And I sometimes think that a moment of touching is the difference between complete utter despair and the ability to carry on. ― Eleanor Cameron
After moving to a new town where she had no friends or family, a friend of mine began stalking her yoga teacher.
It started innocently with her attending one or two of his classes a week. That became three or four, and soon she was “doing doubles,” going to two of his classes a day and driving across town to do so. She knew his schedule; knew when he was subbing; knew when he started teaching at a new studio, and she followed.
It wasn’t that he was unusually skilled at guiding students into asanas, or even particularly handsome.
On any day in this progressive town, there were likely 50 or so other yoga classes providing nearly identical versions of what he offered – except for one thing.
“He does the best adjustments,” she told me. “So strong, so firm, just the right amount of pressure.”
But we both knew that being assisted in her practice had little to do with her real motivations for showing up in his classes.
She was lonely. She worked from home. Being friendless and single meant there was no one to hug her, hold her hand or cuddle with at night.
I have this dream of fully unraveling before my partner. In my mind, this man is unwavering and sturdy. When he says he’ll do something, it’s done. There’s a natural confidence about him that draws others in, and when you’re with him, the world becomes simple and magical. Together we explore and delight in the evening’s golden light, a perfect tomato and the warmth of each other’s presence as we walk side-by-side. We communicate deeply without the need for fickle words. Ours is a relationship built on trust and intuited feeling. This blend is the mortar that allows us to build a strong and light-filled home in which we can each place the things that scare us, make us feel ashamed, alone, unlovable and unforgiveable.
A rendition of Prince’s “I wanna be your lover” to a very select audience of strangers.
This week, I’ve had an aha moment sparked in large part by this article. After I read it, I immediately wondered, what would it be like to experience a date like this? To be courted by a man whose intentions were so crystal clear? Is such a thing even possible in this “wanna-hang-out” dating age? Would I even know what to do with such an advance?
And yet, as evidenced by many posts on this blog, and going back well before that to the unrequited love poems of my bucktoothed, blossom-hat-wearing youth, it occurs to me that I’ve long been waiting for someone to make me feel special like this. I’m not afraid to admit it.
Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in the eyes of the Divine. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed … I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other. –Thomas Merton
Things are incredibly sad here.
When I look at the sky some days it is piercingly blue, which seems a mockery to the state of it all. Other days, like today, it is a shroud, milk tainted by one drop of squid ink. I imagine the sun trudging across its congested home, sweating and exhausted. I can commiserate. The simplest things, throwing off the duvet this morning, assembling the ingredients for matcha, take more time than they should. Why bother?
This soft, dull light of today lulls me to disinterest. I want nothing but to continue laying in my warm bed daydreaming of another world that is warm, inviting and viscous with honey’d love. I’m drunk on love, floating contentedly in its golden sea. There’s nowhere to be, no other person to invite in. It’s all exactly enough.
As I write this Nicki Minaj’s Feeling Myself is playing through my brainwaves.
I’ve been workin’ on my bounce friends.
It’s been the only way to be with all the ‘muchness’ this year has uncovered. My bounce is where I celebrate and where I lament. It is the place I come to drop out of my head and simply be in the moment, in the feeling.
Last week was a week lost. We lost an election; I lost a week in time. I did not work. I did not make progress on any of my projects. I didn’t even cook. All of my energy was consumed with feeling and trying to escape feeling. It was a full-time effort.
I went to the Trolls movie.
I Shimmy Popped, InterPlayed and Twerk Werked
I held the people I love and they held me.
These things worked for a bit, but when the credits rolled, the last booty bounced, and the cuddle puddle evaporated, the anxiety began to flood back in. I did not sleep. The one lonely Valium I’ve saved for the end of the world began to call my name. “Kelsey, this is not living.” “I can make you feel o.k.”
Open to anything, waiting for nothing.
Our relationship lasted the length of my underarm hair
Cultivated at your request
A jungle of tangled velvet
Arms dancing proud and shy – A mark of belonging to
It felt so good to shave it yesterday
Clean, smooth, done
We traveled to Yosemite over Labor Day Weekend.
I was sure this trip would bring us one step closer to our shared dream: a home, a baby, Chinese takeout and a good movie on a Friday night.
I believed that our two unique strands of humanness would easily and naturally tie into a beautiful bow. And this bow would dangle in the sky over the city where we would begin together. A place where the rent is cheaper, the neighborhoods are more diverse and you could keep your job. It all made sense. I’d teach and write, you’d develop a side hustle, on the weekends we’d venture to new neighborhoods, check out the local markets – hands clasped, hearts synced, we’d feed each other new and exotic things: Gooseberries, spiced jerky, elderberry flower tincture. How perfect it would be.
Stacks of books on my summer reading list collect dust near my bedside night table.
Several weeks have passed without posting a blog.
My journal, a trusted resource for organizing, documenting and finding inspiration, has not received my thoughts since May 24th. I just re-read it:
“We danced together. We ate oysters. We went to a ballgame and he bought me a hat because my head was cold. We rode our bikes. We went wine tasting. He’s kind. He listens to me.”
As you may perceive from that entry, I’ve been distracted.
Awake into the wee hours of the morning, propped in bed with a laptop balanced on a pillow, my eyes danced over every square inch of the computer screen as Beyoncé gloriously took her baseball bat to car windows, swung her braided-up hair, bounced her breasts and flipped the bird.
I’m talking about Lemonade i.e. Queen B’s visual album which dropped this week, and made everyone put what they were doing down and watch slack jawed as she flipped it and reversed it.
It was as if we collectively felt the sound of a giant record scratch and all stood awkwardly in awe and faintly aware that something big was happening.
Never have I felt more connected to my fellow humans.
I gingerly stepped into OkCupid’s shooting range in my mid twenties.
In truth, I was looking for a distraction to get over my ex, and my profile, which included links like this, reflected my carefree dating approach.
I received 56 messages in just two weeks.
56 messages?! Awesome!
Sure, many of those messages ranged from the unintelligible, “Will you have some peanut butter sandwich after or before because I eat even a burger with roasted peanut butter?” to the sexually suggestive, “I wil love to b close and meet with you …” but for this gal (who never received an invitation to a high school dance) it was a boon. I was in demand … so I thought.