A very educational experience indeed.
We are now at the point of saying only meaningless things,
every word suspect and analyzed for motive.
That is what happens when the bell tolls for love.
We hear it said and we repeat
That Their loves and ours
are as different as heaven and Hades.
It was never meant to be otherwise.
I imagine how the gopis felt
after they had thrown caution to the cows
and let their one big secret burst into the open
while Krishna’s chariot trundled off,
leaving a trail of ruts, dust and promises.
And when that cloud settled into emptiness,
they had to go on living, to survive,
hollowed out by relentless sorrow,
writhing while all around voices whispered,
or mocked, or excoriated out loud,
and worst of all, being battered by the word
of weddings—not once, not twice, but time and again.
That was no way for a love story to end.
Yet, when the chance came to be alone
in a tent with the Prince in his kshatriya clothes,
they imposed their one condition: they refused
to compromise--it was Vrindavan or nothing.
They wanted back, back to the perfect moment,
from which they had never "moved on."
Nor did they ever threaten to move on.
They were the immovable ones,
while Krishna flitted from battle to battle,
demon to demon,
svayamvara to svayamvara.
Sometimes we hear it said
that Krishna tested the gopis’ love.
And sometimes we hear it said
that Love is the God who,
like a Wild West villain making
his victim dance by shooting at his feet,
makes even Krishna dance with his arrows.
And what use is an arrow if, once it stabs,
does not make the wig of the wounded whirl?
Krishna imposed no conditions,
nor was he testing her, for he himself was busy
failing his own test, though we say he never fails.
He knew she would never move on.
Sanatan Prabhu analyzed the scriptures' data;
he crunched the numbers
and came to this conclusion:
it was thirty-four years before Dantavakra bit the dust
and Krishna threw down his bow and chakra,
and crossed the Kalindi back into Braj.
That is too long for any human being to wait.
So move on, move on.
Renounce the freedom to wail shamelessly.
We can both try to balm the wounds,
we have created in our real worlds;
we can try to return to our dharma lords,
though their reality will always be as dust
when placed beside that eternal moment,
when our windows opened wide to Them.