Sometimes it seems like all we talk about on the topic of love is the fall. Throughout the history of the world, civilizations have literally risen - and later met their doom - because of the mad, desperate pursuit of falling in love. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that, for many of us, finding love is the sole - or at least the most driving - force in our lives.
We deify this process, holding love as our savior from all of the terrors of the world. This obsession is everywhere, it conditions and permeates our culture so completely that we barely even notice. We are dying to fall in love. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that for all of your life, "when[ever] you wish upon a star," you have been wishing for love.
If any of what I've said here makes sense to you or sounds true, I'm happy for that. I do feel that I have some very universal, human ideas to share. However, the whole truth is, I've really just been telling my own story. I can say that I believe these things so deeply because they are also my own path. And frankly, I am sick to death of it all. I am ready, beyond-ready, to evolve. As the great ecstatic poet Hafiz says, "I am tired of speaking sweetly" about love.
Falling in love is only half of the story. And what's more, spending our lives in constant pursuit of that particular type of fall - the fall that we want, the fall that we crave, the fall that feels good and communal and affirming - means that we are only living half-truths. And the love in our lives is going to respond to this by only meeting us halfway, by continually falling short of our expectations, by malnourishing our hungry hearts. This is another kind of fall, and in my very humble but ardent opinion, it is a fall that must happen - many times, for some of us - before we can begin to see love with clarity and maturity.
Before we can truly love, we must first have loved and fallen.
There is a poem in Thirsty Camel called "Sonnet-Sirenhorns." It tells this whole tale, the tale of a journey from illusion into a deeper, more evolved understanding of love. I'm very proud of these words and, no doubt, intimately connected to them in my own personal Path. Even the name "Sonnet-Sirenhorns" seems to speak my heart. It's the idea that love poems are beautiful, even necessary, but sometimes we get tired of the same old blaring message time and time again. Eventually, the time comes for us to shed the skin we've been living in, to grow into a new voice that speaks with lived wisdom and experience.
This is my attempt at saying something that you haven't heard before. These are the words of a Love Poet in Rebellion. This is my heart, worn-out from all of the sonnets I've written for all of these long years and ready to become something new. This is "Sonnet-Sirenhorns." Maybe you'll hear something that sounds true to you, too.
Sonnet - Sirenhorns
the time has come to speak of love
but if this moment has truly come
let us speak together of what is real
and position ourselves fast
with feet firmly planted
as shields which might stay
too many poets
on too many days
unendingly wax their songs of love
like blaring sonnet-sirenhorns
they hope to convince us
that their longings can take shape
in our hearts –
what an intrusion! –
but when we look deeply
the wisest of us will find
that all the love-poet is seeking
is to fill his own void
with the crumpled pen-and-paper odes
how do i know that this is so?
because i myself
am the finest ode-maker
that i know
i lay down my quill and ink
and with them
all of the things i’ve been hoping
you’d hear me say
let us talk about the things that love
love is not our ceaseless grasping:
the thousand wanting hands that spring
from our chests
this says far more about what we lack
than what we need
love is not projection
for we can spend a thousand lives
waiting for our lovers to be what we wish
and still have a thousand more
yet to wait
love is not the sugarcane trees
that bear fruit to sate a starving man
his hunger is for his own Self
and no kiss could ever hope
to fill his belly
love is neither savior
not a respite from ravage
nor an escape from
this world that terrifies us
you were born knowing
that love is simple
but to be free from all of your illusions
you must first have loved
© 2015 Brandon Thompson