Tag Archives: tender human journey

ruminations

MARCH 27, 2019

Early-ish start today, considering I worked late last night and didn’t get home until after midnight… and to sleep for another hour still, after that. I was thirsty for water, and a couple of weeks ago I finally bought a Britta pitcher but hadn’t yet washed it and run the precursory three jugfuls of water through it before first use, so I did that, finally. The water quality is awesome here in B.C. but these old pipes in our building (that keep making themselves known by bursting on the regular) produce a pale yellow coloured water (rust, maybe?) and I’ve been thinking that maybe consuming it in copious amounts might not be that great for my own inner plumbing.

Anyway… I digress…

In the last month, I’d fallen back into the unenviable habit of ruminating. I say this because I used to do this all the time, in my teens, twenties, thirties, forties. It seemed to have switched off, thankfully, finally, in my fifties. I recognize that not all people are so afflicted, and that ruminating serves a purpose. It helps us become self-aware, and allows us to process things. I have learned, though, that there is a point at which the cud just needs to be swallowed and allowed to pass through.

It’s a tough call, that one. It’s like deciding when a piece of art work or writing is finished. Should I dab on another little bit of paint? Do another read through and edit with a fine-toothed comb? How much do I want to lean into perfectionism and where and when does it stop serving me, or others?

I’m rereading the material from the mystery school that I have joined. It sort of goes hand-in-hand with the ancestral healing work I’ve also decided to walk the path of. Whether looked at literally or figuratively, this work is important to my inner life, which in the end also affects my outer one, and by default the lives of those around me. Self-examination is a huge part of the process.

I’m rambling. Clearly a shortage of coffee in my yet morning-addled brain…. so circling back around.

Ruminating serves a purpose, though I’ve come to realize that it can also be fettered down by beliefs about the self or perceptions of external factors that keep me locked down in a loop, sometimes a self-defeating one.

So I choose to bear witness to the thoughts and then I let them go. I choose which actionable things I can do in order to get to the crux of the issue and then release the rest. I continue to work towards being the best version of myself, and that, I’ve found, is a persistent and life-long process.

I leave you with this. The road to improvement, whether of the self or the environment around us, can be hard or soft. For most of my life I’ve chosen the harder path, the one dubbed “hard-knocks”. Though I never knew quite how they would become realized, I consciously chose the most difficult ways to accomplish things, to learn the lessons my spirit seemed to need to learn. Man, it’s a rough way to go about life, and it breaks you, over and over again, and then some more. There are only so many times a pot can break and be fixed before it becomes irreparable, no matter how much I lean into the concepts of wabi-sabi and Kintsugi.

As I wished a friend for her birthday, I wish you all the same:

May the road meet your feet with gentleness and grace,

may the winds bring you all you need,

may the fires burn brightly in your heart and warm you,

(and I add this, now…)

may the waters quench your thirst and cleanse that which no longer serves you.

xo

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one Sunday afternoon

I’m sitting at the kitchen table, drinking my third mug of coffee, flipping through the pages of my mother’s old phone book. What I hope to glean through doing this, I have no clue.

Names had been added and crossed out. I recognize my own handwriting in it, my mother’s, my father’s. I recognize the handwriting of a family friend, who used to live in Kingston, but now I wonder if she, too, has died. Probably.

There are names in it that I don’t recognize, names beside which there are Hungarian addresses. Excavating a life becomes difficult, post-mortem – as in life, we only seem to discover the things they want us to know while the rest is buried within them, within the past.

This tracking of my genealogical history has been difficult and unsatisfying. There are more questions that arise than answers, even in this time of technology and the relentless categorization and tracking of data. I do online searches today and find nothing. Ten years ago I could plug in the name of a person and find all kinds of various hits, but now that data is controlled and funnelled through a “smart” A.I. program, only the ones it thinks are relevant pop up. Only what the world deems important comes to our eyes.

So it’s always the squeaky wheel, the loudest voice, the most vociferous opinion that we see on the platforms which for two decades provided us with a wealth of information.

