Barricades

Last night I awoke suddenly in the middle of the night, and I found myself THERE; in that place, alone, staring at “it”. The room was deadly still. Exposed and vulnerable, I felt the oceans rush to my eyes; connected once again. How did I get here? How did I get past the barricades? I was terrified; out in the open and waiting for “it” to break. I needed quickly to raise the shields, before I would perhaps succumb to the kryptonite of the insanity. What happened to those damn barricades; those gigantic sheets of corrugated steel, the size of billboards each displaying their messages to me loud and clear? One by one they stood in front of and behind each other, forming an endlessly-layered wall separating me from “it”, from the “place”; the early ones first erected in my youth, mostly by me but some by others, are now so rusted that their messages are illegible and long since forgotten. Yet, still they stand, protecting me, preventing me, keeping me untethered from that which would destroy me; from that which so senselessly defies logic and defaces love.

My body was shivering when I awoke. I thought at first from the cold, but it was because I was “there”, in that “place”.  The “it”… was my heart. Long since buried so that I might survive the insanity, I lay there last night for a brief eternity in the presence of that center of our spiritual gravity that constantly and perpetually draws us back home to “it”.  It, the truth, the love, the naked and eternal reality. Who or what let down my barricades? I do not want to be sorrowful and scared and vulnerable!!! I want to see the barricade that says “all men are evil”, so that I won’t melt into a pool of tears when a killer shoots a room full of children, or a defenseless animal is tortured, or the mobs and politicians they follow continue to march towards a cliff from which life as we know it will surely plummet.

The barricades down, my heart in plain sight, the dam breaks, and the fear floods in with nothing to stop it. But then like an automatic reflex, survival kicks in, and the barricades begin to rise up again one by one. The earliest ones first, I saw the rusted messages of grade school “You are cowardly and weak”, and of high school “No girl could ever want you”. And later, when friends seemingly betrayed me and girls dumped me, my Twin Towers of barricades broadcasting “You MUST protect your heart at all costs. Shut it down…. forever”. Like a great wall of massive dominos the barricades continued to return. A recent one stated “All terrorists are Muslims, and ALL Muslims are suspect”. How else was I to reconcile the savagery?

Continuing to regain my composure, I mused some more about the gravitational pull of the heart and the barricades in all of us. What billboards do the evil ones see; the lonely ones; the dishonest ones; the broken ones; and the heartless ones? I realized that no one is really heartless, but rather separated from their hearts by some bad-ass shit. Everyone wants to get back to their heart, but some are so lost that they never will.

My barricades were back, fully online. I closed my eyes in the hopes of finally returning to what passes for sleep for me these days, but I was again stirred by something; an image in my mind the size of an IMAX screen. I watched as a brand new barricade towered up from the underground; this one larger and more brightly lit than any before. This new billboard spoke aloud to me as I read along with the brilliant mega-font that stated, “Hey asshole, the time has come to take down the barricades.  The time has come for you to start living”.  Peace, love, dove homies.  It’s never too late.

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