begin blog post #21]
“But love becomes a terrible burden for you when I fight in the arena and you know I may die there, or at the very least will return in pain; or it will be for me when the men come for you to have sex with you and I cannot protect you if they decide to savage you. That is what love is and what it does. It is basically a very selfish feeling. People who love each other can often do terrible things to protect that love. They can even kill the person they love if they think that person no longer loves them and wishes to be with another. Do you understand that?”
“I don’t know. It’s strange to hear you say that. I always thought that to find someone to love, or to have someone love you, would be the most wonderful thing that could ever happen. And I found you. I was completely happy with this until now. Now I don’t know what to think. I know I love you but that is wrong now?”
“No it is certainly not wrong. But let me try to explain it some more.” She makes to interrupt for another explanation but I stop her for this lesson is critical.
“Wait, just listen and let me continue. I must explain something very deep, something most people still do not know. Compassion is when you choose – of your own free will – to feel other peoples’ pain (or pleasure, let’s not overlook that) over your own, or if you are really good at it you blend your own with theirs. That new feeling that you get from this blending I call sorrow and also joy, understand? Sorrow and joy are truly experienced only by the totally selfless; by those who care about others before they will care about their own needs. To the compassionate, the personal pain burden is taken care of as well, inseparable from the greater pain. So, if you follow, compassion is greater than love because love needs to care about someone special to work, at least in every form I’ve ever seen it. Compassion is achieved only through complete detachment.
“You and I, for example, cannot have compassion for one-another because we love each other. Compassion is infinite in scope, and always soft and gentle, regardless of the cruelty of outer circumstances. Too often, love is terribly jealous; it can be very demanding and even become violent — even while it smiles at you and desires you. Love has many faces or I could say, there are many different types of love. You can love anyone you want, as many people as you choose, but you won’t be able to love them the same way you love me. That’s the difference between love and compassion. Compassion does not need to ask, or choose, or analyze feelings for it is all to all as the need arises or is demonstrated. Compassion is not determined by the way you feel about people or things. Love is in every case, a feeling. Compassion is a force.”
Of the many things I could write now about the child-woman I named Deirdre, I could focus particularly on her intelligence. She analyzes everything, questions and ponders. She looks into concepts to see at which point they make sense to her. If they do not, she won’t accept them. So in time I begin to feel quite safe in expounding my understanding of the cosmos to her because I no longer fear brainwashing her. She is wary and she questions. I also learned that she knows when not to speak to others of the things she knows. She understands the need to keep certain mysteries to herself, or an inner circle which at this time comprises, I must assume, she and I.
“Yes, I can feel the truth of what you say.” she says slowly, “I will think about it. So what I have for you is love, but what I am with you is more, I think. I believe some of the stories you’ve told me, for example. I feel that I am not just a body they will cut up” – she touches a scar under my right breast – “but a living person with a life that goes on forever. Yes, I believe that. My name tells me it’s true. But my name also tells me that I am ready to die Antierra. I know now it does not end here.”
And just like that, hearing her speak so softly with her sweet young voice, hearing her assurance of life beyond these walls, I find my connection to my higher “self” again. My despair and spiritual deadness lift from me. I look at her, all of her, and I find myself inside her mind. And what do I find there? Beauty. Grace. Peace. Comfort. Gentleness. Courage. Assurance. Certainty and a strength to match and to hold it all together. How do I recognize these things in her? I’m not sure how unless I am re-awakening some of my discarded Avatari powers.
And I am certain that nothing these people do can ever take those treasures from her heart-mind. She has the strength of womanhood refined in the hottest of forges: deep pain and suffering that goes beyond what others experience here. But more than that, she possesses an ancient, primitive spirit power. Some mystery I would certainly want to probe but will probably not, out of respect, but mostly because of the greater risk of exposing her to disempowerment.
Our whispered conversation reminds me of an Old Earth story about a millipede who was happily moving along, all his little feet working in prefect unison. Then a squirrel happened along, watched the happy millipede walk by and said, “Say, which foot comes before which?” And the poor millipede stopped, looked at his feet and became so confused he never took another step. So he died. Some mysteries should be left as is, like magic. Once it’s understood, it dies. Of course, one must always remain open to the possibility that the mystery will simply reveal itself in its own time. When the time comes she will reveal more of herself to me, no doubt.
In the pale light of the “dark sun” coming through the openings above us, we make love as only two people who love each other, can. I cannot describe what takes place between us – it is beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, and at this point I have experienced quite a lot. She is no longer my child but fully, completely, my lover, and I hers. We belong to each other ’til death do us part. As we know it will soon enough.
How did we ever manage to keep quiet during our encounter? I thought the very stone walls were going to explode or we would both be dead from the guards’ reaction…
Dead… And free!
[end blog post #21]