Today? Not so much. I might as well hole up somewhere with a box of microfiche and get to it. I feel like answers might be found in Hungary, but my command of the language has suffered much since my mother’s death, and was never that proficient to begin with. English is my language of choice, the language I have been educated in, learned to be curious in, to think in.

In light of the discussions within my ancestral healing group over the last several weeks, I mourn that loss of language, because within the language, its context and use, are the secrets of my past, the ones I can intuit in my bones.

Words hold meanings, the memories of things. In one language a word could mean the same thing as in another, superficially, but in each language it has a timbre to it that is relevant to the people whose mouths made those words, who spoke those words, a meaning that I will never really know as a member of a diaspora.

These meanings… they can be passed down, if people choose to, but often there is too much of a burden that is carried in their wake, one each generation that comes before the next wants to burden itself with but to not pass on to the ones that come after because they want them to have a better life, a brighter outlook, an untainted future.

But with that loss, there is also a loss of rootedness, a kind of cultural and historic amnesia. It is no small wonder that we find ourselves in a world that holds itself to nothing, that consumes without thought, where everything within it becomes disposable. Some days I wonder if we’ll recover from this illness of spirit, for that is truly what it feels like.

We find ourselves living on the lands of others, people who have suffered, just as our old peoples had, at the hands of others. They are still here, listening to the murmurings of the waterways, the flailing of the trees as they fall to deforestation, to the sound of the thick blood of the earth as it is getting bled out while its face is pitted with the byproducts that make teenage acne look like a walk in the park.

Our elders had gone silent in an effort to shield us from the pains they carried over centuries. We had a chance for a new start, but without their wisdom and the knowledge of all that came before, we made the same mistakes all over again.

When I was a teenager, I distinctly remember refusing to acknowledge any worth to the words of my parents. The separation required to become an adult is a tough journey, especially if those that teach us have become complacent in the comfort of their own lives by the time they come to witness our transformation, and don’t find a good way to guide us, to lead us through by example.

Maybe they are still struggling too.

Maybe by that point we’ve already seen too much of the darker sides of humanity to want to trust anyone else in this process.

I was young and brash, yet I was also sheltered, naive, and wholly unprepared for the world and its people, especially the ones who saw me coming and couldn’t help themselves in taking advantage of me – but I didn’t know that I had this deficit until it gouged holes in my spirit. I took advantage too, in my own way. I suppose that is how I learnt, but I can’t help but feel that there must be a better way to do this.

So here I am, on a Sunday afternoon, alternately staring out of the dining room window, typing this with two fingers on my phone’s keypad, listening to the birds calling outside (seagulls, crows, and another I can’t identify), to the chirping of the cross-walk signal, wondering what I will do with the rest of my day.

There is so much I want to do. I have a long list of chores that I keep ignoring, books that I want to read piling up into stacks that I may never finish reading in this lifetime, stories I have written but that have languished uncompleted, dishes piled in the sink that need washing, a refrigerator that needs to be sorted and cleared, choices to make on food plans for the week, clothes that need to be laundered and stowed, a cat litter box to clean out… to name a few.

In this overload of choices, I often choose… nothing.

morning pages

What is humanity doing? Where have we gone terribly wrong?

The news flattens me, daily.

Robin Williams’ suicide.

The plight of the Yazidi, annihilated by a terrorist group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Yazidi aren’t the only ones dying in droves at their hands. Or those dying at the hands of the Militia operating there. I often wonder what kind of a religion can so effectively remove empathy and compassion from the hearts of its followers, and rationality from their minds.

I read an in-depth article on Edward Snowden published by Wired magazine. It was fascinating to read about how in the name of security and self-protection, the basic rights of so many civilians are being violated on an ongoing and daily basis (and there is apparently no monitoring mechanism in place to keep the honest people, monitoring the honest, honest).

I read about the latest happenings in Ferguson and what feels like a shift in what is viewed as fundamental human rights, sides being taken and so far from meeting somewhere in the middle that it feels like pre-MLK era mindset.

