Tuesday, July 18, 1995 by Dave Winer.
For my July vacation I took an 11-day, 100-hour course in massage. I did this last year too. It was incredible experience the first time, and no less incredible the second time.
One of my classmates said "you learn so much more than massage at these classes." Amen! Eleven days with lots of stretching, and it's not only your muscles that get stretched. This time it was my view of the world, life and love, and most important, myself -- that got the big stretches.
I'm aware that some of my readers are uncomforable with talk about bodies. If so, skip this DaveNet piece, I promise to write about technology again, real soon. On the other hand, if you've been living exclusively in your head, like a lot of people do, you might find this piece to be an interesting stretch, a challenging change of pace in an intellectual way.
I learned that there are two fundamental opposing forces in the world, love and fear. Equal amounts of love and fear cancel each other out. Negative energy is pure fear. Positive energy is pure love.
We invent a lot of words for love: fun, friend, play, share, create, passion. In the mathematics of the spirit they are identical to love, and they are equally cancelled out by fear.
I want my life to be love. To do so, I have to overcome my own fears, and the fears of other people. All the living I do comes from love. All the spinning comes from fear. I hide in my fear.
It *is* possible to get your neck to release. If you can send a message of thanks and acknowledgement to the muscles of your neck, if you can send them pure love, they will relax. The trick is learning how to send that message. It can be done. I don't think it matters how locked your neck muscles are.
Friends are great mirrors. Listen to how they view you. It can change how *you* view you.
I took a great half-day hike on this trip. Up a mountain. A twisty trail that leads to a steep dirt road that loops around a peak, ending at the summit. I round a corner. A spectacular vista opens. A river around a mountain. Swirling rippling twisting hiding. Finding a valley. A town. An airport. Planes taking off and landing. Back to the mountain. Birds with huge wingspans floating soaring flapping gliding searching looking. Back to the town. Streets and roads. Cars moving reflecting turning stopping.
Vistas like this are created by love not fear. Generations of mudslides, earthquakes, huge acts of creativity -- and small ones -- births, deaths, shovels, bulldozers, technology. A city in a mountain valley. All there just for me on a cloudless hot July Sunday afternoon.
In this spot I was myself. I connected with this place. Everything I gave to it came back to me. For the first time since childhood I wrote poetry. First I roared my lyrics to the valley then I spoke softly. My hands pointed, flowed, following the air currents, following the path of the birds with the huge wingspans.
Our world is that valley. Some people are caught in ditches with overheated radiators. And others are soaring and floating. Some are driven by fear. Others are empowered by love.
We all have a presence in this world -- our bodies. But we're the only people who can't see our bodies. We have a visual image of who we are, but how real is it? Have you ever seen yourself on videotape? How comfortable is that? It's reality! That's how *everyone else* sees you.
It can be confusing too. When I feel small and powerless the world doesn't make any sense. They're scared of me. Why? I couldn't hurt a fly.
I'm a big guy! I'm large like Texas is large. There's a lot of distance between my shoulders. And between my ears.
When I feel small, things don't work for me. The world and I are out of synch. No happiness.
A lion's roar can be a fearsome thing. Or an expression of love. It depends on who you are. If you're a lion's prey it's a awesome and awful sound. Death coming! Run!!!!! But if you're a lioness it can be a beautiful sound. It means you are safe. Your babies are safe. There will be food on the table tonite. Your man is a strong being. His power is a source of safety. After dinner, babies asleep, you put your head on his chest and connect with his heart. Dreams are sweet. Your heart sings. Your neck is loose. This is safety. You share love. Everything you give to him comes back.
Until a week ago I didn't understand that my body could be a source of safety. Once I understood this, something else clicked, it's a challenge like my How Bout Them Niners! piece, released on 1/27/95. I want to confront a wound between our genders, one that we can start healing now.
Men don't have to be abusive. We create them that way. We're one species, half women and half men. Men are created by women to suit their needs and vice versa. If women can let go of the idea that masculine power is something to be feared, there would be more positive masculine power in the world.
In other words, men have hearts too. Put your ear to his breast, let his arms come around you, your arms around him. Hold softly.
And consider the possibility that this is heaven.