Sitting on the Roof


Madhuri on leaving her beloved….

A caffeinated rant on writing and love. Osho had told me, about lovemaking, “Stay in the valley…Don’t seek the peaks….”. But I did not understand at all. This piece seems to me now to be a perfect illustration for the benefits of Tantra, of meditation in relating; because what happens here is what happens when meditation is not the priority: the ups and downs of passion are. My only excuse is that I was twenty-five, and had a great deal of wailing, thrashing, and discovering left to do….About this time, as well, I asked Osho, “I’m in love and I feel like a moth dying into a flame. Should I somehow separate myself and be more alone and aware, or should I die into the flame?” And he had replied, “Die, Madhuri, die…even if you suffer thirty hours for half an hour of love, it is worth…”

morning glory

I sit on the roof of Lao Tzu in a folding chair, writing. The morning is chill and delicious to the bones. My heart aches and the sun swells light-particles to bloom off buildings far away between the branches of a huge tree of undistinguished green. Birds chirp, chuckle, call. A tree with a trunk as green as love is thrusting youngly beyond the roof. Morning glories and bougainvillea drape themselves like desirous celebrating ladies over two sides of the roof-ledge.

My tummy is slightly too full of compensation: coffee with milk and honey, fruit, nuts and raisins. But the feeling vanishes rapidly in the cold. I love to look at the colours I’m wearing – deep red trousers and silk kimono over a beige ribbed turtle-neck.

Beloved, I’m writing this for you. Paper, I’ve neglected you so long; the paper who lives in my stomach and is directed towards no-one. No, it hasn’t been too long; the need hasn’t been there.

Two things are clear: that my writing is mostly, as Bhagwan says, just a catharsis (He said, “You have to write! It relaxes you!”) – and that I am not a writer any more. A certain clumsiness has appeared in my artistic relation to the pen. Though letters come easily, unpretended, fun; I’m suspicious of my vehicle, of the programs which show themselves through it. It all feels slightly formulized, or, if not, then substanceless, petty, repetitious, rambling, and sometimes cute. And the thought comes, “Maybe I’ll use this for a letter. Too bad I’m not making a carbon.”

The impulse which pushed me up onto the roof in the first place, and which feels digressed from and fading, though still present in a seed in my heart, was the same impulse which wanted me to run to Veda’s. Though for two days I didn’t want to see him, now the desire has opened in my chest, but now I think he doesn’t want to see me. It feels as though a parting has happened.

The sun has reached the morning-glories. Green jumps out, purple offers itself like breasts. The sun hits in a square, according to the shapes of the houses obstructing its path.

It feels as though we’ve given each other up. Something has fallen out of us. Patient, I wait for the new to be born; courageous, I feel to the full the sense of parting. Fearful, I tremble in the moment of nostalgia; but it is slight…as though, with Veda, the adorableness of the nose and the sweetness of his innocent voice… are so intrinsically unclingable-to… This is the miracle god gave us: that Veda’s energy, the light cat-energy, forever young and springy, quick even in sleep; antithesis of Daddy… acts like a duck’s back to any grasping and holding.

The sun is stronger now, lighting the tiles underneath the drooping hair of vines.

So…Are we out of love? Veda was afraid of falling out of love with me, or that he had fallen. I understand; I’ve had the same fear with my lovers, of falling out of love… “It would be a darned nuisance,:” I said, “like inviting lots of guests to a party, and they all show up, and there’s no party.”

“No,” he said, “It just would be sad because the joy would be gone.”

More intense, a reddish light hits dry leaves under the vines.

I feel like going downstairs. My heartache untranslated.

Nowhere to go but here. No Veda to run to. And that last seems meaningless: if I want to run I want to run. But I guess I don’t want to enough. Though I do want to be in love.

It feels like the only way to go deep into that particular tenderness.

There! That’s what I want to tell him…to be foolish. Yes, to drop the illusions when they want to be dropped…but to be in love is primary, at least cyclically. If not with me then with somebody (she says bravely, hiding her buried rage.) ..and don’t put it down! I feel you putting it down. Disillusionment is good, healthy, cathartic – but don’t think you have to fall out of love with love, permanently.

Fall out of love, but be open.