I think about the situation in the Ukraine, and wonder how someone could think that plundering a tube of mascara from the luggage of the downed Malaysian flight would be a good, ethical, thing to do. Who would want to use someone else’s used mascara anyway? The depravity goes on an on.

If I were god (if there was a god and I could step into god’s shoes for even a moment) I’d wonder where my children (if in fact we were in some way, directly or indirectly, the offspring of such a creator) had gone wrong, or more importantly, I would question what kind of parent I was, and where I’d failed with my parenting.

Clearly all of the various religious writings and all of the institutions upon which they are based, have somehow failed humanity. I think, perhaps, that humanity has essentially failed itself.

Have we not learned anything, over the many millennia that we have inhabited this green and blue dot?

My heart breaks. I want to keep the faith. I want to believe in humanity’s capacity for great and wondrous and beautiful things.

But daily my heart sinks. I turn to the little things that make me smile, like my writing or making little bits of art, or a walk around the inlet right by my neighbourhood – surrounded by green, with feet rhythmically pounding the dirt trails. I feel a little better, even if worry flares up about the tons of nuked water from the coast of Japan flooding the Pacific ocean and somehow affecting (in a way which we have yet to adequately determine) the ecosystem we rely upon and of which we are by our presence within it an integral part.

Then I get THIS in my inbox.

The sentiments oddly reflect my own.

The paralysis of concern combined with the inability to know what empowered action to take is a weighty one. What DO we do when we feel disengaged and downright helpless?

Maybe taking small, measurable but consistent, steps is a place to start. Maybe it all starts at home, in our backyards, and maybe, given time, the effects will ripple out wide enough to effect global change.

And to quote something from Jim Carrey’s commencement speech he gave earlier this year:

“Take a chance on faith — not religion, but faith. Not hope, but faith. I don’t believe in hope. Hope is a beggar. Hope walks through the fire. Faith leaps over it.”

Adriane xo

authentic is the new “higher”

blanket_leg
Buzz words. They are created by virtue of their overuse in vernacular. Eventually they lose their sexiness and a new one is adapted, but until then the word pompously bombards us with it’s directive: BE THIS.

And I really didn’t want authentic to lose it’s charm… it’s punch… it’s fabulous weightiness of meaning.

Who doesn’t want to be authentic? At our core we humans all want to be seen, accepted and (gasp! even) loved for who we are at our most tender and raw. Who, then, could transform such an empowering word such as authentic into one that we have to strive toward rather than simply embrace?

Oh, again with the cult of self-improvement, we can no longer simply be ourselves, we must become our “authentic selves”.

To me, authenticity is a cyclical process. While we’d like a think that a new way of being can be somehow “downloaded” like some divine program, it is only through experiencing life and embracing all of its aspects fully that we can grow into ourselves. Just because we have a certain awareness of ourselves (and perhaps even the divine parts of ourselves) doesn’t guarantee that we will always be in alignment with that part – and that is fucking okay, see?

At twenty, I felt I was being authentic. Certainly, I knew when I wasn’t always acting from a place of authenticity. I chose my actions in accordance with imagined outcomes based on what I thought other people would say, think or feel about them. That would seem inauthentic, perhaps, but my choices propelled me toward greater learning about myself and how I operated in the world, and I would never have gleaned that wisdom without experiencing the other shite first-hand.

The thing is, we are all being authentic within ourselves, all the time – we merely perhaps lack the confidence to be ourselves at all times with others. Perhaps we must temper our behaviour to fit into certain situations because of cultural or societal expectations. We still know who we are at our core, even though it isn’t always practical to act out of that place. We don’t have to feel compelled to ram ourselves and all of the beliefs we so fervently embrace down everybody’s throats.

I’ve had many adventures so far, some I would have perhaps preferred to avoid but those seem (by far) to have been the ones I’ve gained the most from. I don’t need someone to tell me to tune in to my intuition, or show me how to listen to that small still voice that is warning me about something. On some level I am fully aware of the consequences of my choices and I make them anyway, perhaps because they are experiences my “soul” must have in order for it to get to a place where it is more receptive once again.

