At the beginning of this week I had set out to dance everyday, film and share it here. After day 3 something, still unknown to me, caused a change in course. Conflicting feelings arose from this divergence. On the one hand I wanted to follow through the full 5 days of dancing. Then today I realized that the desire to sustain this original motion may have been an unnecessary motivation. What was I trying to achieve through this choice? By not following through, does that suggest a weakness? Initially, I wanted to get over my fear of sharing my dance style in a public way and give kinetic voice to something I so passionately feel of which there is no other way to express but to do it. As for weakness, at first I likely would describe it that way, yet now after pondering what it means to sustain, to keep something up despite what other influences there may be, weakness is only a word.
There has been exquisite weather this week, yet a neutrality of sorts has been my base demeanor. Even though dance is usually something that lifts me from the mundane, it was only for a short time post-dance and my full self/entire body was responding to something bigger, something well outside of me and the space and time that fill my days. Even now my mind grows quiet as I try to voice the voiceless. Unable to say it any other way, I truly feel connected to something so unspeakable and out of my limits of understanding – it is a presence of many things – at times a confluence, at times a stream of purity and full love for everything. These subtle constituents that radiate through me rarely go unnoticed and therefore I am subject to the emotional tides they may cause or subside.
So, to sustain simply for the sake of sustaining and to lose myself in its wake felt fleeting and not related to how I as a human am currently experiencing the universe and the incredible impressions it passes through me. I will more than allow myself vulnerability to the universe, and to let it fill me with its infinity, its lack of measurement, and disembodied expressions. As time continues to contain us, concepts of what is life and what is purpose curve me toward something unlimited.
In the movie, Interstellar, director Christopher Nolan uses gravity as a central theme to the film [spoiler alert]. His use of the term gravity feels like it relates more generally to things we cannot fully explain, in particular, unconditional love. In one part of the film, Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and Brand (Anne Hathaway) are discussing which planet to use their limited fuel to get to. Through the dialogue we learn that Brand is drawn to one of the potentially inhabitable planets because the man she loves is there while Cooper feels more confident and logical about the planet that Mann is on. After investigating Mann’s planet we learn it’s more of an escape plan for Mann and his planet is not inhabitable whatsoever. At the end of the movie we discover that Brand’s instinct was a far better choice.
Nolan was suggesting something outside of logic, outside of the things we think we know, love holds a power we cannot fully contain or explain. During their discussion of where to go, Brand asks Cooper, “Why is it that we still love someone after they die?” It’s true, how do we explain this existential conundrum? I still very much love my grandfather and my best friend of 25 years, yet they are no longer physically here, so what is this strange thing we call love? My interpretation of Nolan’s film and use of the word gravity is that there is something altogether mysterious that holds us and the universe together – unconditional love.
This form of love is also not effected by time. It knows no bounds and permeates through all matter, space and time, backwards, forwards and presently. And since love is not a single emotion and is an unlimited source from which everything we feel germinates, when I experience unexplainable feelings and internal conflicts, I am feeling the unending permutations of unconditional love. It is an ongoing visceral education and as I now go about life with renewed openness to consciousness, I am reminded of the Tao. I will leave you here with the first chapter of the Tao Te Ching from Lao Tzu.
Chapter One: What is the Tao?
The “Tao” is too great to be described by the name “Tao”.
If it could be named so simply, it would not be the eternal Tao.
Heaven and Earth began from the nameless (Tao),
but the multitudes of things around us were created by names.
We desire to understand the world by giving names to the things we see,
but these things are only the effects of something subtle.
When we see beyond the desire to use names,
we can sense the nameless cause of these effects.
The cause and the effects are aspects of the same, one thing.
They are both mysterious and profound.
At their most mysterious and profound point lies the “Gate of the Great Truth”