The First Form

“Wait,” Sailor said, putting her hand to my wrist.  “What about the seven forms of love? I want to know them before we…”

But Epson was gone: notes, cricket, and all.

Inexplicably, it was then that I spoke the seven forms of love.  I only knew them as I said them…as if by saying them I was learning them for the first time myself, as if I had become some sort of conduit.  I could just as well have been speaking in tongues.  My speech was simultaneously mysterious and crystal clear, the way the words flowed forth, as if from the ether…

“This first one’s simple,” I said matter-of-factly, “You just pray.”

“I’m not talking about that churchy shit.  I’m talkin’ about a feeling.  Sometimes it just hits you, a need to fall forward onto your knees.  It’s not a habit, not something someone told you to do.  It’s not training, or indoctrination, or culture.  It’s the feeling of awe for the fact that you are even fucking alive, that you are overwhelmed by the hugeness of that gift.  It’s the feeling of lying on the floor in the dark, with you arms open; it’s the feeling that you are so wide…and so fragile…that when all the weight of the world presses you down like beautiful, leaden blanket…you cannot do anything but cry, with tears running down the sides of your cheeks, down into the carpet.

“It’s the feeling of walking down a city street at the dawn of some accidental escapade, when light breaks onto the raindrenched asphalt and you know for an instant you’re the richest person on earth.

“That’s prayer, in fact.  That moment, that wave of sensation is a prayer.

“Some say it’s self love, which is, in its highest form, love of the universe, which again is prayer.

“Its inverse, its closest relative, is addiction, and oblivion, and the absorption of one’s self into experiences, emotional rides, waves of sensation.  Its inverse is suicide.”

 

(Inspired by the writings of Sean Lynch.)

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