I think our life offers us the gift of adventure. Those who are naturally inclined toward self-inquiry will inevitably be delving deeper into finding a higher purpose or calling, even as we each stumble along our very human journeys on our road toward that ultimate fulfillment. Sometimes the strongest of convictions can lead us down a path that ultimately doesn’t truly serve us (or the ones we were hoping to serve).

In some ways we will never really know what our purpose in this life is – not until we are done and the fruit of our legacy is observed in hindsight. I don’t think one needs a blueprint to figure out what we are here to accomplish (individually or collectively), certainly not one proposed to us by someone other than ourselves. I think we must merely live our best lives, in whatever capacity that encompasses at each moment that we find ourselves in, and embrace all parts of our humanly imperfect journey.

Maybe it would make all of us just a little kinder, a little more compassionate and allow the journey to be a little bit more of a joyous one.

With love,
Adriane xo

brave heart, on the rocks

Most days I feel pretty good. The sunlight and brightness streaming inside from all of the windows, despite there not always being sunny days, have lifted my spirits, certainly.

Perhaps it’s because I had such little or poor sleep that I’m not feeling so spiffy and upbeat, but watching The Fisher King this afternoon kind of pushed me over the edge.

I suppose being anxious for the EI deposit to be put into my account doesn’t help any (since I’m down to $2.19 in the account and whatever loose change I have in my wallet), but definitely the movie moved me, touching on a part in my heart that had closed up over old wounds and just got ripped open again.

It was THIS scene that did it.

It’s all such a familiar thing, what she says.

The hitting it off; the invite; the overnight stay; the awkward morning; the momentary elation; the never hearing again. And the quirkiness; the awkwardness; the isolation; the hopes, both bravely entertained and then dashed.

It does get exhausting – so much so that the appeal of engaging in the motions has all but disappeared for me. To preserve myself – the little bits of heart that I’ve got left that still hold out hope – to keep those intact I’ve had to focus on other things… things that move me toward joy in spite of sometimes feeling alone and occasionally lonely; going it alone to spare myself of the seemingly inevitable disappointment.

Being alone is braver, sometimes, than being in a relationship that is juiceless and joyless, but sometimes being alone is a cop-out too… avoidance of relationships caused by an aversion to the high risk of potential hurt that might ensue.

I suppose it’s hard to be brave, either way… alone or with someone else.

morning pages

Back on the wagon again this morning. After a very long hiatus, I am calling in this morning for some Parallel-Universe time with Jill. Since it’s a long distance cell phone call for me, I can’t afford to stay on the call for the whole hour but I’ve checked in now and will call back just before the top of the hour to check back in at the end.

So I wanted to limber up a little bit here (in these morning pages) before I head over to my short story. I’ve just barely rolled out of bed this morning and made myself a coffee in time for the call. I haven’t been getting up in time most of the mornings that the sessions have been held so I consider this morning a triumph in starting to turn around my very weird body clock back to its usual routines.

My body’s been feeling better. It will be four weeks this Friday since the surgery and I’m finally moving and sleeping a little less gingerly, though some tender spots remain on my belly and right side. After rereading the post-operative instruction pamphlet a couple of days ago, I realized that I could have removed the steri-strips a while ago, but I have to admit that they intimidated me. Much like my reaction to the appendix surgery incision I got in 1971, looking beneath the bandage to see what is under there is always a bit alarming when you realize how many layers of tissue they had to cut through to get inside to where they needed to go. My inside part is always a weird concept for me, because I feel like I *am* inside, inside looking out at the world, and that when sharp objects are poked through my outer layers into my viscera, it is clear that those insides and the ones I think I am inhabiting are not the same. It’s an odd dichotomy.

Yesterday I watched yet another video of Danielle Laporte with a guest speaker, this time Linda Siverstein, discussing their new offering of the Big Beautiful Book Plan. I’m convinced that the reasons that people like Danielle are so successful is multi-fold –clearly without talent and compelling content you will go no where– but the primary aspect of the dissemination of her work is due, I think, to the fact that she enjoys the business end of her work. Downright relishes it, even. ‘Business’ brings up all kinds of stuff for me, notably the fact that while Danielle claims to be able to sell ice to the Inuit, I on the other hand couldn’t sell them a furnace even if I was one of few furnace retailers during a particularly vicious cold snap.

