This is my ode to the path of devotion and love…an ode to the modern day Mirabai…inspired by, but not recounting the life of 16th century poet Mirabai or the countless nameless lovers who came before and after her.
There she was at the top of the mountain where she could see the vast blue sea below her, and the vast blue sky above her. She was so weary, so empty, so alone, and so free. His eyes called to her, no longer from a particular face, but from deep within her heart. She fluttered open her heart, her wings, and with one last exhale, took flight off into the blue. Never to be seen again.
What to say of her life? She was a nobody, a true devotee. The kind everyone around thinks is a witch, crazy, a bit off, too much, sensitive, empathic, healer, open hearted, dancer, poetess, singer, artist, lover, always crying or laughing too much, bipolar, psychic, psychotic, and weird. She lived from her heart, what the Yogis call the Anahata. The Anahata is said to be a mysterious plane where there is untold blissfulness, and also untold terror and constant life altering challenge. Which is exactly how her life was.
Many tried to harm her, and crush her body, mind and spirit. I can’t tell you why. Maybe they found her innocence grating, or misunderstood her deep emotion for weakness. She went through much violence, and yet, just kept forgiving and forgiving. Letting go and letting go of all the pain, rejection, terror and horror. Despite the constant danger, she refused to live with walls, protection, or even scabs. She let her wounds bleed freely until every one of them healed.
Since she was a little girl and heard of what love was, she had always wanted Shiva, the first yogi, the powerful ascetic dancer God of Hindu mythology, as her husband. She looked for him in every pair of eyes she met, in every experience, in every night sky, and in every dark time. Yet he was always a step away, never could be embraced. He was stolidly silent no matter how much she longed, and how much she cried.
She met him over and over again in every man, child, and woman, in every animal, tree and flower. She had had many lovers. She was reckless with her own heart and life, yet gentle and worshipful to the other. She was utterly fearless, giving herself up completely to everyone; and yet never had a home to call her own or was ever possessed by anyone.
She was someone who would give the very shirt off her back if she felt someone needed it. She couldn’t help herself. Another’s pain grated her heart like her very own.
One day she met a man whose heart she just fell for instantaneously. She loved him beyond herself. Oh did she ever. How the depths of his beautiful brown eyes seemed to glow when his eyes met hers and he smiled. He meant everything to her. She loved him deeply and unconditionally, despite not ever possessing him, or ever truly being his. She was built in such a way, without ever understanding why, that every time she would see him, or embrace him, or make love to him, her energy would go up her spine like a train, burst open her heart, and burst open her forehead center, leaving her in a silently drenched ecstasy.
Sometimes this would happen when she was alone too, at moments when her heart would melt and she was left with tears of bliss quietly drenching her cheeks. It happened when she saw black birds flying in the light blue sky, a little baby’s smile, a pink and gold sunrise, the peacock blue sky of twilight, or saw the glowing full moon peaking out of wisps of cloud.
She desperately wanted him to call her. To write to her. To think of her. To let her merge with him. To let her come home finally, to rest her head and her heart on his chest, oh so weary with travel. Her feet ached from the countless miles of wandering without a home to call her own. She just wanted to lay beside him. She wanted to look into his eyes, leaning her forehead on his. She wanted him to hold her tightly. And yet, he never did call, he never did come to fetch her. So her heart broke, and cracked open, and the light shown through fiercer.
One day she met another man, whose presence she fell for instantaneously. This man was her Guru, and initiated her into meditation. He encouraged her to dance, sing and love in utter abandon. He also could never be around her physically, but she could feel his presence within her heart anytime she needed it.
Mira danced, and danced and danced, that day on the mountain top. Spinning wildly to the beat of drums and melodic singing. At first she danced her love, brimming over with longing. Next her pain, her tears, and her heartbreak. Then she danced her surrender, throwing away her life into the dance without a care if she died mid step, throwing away her breath and her heart into the beat, into the song. Then came the utter blissfulness, the ache of ecstasy, of being barely able to stay up, feeling so completely taken that she collapsed onto the ground into a pure, vast, immobilizing stillness, where the dance and song became silence itself.
She had lived through countless heartbreaks. One could say that her entire life was heartbreak and that they were an impetus for her heart to crack wide open, over and over again. Until it finally cracked into infinite pieces, that day on the mountain top.
She trusted life completely, without rhyme or reason. She lived every breath, loved every moment, and wandered every step, like it was her last, in utter abandon.
Her Shiva finally came to her, in those final moments when she took flight and never came back, finally at home, in the infinite.