True Love my dear,
Is putting an ironclad grip
Upon the Sore Swollen Balls
Of a divine rogue elephant
…..not having the good fortune to die

First thought…You can be f@(king serious. I thought love was the usher-us-into-Jerry McGuire world. You know “You complete me”…”You had me at hello” and we go on into the sweet sensual sex drenched life of bliss…living happily ever after.


I’ve read this poem by Hafiz (rascally bastard) dozens of times. Mostly skimming over it becauseĀ  while I dig the imagery…and some of my ‘loves’ resemble the aftermath of an ironclad grip, I never thought I signed up to live a life with any kind of sore swollen balls as a concern. Too painful and frankly it seems a choice of ‘stupid-masochism’ vs sadomasochism.


But this morning I found myself in a deep-dive for a ‘true’ meaning. I wasn’t reading the poem again. I wasn’t sitting in a cross-legged lotus position. Nor was I in half-closed-eyes-deep-breathing-meditation. No I was 1.5 hours in to a just after sunrise run in the Lake Havasu ‘back country’ desert. My eyes and my soul breathing in the magnificent beauty swallowed in silence landscape.


Stopping for a few minutes and sitting on a ridge, (well maybe I was cross-legged), high above Lake Havasu, words crept in to my ‘right-side-brain’….”Love is like taking hold of the balls of a rogue elephant AND NOT having the good fortune to die.”


The words, and more powerfully the image of laying an ironclad grip on the sore swollen balls of a divine rogue elephant, were conjured up and stepped into the front of the line that is the thought-parade in my head. I was struck for the first time, there IS a connection between swollen balls, love and not having the good fortune to die.


Opportunities to love deeply – or not – seem often to come clothed as demonic shadowy plaid-shirt wearing brutes. At least after a few months of ‘togetherness’. Sometimes I swear, the love object is stealthily sliding slivers of glass under exposed finger nails as she leans in for a kiss.

I find my thimble-sized lungs gasping for a universe full of air; suffocating. Damn I’ve got an ironclad grasp on something and it sure feels like I may die…I want to.


My heart is slamming CLOSED and “fuck this, him, her, them” ringing off the walls of a gray empty blood-pumping organ. Blind with confusion and deaf with the noise of a Moroccan Bazaar. I pray for an end.


AND THEN…something happens. A whisper, “Open Greg. Open your heart”. Something calling me a little bit deeper than I’ve ever been before. “Open Greg. Open your heart”. “What”? “How the hell do I do that. I gotta get the f^(k out of here”. “Open Greg, Open your heart”.


The ironclad grip tightens. The good fortune to die eludes me. “Holy shit I can’t let go. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t….I WON’T!!!”


“Open Greg. Open your heart.” Ah, a key turns and tumblers begin to fall into place. My grip softens and I finally let go. I unclench. I am free. I AM LOVE. I AM LIGHT. I am OK. I am born again…As I regain composure, It seems I’ve died and been born again many many times.


And then….another divine rogue elephant wanders past. I reach out. “Oh shit, not again.” “Open Greg….”


Loss of love, betrayal, death, be it of/by a friend, lover, business partner, brother, sister, mother, father all illicit a reaction; reach out, lay hold with your ironclad grasp. Or maybe as the divine ‘lover, friend, business partner…walks by we will have learned and we choose in that instant “OPEN”.


Choose OPEN today…LOVE BIG. Pour your light and lift it to nourish…someone.