Book Excerpt

From When Love Comes as a Gift by Paul Ferrini

The Storm

Rain comes into the heart and into the earth as an awakening presence. The lake behind the house is pummeled by billions of droplets as the sky descends in one cascading black cloud after another, and wind drives the stirred waters of the lake from one edge to the other.
     Your hands on my body have the same effect. I am like the palm caught up in the cyclone, the wind spinning around it, threatening to uproot it, driving it right to the edge of extinction.
     No man or woman in her right mind would have asked to be penetrated in this way. The wind and the rain hold every thing hostage. Even the ducks on the pond are gathered into the spinning world, rising up to feel the wind as they beat their wings and settle back into the turgid waters.
     You don’t have to be a winged beast to be invaded. All living things are penetrated by the storm and are pregnant with its energy. You and I are just wombs waiting to be filled with falling leaves, twigs and bark chips, as the trees shake all around us.
     Last night on the beach, we were just as hungry for each other, rolling around like two ravenous puppies in the sand. Yet there is something completely impersonal in this. The storm comes and goes in our hearts and in our hands, grabbing any body part it can reach, and then releasing it, as the surf breaks on the beach and pulls back in the undertow.
     Without nature, there would be no way to understand the push and the pull or the sweep of eye or hand across these beaches and meadows of our hearts. Every cell in the body is alive and moving in some spontaneous mudra or dance and we are two warriors on the beach wielding the wands of blue light under the spinning black clouds and silver sands.
     Birds fly out from the heart and sleep under our feet. We are part of the stirred world, the ecstatic minions beyond ordinary sight. Our kisses are not kisses, but armies invading in the night, populating the earth, and disappearing at first light.
     You are not a woman nor I a man, but we are some other thing that uses our arms and legs and torsos to do its provocative dance, commanding the rain and wind to come to the beach. I used to think soul mates did another type of dance. But I was completely wrong.
     This dance is beyond you or me. It takes place in our bloodstream and drives its energy up through our bones. Yet it has nothing per say to do with your body or mine. We are just temporary hosts.
     The energy did not ask for permission to embody within us. And it does not ask for our permission to leave.
     We have no say, nor can we protest the violation of our boundaries. When the wind comes, there is no flesh that does not become wind, and when the waters rise there is no hand or arm that does not move like a fin through the raging waters.
     No one prepared us for this.
     At the wedding of wind and waves, the stars shake in the heavens and hearts are shattered in some arcane ritual only our bodies can understand. The body is just a scarf that blows in the wind and eventually comes free, leaving us naked, like Noah after the first storm came, shaking the earth with thunder in the sky and explosions of light all over the rushing waters. In the ecstatic world, the body is the price you pay. It is swept up and sent spinning on a single leg, rooted in some hidden center of the storm, driven like a sail in a circular wind, round and around, with arms and legs trembling.
     Rumi knew of this, but he did not tell us. Had we known that we would be molested, violated, penetrated by a force greater than any we had known, it is not likely we have chosen to come to this beach. Had I known, even the power of your eyes would not have been enough to draw me here. I would have held back. I would have left the beach to the wind and the rain and the black rumbling clouds.
     When the energy of earth meets the energy of sky, the mirror on the lake’s surface ceases to be empty. It is filled by angry gods, bobbing and weaving in some strange ceremonial dance.
     Beware all of you who are calling out for your soul mates. The soul mate is not the soft one you expect. He is Shiva and she is Shakti, the embodiment of the storm.
     You will not live through the night when the soul mate comes. Something you have held onto for lifetimes will be ripped away from you.
     And the gods will dance on your torn body. For they know, you have finally been humbled and vanquished.