Tag Archives: love

The (W)Hole of Love

A friend of mine once said, “To know yourself is to know yourself in love and honey, at some point, you have to stop learning.”

I was in the middle of yet another ship-wrecked romantic entanglement, doing the love contortionist jig-a-ma-joo, bending, twisting, crunching, folding, tap-dancing and stretching myself into a shape I thought would make the relationship work, as though the problem could be fixed if I simply conformed to the image of his expectations, his needs. My partner was sweating just as hard, bouncing off of me at odd angles, trying to catch himself before he broke the furniture.

Of course it hurt to squeeze myself into an unnatural container but so did being alone. I hoped that a little hard work would compensate for a bad fit, but, of course, it didn’t. It never does. You can’t have a homely beauty queen, no matter how great her personality is, and that’s just the harsh truth Ruth.

When we’re young, we are easily swept away by the tidal-wave of romantic love. We expect it to hold the answer to the question of life. We hope it will show us the yellow brick road of our lost, confused souls. We will do anything to hold onto that love even when it hurts, when it scorches, when it consumes.

We go from relationship to relationship searching for fulfillment, as though such a thing as the hole of love can be fulfilled. We are too young to know that love and loss go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Loss is the price we pay for having the gift of love. Period. There is no way to fix this. No remedy for such things. They are only meant to be lived, expressed and accepted.

I remember first meeting my fiance. I wasn’t looking for a man when he came into my life. I thought maybe it was time to let go of the whole romantic thing. I was ready to toss it in the trash with the curling irons and steam rollers from so many ill-fated hairdo’s.

A gay friend of mine once suggested that if neither one of us found a partner by a certain date, we would buy a house and move in together and just have each other as companions. We would write our own version of happily-ever-after. After so many failed relationships, on the brink of my fortieth birthday, I was considering taking him up on his offer.

But after a series of magical, sacred heart opening experiences (involving yoga retreats, sweat lodges, singing naked on a Vancouver beach, you know, my kinda stuff) my heart said yes to him. And my grizzly ole’ thumper ain’t never ever said yes to nobody! It’s not that I hadn’t loved before. I had. Deeply. It’s just that I’d never had the sanction of my inner voice.

In fact, once, when getting involved with a younger man, my inner voice said quite clearly: no no no no no! Now the inner voice is usually subtle. She speaks in metaphor, in feeling. But this time, sista came through loud and clear, saying, and I quote, “He does not belong to you. You will have to give him back.”

Word.

Did I listen to sista? Naaah! Of course not. I went on a roller-coaster ride of sorrow that lasted four years, not counting the year and a half it took me to get over him after we finally broke up.

But this time, with the man who is now my fiance (applause, applause, thank you) I got the go ahead from Inside. Sista said softly, at last, “Yes.” Our first real get together was at a party for a mutual friend. As I was getting ready (cute outfit, not too hoochy) sista spoke up again. She said something like, “Just go along with whatever happens tonight.” And I said, “Ok,” and she said, “Ok,” and we said, “Ok, Ok.”

The first stop of the party was at a drag show, and you know I love me some drag. But the show ended rather early (that’s Boston for you). Some people from our group wandered off, but about six or seven of us, including my suitor, were still itching to party. So we go to a strip club.

Now, this is where I have to remember what sista said because, Lord have mercy, I think of myself as a spiritual, feminist type. But strangely, at the suggestion of the strip club, my hackles do not go up. I play along.

[Mom, if you are reading this, please skip the next  two paragraphs.]

All of the dancers look so young. All I can do is think about dey poor mamas at home, hunched over the kitchen table with a half-empty bottle of scotch, wringin’ dey hands with the worry, wondrin’ what went wrong. I am about to reconsider when a fine lookin’ sister starts her strut down the stairs to the stage. Suddenly, I hear a ding in the universe. She is hot hot HOT! Cyrille, my suitor, elbows me in the side. Says, “This is gonna be good.”

Indeed. Now, as a dancer, I gotta give her props. She was workin’ that pole like nobody’s business. She sported a hoe-stamp tatoo of the letter “T” and forever after, she is “Miss T” to us. She was like some Hindu goddess and we were under her spell. She broke through the barrier of fear around my heart like a knife through creamed cheese. We followed her, dazed, to the back room where Miss T gave us a lap dance and Cyrille and I shared our first kiss. And a little extra. Hehe ;).

How romantic.

Actually, it was.

And the rest is history.