Selling makes me feel uncomfortable in the same way that self-assessment during the annual review process does. My idea is that: I serve a purpose, I fulfill that purpose to the best of my ability by doing the work expected of the role I serve. Whether others like the purpose I serve or not is not up for discussion nor for me to justify. I was invited to show up and served that purpose, in whatever concrete or organic way that purpose chose to manifest itself. I don’t keep track of every little thing that I do on the journey of serving. I simply don’t have the attention span for that – I’m not built that way. I’ve tried to keep track, though, because these details and calculations are apparently key to getting a good review and the bonus that invariably goes with one. Writing down the big projects – the end results – isn’t enough to make people understand all of the steps and the value of your contribution – the amazing accomplishment of getting to the end of the line. They need the details, the minutia, in excruciating (and self-aggrandizing) detail.

While I can mechanize some processes that I undertake to get from A to B, oftentimes they end up being a rather flexible (and innate) process. I might take a different route one day just for the sake of variety and I might even discover that instead of B, a new route to C is an even better outcome. I will change and adapt, and the discovery process is an infinite one. Rigid constraints stifle me in a way that I can’t even begin to properly describe without using words like “suffocate” and “airless” and “drowning”. I feel these physically, in my body, when I think of constraints. Apparently more exploration is needed in that area. ::head desk::

So I’m off to my short story now, but I leave you with these thoughts of constraint and restriction and expansion and freedom. In some respects I think constraints are good – having a base structure to work off of is essential to not totally getting lost meandering – but at what point does it stop serving you (and your purpose)? What do they mean to you? How do you work within their parameters? Do constraints feed you or do they pull the air out of your sails?

morning pages

It’s cold in here. The furnace has been shut off (at least I think it has, because Tyler sent me a text telling me that he would shut it off because, well, it’s supposed to be summer shortly) but this morning it’s fucking cold in here, especially in my blanket skirt, because I just shlepped out of bed in my panties and my Grim “I’ve Come to Reap Your Immortal Soul” tank top and the blanket that I usually wrap around my ass should really just be replaced with a snuggie this morning because my arms and legs are cold.

Coffee is being made, because without coffee the neurons in my brain don’t fire nearly as well at this time of the morning. Seriously, what was I thinking, getting up this early? The cat woke me up at a little after five, and then I got up to pee and then I checked my phone and saw that I had a new Twitter follower and then I fell down the interwebz rabbit hole, all the way to James Franco (how the hell did I get here?!).

So, coffee. And the decision to do morning pages, because I miss Hollywood and California and staying at the Chateau even for a handful of weekends was like a little piece of dream, right there. I realize people are all just as skewed as I am, only in different ways. We all have a dream, and even when we find our way to it, it’s never what we think it is.

Which brings me around to desire. And my continuing saga of Desire Mapping. And.. but wait.. coffee…

Impossible blue sky. At least when it’s not smog filled. California. I ran away from it, tail between my legs. I failed at the one thing that I thought I would succeed at.

Ahhh… coffee (::sip, sip::)

I’m almost out (of coffee, I mean) – will have to walk across the street to Thrifty’s and get some more. Maybe I’ll even splurge and go next door to Starbucks instead because when the Nabob is going for almost ten bucks, seriously why bother with that when you can get a pound of Brezza Blend – that coffee is the shit? Except when you can’t because it’s almost double the cost of the Nabob.

Oh yeah… I was wondering why I’d gotten up so early. Must have been the post Chinese food induced early evening coma that knocked me out earlier than usual. That, and the cat and the bladder and James Franco. Man, I’m so out of the loop on the who’s-who… I’m going to have to run a search because I don’t even really know who he is, except that I read one of his blog posts and I like how he writes – at least how he wrote that one. And that I had some bungalow envy. Seriously – some of those cottages were bigger than the apartment we were renting in Irvine. I suppose if I could afford to regularly pay, per square foot, what I did for a weekend bungalow I’d’ve had a bigger place in Irvine, too.

