose of our lives
And occasionally we may lose sight of the purpose of our love
Though we are now awake, sober, aware, listening, attention focused, senses heightened, emotions in check
Rose petals lead us to the stage.

The volcano’s act cannot be ignored, it cannot go unnoticed but by those who are asleep
Every creature on the planet attends to the event as if their life depends on it
Every particle of the volcano participates, every particle itself must BE the explosion
The air, the water, the fire, the sun, the moon, every participant in the universe is both itself AND that explosion in that same moment
It is the nature of being on one planet, in one universe, as one existence, to exist is to exist both separate and connected to everything that is, the explosion is part of us all.

The roses outline the path headed to the sea, following them, we are observant of each step, each stumble, each person ahead and behind
We are witnessing ourselves walking toward the moment
The shuffling of chairs arranged geometrically in the sand, each take our seats
Passersby’s take there positions watching the procession
The waves ebb and flow as if they’ve done this a million times before and yet they are still holding the space.

Eyes wandering around, sunglasses on, skins slowly changing color, shoes fiddling, the ahhhs and giggles and ahhhh and more ahhhhs
We are in church, the sacred of most sacred places, seated and witnessing a most holy transformation
We say ours, she says hers, he says his, and in the most subtle fashion there is a shift
We are all standing there together, an imprint of love on time and space
The invitation to witness their love has gently opened a small fissure in every heart present.

Every volcano must have its moment
Whether its 10 years or 10,000 years from now
Whether it’s a spectacular display, a small poof of ash, or a constant unloading of molten earth
Its purpose is it manifestation
Thus its timing is impeccable.

Some resist, some welcome it but everyone experiences the heat, everyone sees the steam
We are as we were meant to be, pulsing with the affection deep in our being
We are one mound of earth, explosive in the tenderness of our humility
And thus our experience reveals the mystery, love IS love IS love IS
How blessed are we to experience it’s eruption.