Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Glow

Turned a corner with this illness.  No longer sleepy-all-the-time, but sniffling, sneezing, coughing.  So, so pleasant,  but nice not to feel like a total zombie.

I spent most of yesterday's Second Life with my dear one, business and personal.    My heart fluttered trying to soar as it always does when I'm with him, but this illness takes that high from me.   I was grateful for the fluttering, though.

I felt welcome calm seeping through me as we talked.  The emotional turmoil, the intensity moves to the periphery, making room for the peace, quiet, and yes, happiness I feel when I'm with him.   My heart fills with love for him, so precious this one.  This happens every time I'm with him.  It doesn't matter what we do or say, really.

I have no idea why he has this effect on me.  Or if/why I am "imagining" this effect.   It's hard enough in real life to know what's real and what's imagined.   Virtual lives top that confusion in spades.   All I know is what I experience, whatever the reasons.  

I remember another one, another time where I experienced similar feelings.    It's been so long it's hard to say definitively that it was exactly the same, but my mind grasps this memory as "the one."

Summer of 1971, a post-graduation cross-country road trip, New York City to California, two couples and two singles, in a rented van, yada yada.  The couples were two classmates and their graduate student boyfriends.  I was one single and the other was a German mathematics graduate student studying in the US for a year.  I think he was 27, but I might be remembering wrong.  I don't remember exactly how I came to go.   I suspect it was my friend(A)'s idea, she could persuade me to do almost anything, even a whirlwind, highly scheduled trip which really isn't my thing at all.  I bet A became an excellent lawyer, like she wanted, all almost five feet of her [big grin].

A potentially awkward situation, four cooing lovebirds and two loners.   ah, the pressure (A did tell me she had matchmaking hopes, a later matchmaking hope eventually evolved via circuitous routes into my real life partner)...but at that time in my life my walls were still firmly in place, as they had been since childhood.   So firm and definitive, that few even tried.  Or I didn't recognize the trying, the signals.  Hard to tell, it was so long ago.  The few that did try, well one I was able to develop into a good friend and we had all sorts of fun exploring NYC and a couple years later I was overjoyed when he found true love, a beautiful young woman who complemented him in so many ways.   So, anyway, I went "on the road" not particularly worrying about A's matchmaking schemes, or peer pressure.  As for J, the German grad student, he wanted to see more of America before he returned home in September.

How does one explain or even understand when two are sympatico?   Shared glances.  Shared laughter.  Shared awe in the presence of natural splendor.   Shared peace, quiet.   How much is real, how much is illusion.   What I remember is that soon into that trip I woke up each morning to a world that glowed brighter, shimmered more sweetly, an inner humming of joy... because this one person was there to share it.   How could that happen with not a word spoken?  Or even knowing whether it was reciprocated?  because I never did find out if it was...and does it matter?  I'm not sure that it does, my feelings were what they were.  I'm pretty sure my heart was flagrant on my sleeve and I didn't care.  I didn't care at all when I took homemade chocolate chip cookies down to the NYC docks, along with my farewell, waving as I watched the ship leave the harbor for Europe.

I've very, very rarely felt compelled to write.   This time was one of them.  I wrote a poem expressing my feelings and had it taped for years where I could see it each morning when I opened my eyes and each night when I shut them.  It wasn't a particularly good poem, but it was mine and I knew what it meant.

               ***
A golden ray of sunshine.
The gentle murmur of waves, caressing
The black silence of a star-filled sky
A green-glow ash-tree glen
A solitary mountain staring into eternity
A rainbow at sunrise
     a symphony of love
          a single flower
You are to me all of these.

Yesterday
A shadow, a dream
Doubts of being, of caring
An uneasy restlessness...uncertainty
The chaotic fog of being alone.

Today the hunger is gone
Each moment an infinitude of joy...of children's laughter.
Miraculous life wonder
Peaceful order
A constellation in the sky.

Are you
Were you ever
How I see you...feel you
Perhaps a mirror
Of my needs...growth...my being
Reality...illusion
Substance...dream
The truth remains
You have touched me.

Tomorrow
An ocean separates
The cutting pain of new-found loneliness
Mind confusions of half-memories
Hollow absence, painful presence
Lost, half-being
Searching for those child's eyes
To live for today
With you...my dream of you...the smile of you
Ever gentle
In the shadows of my mind.

(September, 1971)
               ***

AFTERMATH
I was so frustrated with myself for not having reached out to that one.   So stuck in my walls.  So awkward in my virginity.   I decided that was something I could do something about, and I did within the next year, choosing a "safe" math professor (hadn't been my teacher for several years) friend in an open marriage fifteen years my senior.  This time when the signals were given I let biology do it's thing and had a great time.  Safety is another kind of wall, you know, easy to let go when you know there's a net that won't let you fall far.

That glowing happiness though is rare, so rare.  I have it off and on with my real life partner, somewhat muted, but it's been there, just not recently for a multitude of reasons.   I had it when each of my children was born.  Those honeymoons lasted months and months, when they were my entire universe.  I still feel all glow-y when I'm with my adult children, their energies ebbing and flowing around, through me.  and now in Second Life.  I treasure every precious moment of that glow.

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