Hey, I like my place here in PoMo though. It’s bigger, certs – room for all of my freakin’ books. Ahhh books. I seriously have issues. It’s a visual thing; a tactile thing; a sapiophile thing. But the rain… the rain undoes me. I don’t mind it occasionally but when people are dreading drought I silently, in my mind, give it a fist pump. Selfish. I know. How I survived 29 years of northeastern climate I haven’t a clue. Even then I dreamt of California. I remember. We were living in an upper floor triplex on Darveau and it must have been 1971-ish and I remember flipping through the pages of these geographical encyclopedias and looking at the demographics and climate and the GNP and determining that it was either Florida or California, or bust. Less Florida, because there was more humidity, weird critters and less Hollywood. Seriously. Hollywood was always a draw (even though I hadn’t a clue how I could possibly integrate into it whatever it produced-mostly produce, according to the books).

Now… I don’t like to think of it as an entity, Hollywood, at least not the part I’m interested in contributing to, but it probably is to some extent. When I consider what that feels like, I feel it slither through like something out of a Clive Barker novel.

Desire. Maps. Back to the topic. During our Spreecast meet yesterday, our little book group touched on dreams – at this point in the book the discussion touches on how we stifle, stuff and skew our desires, how there is almost a sense of embarrassment around enunciating them even to ourselves (well, the embarrassment is my own – but I don’t think I’m alone in this).

I’d mentioned that when I think about what I desire in my vision of a perfect life, some of the scenarios are so disparate that it would be difficult for them to coexist, or make sense that the same person is conceiving them both. For example: living off the grid, raising goats or alpacas or both (because YARN and CHEESE) and raising a few chickens and growing some veggies and learning how to can stuff and generally being self-sufficient… OR living in a beach house in Malibu or some other coastal (and possibly less prone to landslides) California property where I’d be free to write and create and collect Oscars for my efforts and BEACH.

They are not all that disparate though, since Kim could easily see how they related : freedom. Conveniently, I’d already written it down as one of my words, one of my core desired feeling words.

Freedom.

Of course I picked some other, more obscure words, because I’m a pompous ass, occasionally, and I can use Big Words even if you can’t. So, aside from freedom, they are:

Cohesion : Satiated : Vital : Cogent : Affluent

(I’ll probably change my mind, again, about these words and the ones that follow. I’m nothing if not consistent with my transience.)

The last one was ripped from Danielle’s list, because why not? Affluence brings freedom, even as it can take it away – I suppose it depends. The fluvial aspect of it, the allusion of flow, appeals to me. But perhaps ‘satiated’ covers just about everything, in a nutshell. I want enough, dammit, whatever enough is for me, even as it is prone to constant reassessment on what that might look like at any given time. Enough. MORE even.

I wonder where that comes from, that desire for enough? Weeeeeell… I know *where* it comes from, but examining the why and the how is my point now.

Fun, this, isn’t it? Seriously – I wear myself out sometimes. I’m nothing if not examined. All nooks and crannies get blinded by a flashlight beam, semi-regularly.

But still. (See that? I’ve started multiple sentences with a conjunction. Deal with it.)

I was surprised at the resistance I felt when airing, out loud, what I wanted. Even when I knew that the people I was airing them to would be supportive and uncritical.

Which leads me to…

Why is it that some people just adore going around with a pin just so they can burst people’s balloons? If people were empowered and supported throughout the building process, there isn’t much that they couldn’t accomplish, even their wildest notions. So what is it about those that feel compelled to tear down instead of build up? What is the appeal?

My mom was that person. She always told me to be realistic when I’d start tugging on the constraints of the small picture that she’d painted as my possibility. And the truth is, sometimes reality sucks. Also, though, while sheer escapism doesn’t liberate you from present circumstances, the ability to dream and imagine a more creative outcome, and a way to get there, requires the ability to step out of reality.

For a long time I’d all but lost that ability to step outside. I’m relieved to see that it’s coming back.

