There is a quote that scalded my reality when I touched it and has left a scar that continues to be sensitive to my touch.
In, “The Secret of St. Francis of Assisi,” Christian Bobin speaks of the look between lovers; you know, that unflinching stare that breaks the padlocked virginity of all social scripts and sends us diving into an invigorating pool of momentary union and sinking bliss.
I think (and hope) we’ve all swam in the pond of a loved ones eyes before. And Christian Bobin says of this stare:
“…with the full light of your eyes, you will endow me with the certainty that I exist.”
Somehow the first part of this statement baits me with the vision of a calm, romantic and ripple-less lake when suddenly a comma belly flops the sentence by following with a terrifyingly accurate accusation that sprays stinging saltwater in my eyes.
My eyes tear up and as I rub the sting away — I see it — but still don’t believe it.
Perhaps I am exceptionally egotistical in comparison to my fellow love-questing comrades, but I think Bobbin has completely nailed me on this one; a good portion of my ache for attached love walks hand in hand with a craving for those moments when someone (mother, lover or child) looks at me with such confirming eyes that I finally feel certainly (but oh too temporarily) to exist!
But what a terrible realization! To love only to be loved? To imagine our most intimate, soul-speaking and unblinking wordless exchanges broken down to annoyingly bantering:
“No silly, YOU exist.”
“No you exist!”
“No you really, really exist!”
Oh, groan. That’s one mad-hatter merry-go-round I don’t want a turn on.
So where else to turn?
The mirror? Where a merely two-dimensional vision measured by only one of six (or more) senses suddenly holds the gavel to determine my being as not-guilty of existing?
And if indeed (as I believe) the face in the mirror is only representative of a wink in the eye of my lifetimes, then is it any wonder that I walk from mirror to mirror, tapping on the glass to ask, “And just WHO are you?” with answers constantly revolving, but never sufficing? Why don’t I as well ask the pimple on my forehead what it is? Perhaps it would say, “Nothing but a present and passing expression of long line of pores come and gone.”
(I really must be stopped when I start speaking for pimples.)
So what’s left of this rant?
I look back and choose two words: “momentary union.”
Perhaps the repetitive bantering and mirror-tapping will stop if I simply step out of the tunnel vision of my life…
to bask in the full light of any and all others’ eyes…
where I might there be endowed…
with the certainty that we exist…
and are, in fact…
(timelessly and simultaneously)