A Letter Home: I Walk With You In My Heart.
Love, you are the light that shines, even from afar, on the path before my feet.
I have never had a head for True North — my truth is altogether subtler than that, the truth of a dimension altogether freer and happier than the one we carry together right now. My True North is not the birthplace of cruel winds and blue ice. The compass by which I navigate points me to the deep embrace of true love.
That is where my steps lead me.
When I walk boldly, your light and mine merge in a heavenly hymn that only we and all the host of higher beings can hear; when I stumble or hesitate, your light touches the ground before me with white-hot clarity.
I need your love because together we leave dead weight and dead souls far behind us; I need your love because when we are together, the burden of this world is no more a burden; I need your love because you are the one who knows me, and that is the only home I wish to inhabit in this world, in this lifetime.
I walk the streets of unknown towns and cities, feel the shape and textures of new places and new faces. I come upon a castle in a castle-town, a tall masonry tower with the broad face of a brightly frescoed clock — a strange courtesy to besieging armies.
The dark streets are lit for Christmas, and in the main square, at the foot of the tower, under a cascade of glowing balls strung across the empty space like necklaces, two young lovers fall into each other’s arms and kiss.
As I walk by them, a memory of me at an earlier time walks with me, reminding me of old feelings of sadness, envy, frustration, arousal…
But the current me notes the distance between the lovers’ voices, questions buried so deep down that rarely is another allowed to touch them, if ever. Do they really know each other? What are they really thinking at this moment?
These are not meant to be cruel questions. As the current me turns into another ancient street and surveys a colonnade of secular oak pillars marching before a brightly lit line of shop fronts, it realizes that it can see and understand because it has known, it knows, true love. It has known, it knows, the fragrance of home.
Shortly after, climbing the hill to the modest castle gate where once horse hooves clattered in haste on the glistening cobbles and the heavy portcullis rattled and crashed, this neat little township with its Christmas trimmings and warmly lit apartments and beer-halls and tapas bars flickered suddenly before my eyes, vanishing momentarily, to be replaced by an earlier version of it in which the plumb masonry walls of the tower and its ramparts were cold, earnest and brutal, the flickering dance of torch- and candlelight the only light, and there was little warmth or cheer for the forlorn wanderer seeking refuge in the night of Winter.
I was there then, and the memory of it is hard. I am here now, a momentary traveler looking for a place to rest his head and call home — but today I walk with you in my heart, and I know that home is here.
Robert Norris has always written as a pilgrim writes: on the knee, in a battered notebook, with a stub of a pencil (or a favorite pen), for no purpose other than to be present at the moment something breaks through the dross, curious to see where the spider-hand will crawl to next. The pilgrim has now understood that there is more to life than private experience, that maybe there is something afoot in the world, and we are all called to stand and be heard; that working in the twilight of one’s inner workshop, only to lock the door at the end of the day and return to the ‘other life’, is no longer an option. The themes that inspire him are memory, perception and the creative act. You can find more on Robert on his website.