And now for some more coffee.

Not-so-MORNING PAGES

Less than a half hour away from my final creativity group coaching session with Jill – at least for the time being.

I haven’t written since Friday. I guess I took the weekend off, and now it’s Tuesday and I’m lagging. The story gnaws at me, pulling at my edges while I continue to fumble my way through it. It is never far from my thoughts, but no words have come through yet.

I’ve been great with distracting myself. I spent the morning listening to Eminem and Pink on my iTunes, sifting through emails and multiple cups of coffee… I suppose I will graduate to a cup of tea – to be made before the call begins. That, and void my bladder.  (Yes, TMI.)

I’m still dispirited. I don’t really know what ails me. It’s back to gray and rainy again, though the last week has been quite bright and sunny and I haven’t gone outside since my birthday (or maybe it was the day after… but it’s been at least a week since I’ve presented myself to the world, fully dressed).

This morning I am doing the no-pants dance (literally… you should have seen me grooving in the kitchen while I was waiting for water to boil and my toast to brown), sitting in my t-shirt and striped underwear as I type this out. Eventually I’ll shower and dress – Rob Brezsny said that I should make my hair and face as shiny as can be… my best self. I’m sure he doesn’t mean the kind of shiny my hair is, in its current state (which is just greasy from skipping a day or two of shampooing). Damn overactive sebum glands. It keeps me young looking but more slick than I’d like.

I have been thinking that I really miss having a relationship. I miss the complicity. I miss the bodily contact, the comfortable familiarity of colliding atoms with another person, in good (at times pleasurable) ways. I miss another’s touch on my body – the tentative exploration, seeking visceral knowledge of pleasure and connection. The tangible feel of affection and love as it flows out of a hand.

I miss it but not enough to do anything about it.

So by virtue of these distracting thoughts, I’ve been struggling with writing on the story this morning (what else is new?). You’d think that desire fades with time, but it’s not true; not yet, anyway. I suppose fifty is still too young for it not to still be alive and well.

I “found” an old boyfriend on Facebook the other day. The mind is always curious about what has become of people we have known but not seen in a long while. He was my first mad love. We were crazy about each other, and also just plain crazy.

We didn’t know who we were, or how to be, and certainly we weren’t in a healthy relationship (because we didn’t even know what that looked like), but man, were we ever in love. At least I was. I think he was too. It seems so long ago… thirty years. We’ve both been married and divorced. He has been in another long term relationship with someone and is afraid to accept my friend request because it may make her jealous. So still, perhaps, not so healthy, relationship-wise.

Jealousy. What an interesting emotion it is; so detrimental, and yet so prevalent – and consuming. Thinking that permanent possession of something or someone is possible, and fearing its loss – the lesson of impermanence not yet gleaned. Nor the understanding that even when people stay together, things change and evolve – and different doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

Jealousy rears itself on its hind quarters like a spooked horse when one feels insecure in oneself or a relationship (or a situation). It takes gentle self-compassion (and for the other person likewise to show compassionate awareness) to move past it. Of being truthful, kind and transparent… and that level of exposure is fearsome and hard.

Life is too short to be spending it on not wearing yourself on your sleeve, though. Not doing so robs everyone of your best self, including you.

Transparency is important, I think. I learned that the hard way, over many relationships and many years of trial and error.

My last one was the hardest. It stretched me further than I had ever stretched before; it made me grow in ways I didn’t think I had to grow or didn’t know that I wanted to. It was at once one of the most intense and most terrifying relationships that I’d ever had.

It still saddens me that the experience wasn’t a reciprocal one – that the power of it was diminished because we weren’t equally open and present to each other. It taught me a lot about releasing expectation and what the meaning of responsibility was in the context of a relationship. It also taught me to be mindful of my instincts – my body knew what was happening even before things became known – the body knows; trust the body. It also taught me to trust my worth. I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy.

I think that the only way to evolve in this world is through relationship – to enjoy the process while growing in awareness. It is like walking in two worlds, really, one foot in the sacred, and one foot in the profane.

I miss it but not enough to do anything about it.