the birds and the bees

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Memory is such an odd thing. The things we remember. The things we forget.

Yesterday morning a friend posted a poem and with it was pictured a painting of a monster that had chewed off the head of a body which it held in its hands. I can’t remember what I ate a week ago for dinner, but both the title of the painting (Saturn Devouring His Children) and the painter’s name (Francisco Goya) chimed brightly in my mind as though I’d just seen it in one of the art history books I used to pour over in my teens.

There are so many things that I’ve forgotten over time; some out of choice, others out of neglect or atrophy. It seems that choosing to forget some things somehow makes other things disappear as well. I fear my memories, sometimes, and I fear for them. All of them. The good ones. The bad ones. Even the mediocre ones. Perhaps especially those.

I spent the weekend lying in bed in my underwear, swaddled in my comforter and watched the first season and a half of Being Erica. The menu mostly consisted of chocolate, spelt and flaxseed rice cakes, freshly brewed coffee with milk, bananas, apples and buttered toast. On Sunday I even sparked up the stove and made scrambled eggs and pan fried potatoes. But I digress.

I love this show. I love it because the writing is fabulous, the characters authentic and the acting stellar. I love it because on so many levels I can relate to the main character, despite our disparity in age. Who doesn’t have regrets? Who doesn’t wish there could be do-overs? Who doesn’t wonder, if they are alone, whether they will always be that way, wonder whether there is something fundamentally wrong with them and thus forever deemed unlovable or to never have the sort of lasting intimacy that I’m certain we all long for?

This morning I got my daily email from Neale Donald Walsch reminding me that intimacy is not a physical thing, it is a condition of the soul, or rather two souls or more. Maybe “soul” is too esoteric of a word, or elicits the impression that it’s something bigger, better or of higher insight that the self. Maybe I should correct that to say that it pertains to the authentic self instead.

I think intimacy is to allow another (and self, in the end) to unfold and be witnessed by another without shame and to be held (beheld!!) in love.

During my marriage I had hoped that my husband could, and eventually would, meet me there. In a more recent relationship, I had had these same hopes. Both came to an end and were devastating to me on so many levels, leaving me to ponder on the same issue that Erica did just before she broke up with the person who she thought was the One. Was she simply not meant to have such a relationship?

To me there is no greater connection and yet it seems like such an illusive improbability. For me. And yet I am hopeful. And so I wait.

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