I want to write about desire.
We find ourselves inhabited by all sorts of desires, some welcome, others less so:
- perhaps I’m uncomfortable today and wish the weather was cooler, warmer, sunnier, drier, wetter, …;
- perhaps I’m unhappy today and I reminise about how good things used to be;
- perhaps my attention is caught by an attractive person and I want them to love me or have sex with me;
- perhaps I am hurt or frightened by someone and my thoughts circle around making the cutting riposte, revenge, murder.
It seems to me that there is an important distinction, but what can feel like a fine line, between indulging (what Blake calls ‘nursing’) a desire and investigating it.
|I allow the emotion and fantasy of the desire to build into a scenario of fulfilment.
|I am simply with the qualities of the desire: with longing, with anger, with ache.
|I move into future possibilities, or worry (like a dog with a bone) at past events.
|I stay in the present to give the desire room to breathe, to allow it’s true nature to unfold and tell its story.
|I am had by the desire.
|I have the desire.
|I am elsewhere.
|I am present to myself and the desire.
I realise this is all true, not just about desire, but about anything that draws me away from the present into the past or future. God is only here and now.
The Bright Field
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.