“The Tide and the Pulse”
“There is a tide in the affairs of men,” Shakespeare proclaimed. Not a force or power, or a direction, but a tide.
A tide: ebb and flow, ebb and flow. Movement, always movement; ever changing yet ever recurring. Always advancing through time—to where? To where? Back and forth, round and round, and on and on.
I stand on a cliff in Sydney overlooking Bondi beach which I have loved all my life, and I realize it is not the sand or the water that draws me, but the waves, the exquisite dancing creations of tide and wind, of Earth’s turning, of the dance of sun with moon.
I watch as each of them washes over the rock beneath me, each forming its own pattern of movement, of white, of life. Each forward and back and around and around—and then on to the next, and the next, and the next.
And I start to move with the waves, to dance with them as they flow over the rock covering it, revealing it, and covering it again. Each with its own delightful dance. “When you do dance, I wish you a wave o’ the sea.” Shakespeare knew. Oh yes, he knew.
Of course God is a singer—every Mother is. But if he also plays an instrument, then he is certainly a percussionist, not a violinist, or, God forbid, a pianist! For it is not the notes he cares about, not the much vaunted harmony, but the basic rhythm, the propelling power, the pulse itself. It is to this that I dance with the waves. “When you do dance, I wish you a wave o’ the sea.” Shakespeare knew. Oh yes.
I do not know what Tao meant to the ancient Chinese, but certainly its translation into The Way is quite inadequate, colorless, bland, lifeless somehow. There is a sense of direction, yes, but not of movement, of propulsion, of power. All this the word Pulse possesses and so much more: the Pulse is love. It is the sound we hear inside the Mother’s womb, back and forth, back and forth. And when She cradles us in Her arms and rocks us back and forth, it is to the Pulse, always to the Pulse.
This is the “tide in the affairs of men.” And it is this Love that impels the tide as it always has and as it always will: the pulsation back and forth, from her heart to ours, and from ours to Hers: back and forth, around and around.