ZUBIN
MATHAI
author of the oarsman
Pierced My Heart
November 24, 2014

I was feeling the isolation of Ojai last night and this morning; the isolation one feels when moving to a new town, knowing no one, and here, amplified by the smallness of Ojai.

Another day another hike. I went out this morning and as I walked, the filter of thoughts tinted everything. The trail was too dusty and dry. The mountains surrounding everywhere cut me off, making me feel more alone. And the sun, with it’s hot cold stare, was too harsh.

But then, the more I walked uphill and more exhausted I grew, the less energy I had to keep alive this separation we all are addicted to. At one point, a floating bird overhead cast a shadow on the trail heading right towards me. Before I could think, I already imagined that shadow piercing my heart, and all resistance fell away.

I looked out to the same mountains, sun and dirt, and the filter was gone. My heart was no longer physical, merely beating in my chest, but an energy starting from there and soon easily seen to have no bounds, no source or destination.

My eyes watered, even in that dry, warm dustiness, as the Heart welcomed everything: the mountains, which it was, the sun, which it was, and the isolation, which arose and fell tenderly from it. An embrace with arms unimaginably large, big enough for the entire world, radiated outwards from no center.

The boundary between the personal and infinite can get rough, like two tectonic plates abrading against each other. Stay too long in that fault and you will get shaken up into darkness. Choose one or the other and live; live in the familiar bounds or live in boundless Love.