Every time I find myself, I am not there.
Every relationship is a first relationship. That sounds glib, like something one would read on the cover of a supermarket tabloid but there is truth in it. Each journey into a relationship, of any kind, is a time to learn: to learn about one’s self, an opportunity to close the gap of the eternal divide.
Some would argue that a new relationship is about exploring the other person’s depths, about understanding their particular quirks. I would say that every relationship is a time to learn about how one relates to the discovery of the myriad of tendrils that connect one to the other, to the world, to the explosion of sensations that the universe is lying at one’s feet.
Where I Find Myself
I look outward and recognize that I do not see myself as others see me. I question: “Am I worthy?” Whenever I reach out to another and receive a positive response, I am surprised. It takes a lot of convincing to silence my inner critic, that insidious voice that pushes me to silence and to shame: “Don’t bother, she don’t want you”.
The truth is more beautiful, the truth is that I sit across the table and speak and listen and find a liquid ocean in her eyes. That we share and converse and laugh, and there is a river between us, flowing, not as a river flows, in one direction, but a glorious roiling mess of cross currents, yet serene and unhurried.
The ‘Roiling Mess’ is not threatening to drown me. I do not need to reach out in desperation, in need, in fear. I am learning to quietly comfort that fearful, injured deformed beast rising up from the miasma of my memory. I can enjoy the ride in quiet and in comfort and find satisfaction in the small moments shared riding the currents between us.
I do not need to create a perfect flow or control the rapids. It is okay to ride the waves and be carried to wherever they take me… us.
I Am Not There
I gaze about to find where I am. I look back and see the hungry, desperate me that wants to reach out and possess and be jealous. I find myself, the self that I recognize, and see that I am not there. I am newly born.
I am saying that the me that I expected to be is no longer who I am.
I am something new.
My relating to another, to giving and receiving and being unafraid, to trusting that I am not being used in some dark scheme, allows a new me to emerge.
And here is the crux of the matter: in being open to trust, and affection, to allowing an essential exchange of loving light, I am learning about myself through my relationship with her. Yes, of course, I am learning her stories, and her movie, as I share mine, but the truth is that I am learning to be a ‘me’ I did not know before. I am being reborn, in every moment.
I am not where I found myself.
The Eternal Divide
Every relationship, new and old is an opportunity to learn about who I am. In learning to be open, to trust, and believe another’s vision of me, I learn to love myself better, and trust myself more, be myself more authentically.
How can I disbelieve when faced with the eternity shared while unflinchingly gazing into another’s eyes?
Sunday evening I reached out to… connect.
Immediate reply! “meet me at…”
I arrive and about 15 minutes later she comes through the door. Due to unexpected circumstances, her family is there and she is obligated to spend time with them. She is dividing her time and comes over by me to apologize… to have a moment of connection. And then back to the family. We catch glimpses of each other across the bar. I order dinner and am compelled to write this:
There, Catching glimpses, Each sighting, a small fraction Of a moment, Full of meaning. Then beside me, for a stolen moment, Working to keep apart, Inevitably, a hand reaches across: Propriety hits; you/we can't. Hands down: discipline. Inevitably you reach across; Stroke my arm, hit me, Like children exploring their first affection. Words, no words, Silences speaking volumes, Threads, tangles of connection; Confusing certainty draws us together and pushes us apart. Discipline. No expectations. Nothing to see here. A whole world between us. Something, nothing, everything. Two Birds of Paradise, Dancing around a bough, Unsure if they're enough.