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Vanishing Point Mental Contagion
Journeys to places that don't exist
by Karen Kopacz

These Seeds Belong to the Earth

Bone, flesh, sinew, muscle, and vein, I watched my body systematically pulled apart, scattered across the land, flung out to the moon, stretched from the moon to stars whose names I do not know, nor do I need to, because in the end they all share the same name, purpose, and fate. I waited for years for the wolf, rabbits, and crows to finish me off. Picking at me bit by bit, ravishing my body in ecstatic banquet, bits of my heart in their teeth, bones in their beaks, and flesh skewered on claws, there was no way to stop the feast. 5 years would slip by before the final release, the day of mercy when I would be wholly devoured, with no body to call my home. Suffocated by the hand that belongs to life itself. 5 years of knowing every crevice of nothing, every corner of nowhere, suddenly merged with cells and light and molecules and atoms from everywhere; my nothing turned to nothingness. The terror of the mankind pumped through me until I let go. I let go of dreams. I let go of the dead birds buried in the garden. I let go of hope, heartache, loss, and suffering. I let go of want, control, pain, and the mortar that held it all together became useless and returned to the earth. I let go of ideas, ideals, and identity. And in a moment, I was dancing, feeling, moving, allowing life to move through me instead of forcing it into compartments, pockets, boxes, drawers, photo albums, folders, journals, drawings. No more tearing, ripping, searching, thinking, worrying, wondering, looking back, jumping ahead, limping, starving, and making pillows into wells. The juices in the roast can only be reduced for so long until all of it becomes a sticky mess of burnt debris that is not edible and is a bitch to get off the pan. I was holding, gripping, and cramming until what I held was only a life of what I wanted rather than a life of what I have, a life that is so beautiful that when I finally saw it my heart would travel around the world, powered by beauty, truth, and love. This is the end of suffering. Last Wednesday night, I opened up and found that freedom had been waiting in my feet, my hands, my knees and elbows; that freedom was patiently settled in my hair and under my tongue, between my eyelids and in every pulse point throughout my body.

The shift happened suddenly while dancing to BTO at the 331 Club. This is it? This is where enlightenment is discovered? After years of reading countless books from the metaphysical section of the bookstore, sitting for hours at the river, creating sacred spaces for sending love, and walking for miles while listening to guides instruct me on what to do next in my life, my moment finally happens in a neighborhood bar watching my friends, strangers to each other, dance wonderfully and ridiculously to, yes, I think it was Humpty, flinging each other onto one another's backs as if they'd known each other for years. I sat alone in the booth, drinking wine, watching, and smiling. I was about to let go.

My fears fell all at once from my hands like dandelions whose thin, yellow petals had long ago turned to seeds. Imagine clutching the sentimental dandelions for years, not remembering that energy does not vanish, nor does it thrive in the shadows of the ignorance of sentimentality, but is reborn in the product of death itself. I was not thinking of the seed, I was lamenting the bright yellow petals, the softness of them on my cheek, the smooth tickle caressing my lips, so sweet, so wonderful, so full of love. It never occurred to me that I could plant these seeds instead of clutching them tightly like obsolete currency. At that moment, in the club, I returned them to the earth and gave them a chance to create more life, abundance, newness, love sprouting everywhere up through the green grass and into the air where I am no longer swinging and tearing at the illusion of abandonment and control.

Love is in the seed.
Let it go.
This is the end of suffering.

All the pieces fell into place when I let go. Everything became ridiculously easy and what I feared losing most transformed and left. Surprisingly, other things came back transformed. Transformation is not myth. Once on the path we do not stay entrenched in our fears forever. We face it everyday. Eat it everyday, short breaks to get us through, allow work, bills, even fun and peace. Then it all rushes back for us to face again. We give loving kindness to it everyday. We shift a little everyday. Keep doing it. Keep doing it. Push. Push. Breath. Rest. Push. Push. Scream your f***ing head off. Cry. Rest. Feel it, don't close up. Don't hold it in. Don't think you can outsmart it. It lasts for what seems eternity and then all at once, it's out. It's done. It's real. It's in the world. Pieces of the true self come back. And once that happens we can't remember how painful it was because if we did no one would ever continue the process of growth, or have more than one baby.

©2006 Mental Contagion • Making Space for Visual Artists & Writers