You cannot escape love. It will come like a ghost from the walls in dreams, like the dog that is on both sides of the door, and eat your flesh again, lick by lick, taste by taste of your whole skin.

Let it. Let it come and go. When it’s there it’s the door to the other, to your inner heart, your seed, your abyss and your sunlight on morning glories in a chill hole in the morning, your trembling of the sexual organs and the lighting of the inferiorities and the fears. The promise of ecstasy and joy.

The door to all the fears and joy, mixed into one trembling moment; the moment of looking into the eyes of the inexplicably beloved, the needed, the reflected one…The face precious, the hair precious, every flaw precious; every movement absolved. To look into the perfection of morning glories in sunlight, when every flower blooms like the beloved’s eye. Purple, florid, perfect, long-lashed.

To yearn for it and then to tremble on the edge within its reach, joyful to be taken, to be ordinary even within the being possessed by love, to celebrate an hour together running barefoot on the roof to the sunning-place, the beloved’s face sunlit and hair-shaded at once. The beloved perfect and infinitely desirable even in the relaxation into desire.

To mingle at night in a moment more precious than one knows until it’s gone, so deeply wonderful in its own Now, that you ache and burst within it, for a second no longer alone and yet more terribly alone. To burst with love, with being so with the beloved who is so with you. Laughing in wickedness, beaming wicked suggestions with roguish eyes, deep in the ecstasy of sensation. To trade energies as easily as breath and water. To be part of one energy which is ecstatic with itself, surrounding the two bodies like the glow of a candle, a glow felt rather than seen…But sometimes feeling is a kind of vision. God’s energy quivering and joyful and unsentimental and passionate.

To mingle in a moment of belonging, for each other, utterly. Utter pleasure and utter joy and utter involvement in the pain, the only things left in the world.

And, in the parting all parts…no traces left. We forget. The moment isn’t there, it’s entered the bones and displaced the calcium there; but is forgotten and un-present. And we need to throw each other away rather than having the other in a nesting-place in the heart; we need to throw him away. Throw utterly, forget, have the joy of the self back unobstructed, nothing expected of you, your own man or woman. Reject the clinging bird of the other. Throw him out of your heart. Clean house. Let the energy fall as it will.

It is good, the sun is stronger. It’s widened the roof.

Throw me out of your heart as I throw you. Let the energy drain from the body, push it with all your might, push the old grand piano which has given you so much tinkly joy, which has confounded you when it wouldn’t tune, throw it from the tenth floor window and be happy as it falls, with all the weight of itself, to the pavement far below. Enjoy the crash and splintering and immense disintegration of it, showering buildings and passersby, exploding like a dry elephant, busting in elegant slow motion with a noise to shake the foundations of love.

Let love be shaken and dropped and not picked up again. It will grow then like the ghost from the walls, but you need not do it. It will grow you, a little deeper, again; you are a mushroom on the shaggy back of love. Grown overnight and suddenly and with many imperfections, and you collapse suddenly and are gone to grow again.

Let love grow you. Don’t grow love. Drop the other with his habits and toothpastes and even his curly hair; which tangles like your fingers in his heart, and his round apple ass and springy walk. His elven face and his nightmares and the visits of love on love. Throw out the visits and the coffee and the strange times you didn’t know each other, most of the time really. Throw out the whole past and him with it. Dirty bathwater, dirty baby, never to be clean.

Throw it. Enjoy the cleanliness and strength and purity of your own being.

The birds bellow and swing and chirp. The fat sun is creeping towards me across the roof. Morning glories open up their arms. Their face is like your face, like the sun, in the sun. I cleanse myself in nuclear burning, throwing you out, pouring from myself the morning glories which come from the sun and burn here in perpetual rejection; as the sun hits and has poured them out of himself, they are rejected and come here to burn. Power out of the sun, they alight for a moment like butterflies on vines, and burn and disintegrate in their own death and transcendence. And the sun has made them and thrown them out of himself and they succour on him for their brief time, and they bloom and blaze like god in his small purple velvet form, each one a hand and heart of god, blazing purple in deep atune.

Like that, I throw you out of my heart. Blaze there; I blaze here in nuclear profusion, throwing you out of my heart, and seeing you again in the one who has come up behind me to start anew, take me in his arms and burn with me and through me and out of me – to blaze on the vine for a moment like a star.

by Madhuri, 1977

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