Immersion. The word has both positive and negative definitions:
To be completely submerged in liquid. To become totally consumed by an issue, object or person. Or, (there is something to be gained from Wikipedia) a type of therapy where one overcomes one’s fears through face-to-face confrontation. Umm, not so much my favorite definition. I also like to think of immersion as: to be completely drowned in a strong emotional attachment such as love or hate.
Welcome to the hour after my morning bath where I immerse myself in the myriad life issues that exist for me at any particular moment. The word immersion holds incredible power. I am an immersive personality, and I dare to argue that this is very different from obsessive. But you can decide for yourself.
I’m a late bloomer and always have been. When I was 40, a friend looked at me (or was it my sister? Hmmm.) and commented, “Are your breasts larger?” First of all, how rude! Second of all, is there someone (cute guy?) who needs to know? And third of all, no I didn’t get transplants. I just matured – very slowly. Now, where was I going with this?
In the same kind of way, I’ve had some time over the years to late-bloom into what it means to be immersed in something. There are only two things in which I have had life-time immersion: love and creativity.
They say that when you meet your soul’s true love time stands still, and you are immersed in the profundity of the heart. This has happened twice in my life. (Eh? You’re asking. Twice true love?) Yes, twice. The first time was in those precious moments immediately after my baptism.
I was ten or eleven when, in the tradition of the Baptist church, I was wrapped in white from head to toe and immersed in a pool of (not warm, I might add) water. I was trying to maintain my child’s faith in the grace of God and the dexterity of a man of the cloth. Between God and preacher, I was promised that I would not drown. I did not, and my faith—in both—was sustained.
“In the name of the father…” I held my breath as the water covered my head and I was brought up again.
“The Son…” I held my breath again as I was dipped once more and brought up. Why I did not struggle is a question I have to this day.
“And the Holy Ghost…” Was I imagining or did I have to hold my breath longer that last time?
On rising from the third submersion I came from the chilly water feeling warm—and time stood still. For days afterward, I felt immersed in what I could only desribe as God’s love for the world and everyone and everything in it. I don’t know what I expected, but this is what I received.
I said there were two experiences when time stood still. The second was when I stood before the meditation master whose teachings have, ever since, guided my life and spiritual practices.
Immersion. These two experiences serve as my reference and compass. To be consciously immersed in the truth and experience of daily life is my forever-after goal. To my suprise and delight, one day I wrote a poem. Some of the lines are:
My Beloved has appeared and even the Lord of Time must surrender. With such golden Light, who can resist Him? He illumines the walkway of my heart, and fears fall away.
Trying to explain it is foolish, and, as some folks (oh yes, the folks) have been prone to point out, it can sound a little weird, but ahhh…I finally see where this might be going. Words. I have my own blog where I can be consciously and fearlessly immersed in the experience of time standing still through words.
I’ll celebrate. Happy Thanksgiving everybody.
What a perfect poem, Sala. Those moments when the Lord of Time stops are poignantly, exquisitely profound; and yes, any glimpse of the Beloved causes him to pause … Thanks for sharing your experience of That.