We, Tantalus

We are all hungry.

I’m not talking gastronomics. 

I’m betting no one reading these words is far from a meal.


The body is a living collage of appetites.

The only question is who’s drive-ing.


We’re all starved: 

The man who thinks a smile is an invitation to remedy his wounds of weaning.

The woman who diets to shed her inadequacy or shops to obscure it.

The man on the street who asks for money when offered eye contact from a softened heart.

The one who cannot receive your love because she is too consumed, sinking in quicksand,  justifying the time spent in desperation.


We believe it, we legitimize it, this conspiracy of isolation and deficiency. 

And as we do, we all starve together.


There is some seminal moment in personal history and collective consciousness in which Love was offered yet was not received; it became not enough. And since Love is what we are made of, and all a soul could ever need or want, who we are and what we are about was, in that moment, rendered invalid, insufficient, even treacherous. And thence commenced the search, the posturing, the denial, the lies, the wargames.

Love is all I have to give. But this one wants spare change. That one wants sex. This one wants lies. This one wants me to be someone else.  And so, in this game, I am not enough. Knowing this, who would choose me for his team? Love will wear those costumes, but by-and by it smothers.

Yet these ones who seek from me what I do not have to offer, they are responding to the very same wound. They have forgotten their wholeness, our equality; and they suppose I am here me to fill in the gap with what they think they lack, rather than with what they need.  I try to offer the banquet, but their prison door slot has conformed to the shape of a Pringle, and meeting that, my heart tries to conform, and as it shrinks, I feel the familiar, universal pangs in my own belly and chest.

Confess to me your hunger. And I will confess my own. And we will waste away together  …for mere moments, until our tears become a spring for our thirst, our love the tree of life, and our laughter a cascade of forgiveness that absolves Tantalus and sets us free.


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