Throughout our courtship, followed by moving in together and our engagement, there has been little resistance. My fear perked its ugly head up out of its rat-hole from time-to-time. Sniffed around. Poked Cyrille in the ribs here and there to see if he’s real, but eventually, I dropped my contortionist routine. I didn’t need it anymore. I started to let go. It’s not just that I love him, it’s that, well, to put it in new age-y lingo, our frequencies align.

Recently, I came across an old boyfriend on Facebook. My first love, in fact. We hadn’t spoken in over fifteen years. When I saw his face again, different and the same, I realized that the love was still there. It would always be there, but what I can see now that I couldn’t see before in the chaos of young love is that we could not be together in a long-lasting way because we are too different. I could never need the things he needs in life and vice versa. To love him is to honor that.

In other words, we can tune into each other’s frequency, but that takes some focus. The frequency that we tune to is too far from our normal resting, every day frequency. We have to work at finding the place where we meet. There’s nothing wrong with this. We do it naturally with others all the time. But a marriage, it does not make.

So, here goes. Marriage round two for both of our old, middle-aged asses. And I haven’t forgotten about the love and loss part I talked about earlier. I have to accept that. As much as I love to joke on this blog, knowing that we will change, that this state of affairs will someday end, hopefully in death, brings a stream of tears down my face.

[pause…]

Well, it’s good to cry. It means it’s special.

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Command: New

“Each time you expand, include and integrate something you formerly held to be outside of your love or beyond your capacity, you are bringing the world closer to unity.” — Elia Wise from her book, Letter to Earth

A few evenings ago, spurred on by all the Oscar buzz, I watched the Social Network. Though I liked it as a movie, its impact left a sour taste in my mouth, a slimy gritty residue of feeling that hung around until the following morning.

All of the characters were so yucky. How could someone so brilliant (Mark Zuckerberg as portrayed in the movie) be so lacking in human kindness? Why would someone so observant of human nature choose to exploit and manipulate it that way?

I realize that to answer those questions, I need look no further than my own life’s past. I’m not calling myself brilliant. Erase that bit. I’m talking about being unkind, exploitative and manipulative. I messed up. I hurt people too. Mostly, like Zuckerberg, because I was too caught up in my own drama to extend my awareness and sensitivity to how my actions impacted others.

I am saying all this upon reflection, though. Immediately after seeing the movie, my skeezy feeling about Facebook was confirmed. It was the enemy. It started out with bad intentions and I could swear, though I didn’t know the history at the time I first signed up, that it just didn’t feel kosher. I felt pushed into it by societal peer-pressure. I felt like a spy looking in on other people’s lives. Sure it was nice to reconnect with friends from the past, but that conflicted with my belief that certain people are supposed to come in and out of your life…aren’t they? Isn’t there a natural flow to all that? And what about those ex-lovers that popped up here and there wanting to be “friends”?

After seeing the movie, I wanted to hate Facebook. I really did. But then I realized that all of those questions were challenging my beliefs, and maybe that’s what I was really hatin’ on, my beliefs being challenged. Maybe those questions were there, now, to help me grow and shape new beliefs. Maybe the force that brings people in and out of our lives is still at work in Facebook, with new dimensions and new potentialities. Maybe, I had to make my own choices in how I responded to the stimulus of being or not being “friended”.

At the public high school where I work, teachers are not allowed to “friend” students on Facebook. Why not? Of course there are always people who are up to no good, but they don’t need Facebook for that. Facebook doesn’t all of a sudden make you someone else. I trust that I have good intentions when it comes to my students. Why wouldn’t I carry the same integrity with my interactions with them in the studio onto Facebook? And if some kind of trouble were to arise, then why couldn’t we deal with it responsibly? Perhaps Facebook is actually helping us all to grow in trust exactly because it didn’t start out that way, as a vehicle for trust. So it is helping us to challenge ourselves in that way, to grow in trust and to examine the purity of our intentions. Huh.

And speaking of the tide of magnetism that floats people into and out of our lives, there is one very important true friend that I’ve found again through Facebook. Our reunion was deeply cherished with tears and hugs. In spite of the lust and meanness that spawned Facebook, maybe there was a thread of love, of the longing for love, after all. Maybe there’s a reason why we all need these networks now. Maybe Egypt. When it comes to a cause that big, you put aside your dirty laundry and send that old boyfriend a message on Facebook about the REVOLUTION. Dig?

Maybe my openness to Facebook will extend to being more open, accepting and, dare I say it, loving of technology one of these days. I know I often rant against technology on this blog, but really what I’m ranting against is the unconscious use of it. Anyway, I sound like a hypocrite if I ask others to love while I do not.

So love it is.

I’m kissing my cell phone right now.

Just kidding.

I’m actually still working on acceptance, but that’s a start.


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