All know that the drop merges into the ocean, but few know that the ocean merges into the drop.
[Did you ever live a story that begged you to tell it? A story that whispered incessantly in your ear, some promise of release or deliverance if you would just finally commit verse to page? This is the beginning of a story that keeps dissolving and yet insists it be told. In plainer language, you might say it is the story of discovering that I was a spiritual fraud. Or, you might say it is the story of discovering that I am light. Or you might say, there is no difference.]
There is a body of water slipping through my fingers. (It’s slipping through your fingers, too. Do you feel it?) It wasn’t meant to make sense. On that particular day it was meant to make holy Charles de Gaulle airport and these instructions sacred: “Face the outside doors (from the inside) and turn to your left. Walk to the far end. That is where I will meet you.”
Nearly everything was a mirror—a lie and a truth all at once—and this was how we made our way through France: the cat in the café in Montparnasse lounging in front of the portrait of the cat in the café in Montparnasse.
It was ritual that marked the end of ritual and signaled my departure—the anointment with oil and a vial of Chögyam’s blood, a new name, an old name. Ciara Maire: Dark Mary. Mary, from the Hebrew, Miriam, meaning drop of the sea, as well as strong waters and waters of strength. This before I understood the dark sea I would discover in myself.
I wouldn’t see it coming. I would only drown in it. So it seems now it couldn’t have been any other way but to stumble upon her grave the next morning. They leave lipstick kisses for her, you know—she, the daughter and sister of a line of Magdalenes. They leave stones and feathers, roses, and letters at the foot of her grave. “We love you, Simone,” they whisper. I left a strand of my hair and the first of many good-byes.
From the living cemetery we stumbled one into the other, our sex closer to truth than fiction: the alchemy of awkwardness and grief, the way we hold love when we’re scared, when we’ve forgotten who we are. This could be the story of how we met. Do you remember?
Montparnasse Cemetery, November 2010