Annotation, H.D.:”Pilate’s Wife”

–For Veronica, and the imagined ‘I am’–

It is thus, always, that the love-gods come.
The lily remains a mere flower until its essence is sought, when in the love-death of the chase, in the unfolding of petals that is beyond a flowering or a death-widening, the grace of Life and Beauty come together to form in one maw the ‘Yea’ and ‘Nay’ of the guarded door.
It is thus, always, that the love-gods come.
I sought answers to questions unuttered, withheld, circumnavigated, and arrived by the hairpin bend of ‘not’-ness to the catacombs of the heart. As always.
This ecstasy like no other. This ecstasy again. It is thus, always, that the love-gods come.
Secret, inviolate, most open of cellas. The Bee, the Flower, the Self-made Honeycomb. Perfect cameo of great mystery. Na iti, na iti. And yet what other mystery is there.
Thus, always, now. I will it, just thus.


To save a wound he switches to the foreign tongue. She receives it, slack with meaning, a sling with its weight, and tongues back the tracery of slights. Hung on the trellises of love and lust, dusty in the aftermath of utterance. “To desire without fruition is rage.”

“To burn always with that hard gem-like flame”

Is to feel five times more pleasure, and five times more pain. To live intensely means to burn at ends and middle, candle caught in its own light, sun consumed in its own fire. Visible to all, worshipped and held aloft, and blinded by self perhaps. It is a fine burning, a fine pain that turns back the warmth of sleep to let one feel the sharp pebbles beneath the blanket and the keen morning air. It is to be alive, and more alive before the end.

Fire is both Agni and Kama, the thing that burns and the fuel, both aspiration and desire.

In the course of a lifetime of tender burning, there arises, on rhythmic occasion, the drive to blaze with an intenser flame, to know ‘it’ all, to apprehend all at once, for once. And that drive oftentimes makes one prick self and other into conflict. The self understands the impulse, if not the degree of pain; the other sees only the ruffled surface, and knows but vaguely the subcutaneous need to feel more keenly. Need that beats in the breast like a heart, a thing alive and fluttering.


Wound that must be salved. Mark of love, yearning to burn more furiously, to brand closer. A thing of passion, flawed like wood; unable to burn cleanly, patiently, sustaining self and other, it must flare up and sear. Itself, too. “Maine aahuti bann kar dekha, yeh prem yagya ki jwala hai” (I have learned that this love is a sacrificial fire).  Itself, above all.

It is hard to protect from yourself that which you love. Warmth and heat are questions of degree.

Metaphors in light

I said, one must be many things to the other. I didn’t say, like a wave–a roiling of syncopated particles, each in place for the contour of fluidity, the lip-curl edged and unspoken. Afraid to overwhelm. Like a wave. But he, as if he were already out on sea and breaker, as if he knew how to be a rising next particle, said, "like a dance." And I was held, like the line of the sea when it meets the shore. Merged, taken in, returned unto the self.

Seema. Seema-badhdha. Lines embrace the vortex. One remembers a bhanwar and thinks of the maelstrom. Yet, it is possible that there are ways of apprehending chaos and center that have naught to do with known lines of force. Centripetality need not be a headlong rush to oblivion. One may hold the central calm in one’s heart even as one is hurled to the unimaginable absence at the end of the spiral. He, who asked to be called Ishmael, had to learn this by doing. But the other one knew.

Because knowledge is unto experience as a vessel is to a meal, I lend myself this body. Cradle to naked self. Cradle unto water, vessel of dissolution.