Nanima: Truth Be Told

Chapter 14: Autumnal Bite

The water in the rock pool of Biladurang was warm compared to the coolness of the running flow a few feet away. Maliyan lay back in the quiet, inviting space. She saw her dress, on the branch, moving slightly in the breeze. The sky was bright and blue. A few cloud-puffs jollied themselves by playing with the sun. Although this morning had a typical autumnal cold-bite to it, this afternoon’s sun had a typical autumnal hot-bite to it. The heat was subdued by the branches of the gum trees standing along the river. All in all, it was entirely pleasant.

Maliyan took a deep breath and sank to the bottom of the rock pool. She kept her eyes open. After rain, the river water was usually brown with mud but, today, it was transparent. She watched the sunlight bounce off the water’s surface above. The bottom of Biladurang gave a different perspective to things. That’s why she came. She intended to visit Euroka, but his hut was locked which meant that he was away on an extended trip. Deciding that Biladurang was a better sage than Euroka anyway, she wandered along its banks until she arrived at the rock pool.

The adult dance class started last week in Nanima. Disappointingly, on the first day, Maliyan got a sudden back pain which was severe enough to prevent her going. Today, exactly the same thing happened and she had to miss the second class. As the saying goes, 

Fool me once, shame on you; 
fool me twice, shame on me. 

Deciding that the only fool in the situation was herself, she set to work on uncovering the back pain’s message.

Truth be told (and Biladurang was a place for truth to be told), ballroom dancing was not a new venture for Maliyan. She had been involved with it for ten years. When she was thirty, she started having lessons. Over time, she was given several opportunities to partner with people. Her favourite partner was during the last few years of her dancing. As often happens with favourites, it had a less-than-favourite ending. You would think that the connection between a new dance situation and an old one would be obvious, but we are masters at not seeing the obvious. So, our body takes on the connection for us. Once we relieve it of this responsibility, it usually jumps for joy and jumps right out of whatever physical predicament it had to acquire on our behalf. 

Chapter 15: Body Talk

After rising for a few breaths, Maliyan sank back down into the silent depths of Biladurang. She recalled that when she first started dancing, it was an instant love affair – with dance. Dance ignited something in her that was different to everything else inside her. A long-lost part of her was breathing again. She wasn’t sure how long it had been lost, but was glad to have it re-found. The fact that it was also good for her health was an auxiliary to the main fact of her pure pleasure in moving her body. Add another person and it multiplied the joy, at least, at various points along the way. 

Her last partner was a good male dancer – better than her – which is always worth a lot. After a while, he fell in love with her. After more of a while, she fell in love with him. They fell in love in somewhat different ways. He fell in love in a normal way. She fell in love in a conscious way. One of the reasons she did so was because he was married. That is always problematic. However, it’s not overly problematic if you fall in love consciously because what you want is different. 

Maliyan had been given a gift by this land of her heritage. It came with birth, but only showed itself as she matured. Men had a tendency to fall in love with her. Not all men, only some, but more than you would expect. She was not particularly fall-in-love-with sort of material. She was only ordinarily attractive – attractive in the way that everyone is when they are healthy and happy. Her only sexiness was in her connection to the earth. All other sexiness didn’t even make sense to her. She wasn’t particularly focused on men as she didn’t tend to see people as men or women. 

Over the years, Maliyan worked out that it was her love which triggered the falling-in-love reaction. That was the entirety of it. It seems simple enough, but if you tell people who want more of that sort of thing to love more, they generally say (and are quite convinced) that they are already very loving. That’s because they do not understand the difference between love and need. Need is often dressed as love, but it is always self-concerned. Love can be dressed any old way it wants, but it will always be concerned with the good of the other. 

Whoever receives such a gift cannot ever use it for their own purposes. That is the unwritten, but unalterable, rule. If the rule is broken, the gift is removed. Worse than that, one would get very bad karma for abusing it. Luckily, the gift itself – the gift of love – ensures that it is unlikely to be abused, but it is possible.

Regardless of what Maliyan understood about love, it did not mean that those who fell in love with her understood anything at all. And therein lay another problem. When normal people fall in love, they want a lot of unstated stuff – a lot of ridiculous stuff. If they don’t get it, they tend to get angry and then they do a lot of ridiculous stuff. That’s when endings happen. For Maliyan, endings didn’t happen. Situations can certainly end, but love doesn’t end. Otherwise, it isn’t love, is it?

Perhaps, it would seem wiser not to allow people to fall in love with you. One could organise that. It wouldn’t be hard. Just change the energy you are giving out and that would change the response. However, as problematic as falling in love is, it serves a very valuable purpose. When someone falls in love with you, they become open in a way that they are generally not. That means you can influence them. Yes, it’s a risk. You have to accept the danger of them turning into a psychopath. But there is also the possibility of them learning something valuable that may otherwise take lifetimes to learn. It’s worth the risk. 

Shaking the water off her, Maliyan pulled her sun-warmed dress over her shoulders. She moved her back and had no pain. She didn’t know if her backache was gone for good or if it was going to return. She wasn’t sure how much work needed to go into this memory. The karmic dumping ground of our body is the storehouse of many memories. Her body would soon enough let her know. Bodies have their own highly effective way of doing the talking.

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