I had done this exercise before. But it had never made me cry before.
I imagined the full moon rising over the horizon ahead of me and, as I had done in the past, reached towards it and pulled its moon-energy into myself. So far, so fun. We love moon-energy. But then as I felt my arms moving through space it occurred to me that I was fabricating spurious physical movement for a process that was surely energetic. What if instead of making a lot of action with my body in the name of making the moon come into me, I opened myself up to awareness of the feeling of the moon pouring into me all by itself? These arms did not need to flail around in space. These arms were conduits, as was my whole body, and all they had to do was be. The moon was already doing its thing. If I just shut up, I would feel it.
So instead of physically reaching my physical object “Arm” toward this imaginary moon, I was still and opened up my arm-energy and the moon poured in like honey and swam into my heart and I cried.
“Oh, God, she's going to want to know why I'm crying, and I'm not going to be able to tell her, because I don't know,” I thought. Who would cry when they felt such a beautiful feeling? Who knew that the moon, which looks so silvery-quiet and cool as it slips above its imagined horizon, is actually made of jasmine-scented honey? Who would cry when their insides were filling up with Greek jasmine honey of unbearable sweetness?
I don't know how to handle this, I thought. That's why? Maybe? This silky fluid feeling as the moon quietly steals all through me and fills my previously plebian interior with its piercing light of sweetness...I have no defence against this. I know how to handle hurt, hardship, emptiness, suffering, violence, rage, loss, cruelty, hopelessness, and despair. But this...how can there be room for this sweetness inside me, when I thought I was completely full of organs?
And yet clearly there was room for this terrifying sweetness, against which I had no defence, because once it slipped into my life, its perfume infiltrated and transformed everything it touched, until I was made entirely of honey, held together with one very thin skin.
I could not stop crying.
What do I do with you now that you're inside me, I asked the moon honey, hardly breathing. How will I go on living now that you've changed my insides? What do I do with this information? It flowed through my veins like exquisitely anti-painful golden honey. How can I bear having the pain of life taken away from me? How can I bear even one more moment of this unbearable lightness of being?
It felt like I spent an eternity with that moon flowing through me, but in physical terms it couldn't have been more than a minute or two. Still more than any human could be expected to endure.
The tears eventually stopped streaming unbidden down my face.
We do not always cry out of sadness. Sometimes feelings are just so enormous, they have to come out. I mopped myself up, went home, and had my aha moment.
We do in order to distract ourselves from being. Being can be infinite torture. But only by allowing ourselves to be can we feel the moon's Tupelo honey swim into us and fill us with perfumed light and silk.
Sometimes we reflexively shut down when threatened with sweetness. Much as the body can't actually tell the difference between hot and cold (please go to the Exploratorium and touch the heated and chilled copper coils to test this for yourself), maybe sometimes the spirit can't actually tell the difference between sweetness and pain. It feels something extreme, and in self-defence, shuts down and runs away. That's not for me, it says. I have my familiar scope of practice, and that lies outside its parameters. I don't want that, whatever it is. I don't want to find out, because what if it's like that other thing I remember feeling in the past, that hurt me?
That's when it takes just that much more courage to leave doing behind and just be. Forget the barrida. Feel the person you're dancing with and let your heart speak and hear.
Pass the honey.