rasta-orphic rise

"Ever has it been that love knows not it's own depth until the hour of separation." -Kahlil Gibran

We are all in New York for the Orphic Rise. Appropriately, I am stuck in the Lincoln Tunnel for the first hour of my stay, only to emerge with the setting sun.  And thar she blows, the maiden I lay my twenty year old head to. Hotel Olcott and later the Morgan Stop, Brooklyn's finest.  She is glistening-- not the New York I remember but a more fresh--more frosh--more subdued and humbled city--dare I say ordinary? Can this be the working of anti-greed, from economic collapse taking the ego sting out of the structures while still shimmering in its newness--architecture and highline parks, the new Fashion's Night Out; this new high-end thrust.  Orpheus was your classic Western poet in love with Eurydice. He was told not to look back as he led her out of Hades, but he couldn't resist. Don't let the darkness eat you up. In four days I total nearly 17 hours of sleep and my feet bleed more than once. My heart is still waiting to feel to infinity. 

Nine years after the towers there is Light Rising indeed. The country swoons while I model a handbag line at two in the morning mere blocks from the beams. This is New York and it's Fashion Week. Click and snap and now the 4 am ride to JFK-- the neighborhood more like the discount strip in Petaluma than the projects Jay-Z sang about, the Ecuadorean cab driver taking the time to point out that I'm single and he's single between fielding calls with a mariachi ringtone. The photo shoot ends up being so dark and suicidal that we can't use any of the shots. They are eerie, haunting to the point where we wonder if we're channeling the sadness of the world over the trade center, or our own Orphic heart break. Everyone we know is brokenhearted. Everyone. He was told not to look back--look what happens when one falters, looks back. It seems to bring a dingy browning quality to everything, the annihilation of a sacred pact.

After I'm home in Los Angeles I order a few books, all French philosophical fiction, that a writer had recommended to me at a loft party full of faux bohemians and as I check out I notice all the many shipping addresses listed on the Amazon "ship to" page. Could one summate a life by the spaces they've occupied at any given moment? Adi Da speaks of art and says it must lead the viewer to ecstasy, that its true purpose is to heal, to bring the participant into God Communion. I wonder if any of these writers will be able to satisfy that want and call in me, or if it will remain, like most writing, secular and below the heart. As I lay my head down on this western angel I wonder if I'll ever be able to transcend myself enough to move one to feel the divine in my art, or if I will merely continue the neurotic exposition of self inquiry on the page. 

In this restless swoon of a post-flight nap it occurs to me that we are all Orpheus. We all look back for that heroin shot, that nuzzle of familiarity; the perfect ruin of bondage,  cult of pairs, no sea moving. Dante's lovers took an apartment there, the tricky line veiled.  What is it to become a truly feeling being with the agony of love egg on your face--not amusing, not fun, but deeply and profoundly in love? It is to never lose the heart.

Never lose the heart. How brilliant that this secret gets rolled into the ear as the world peels back and falls away from you.