Amatory movement

She

turns words

loose in me

gentle soft travelers

sent across all of her

being in deep amatory

movement wandering

her sweet configurations

in velvet darkness

feather tasting

undulating shapes

I’d believe

unreal if

I wasn’t

awake.

 

************

for a dream

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Falling in love (an interview)

Do you think you’ll fall in love again?

– (Smiling) I don’t know that I have much say in the matter.

– How’s that?

– I don’t think falling in love is something you choose. It just happens. It’s like one of those exquisitely delicious moments life offers, like, for me, the first time birds find the newly placed birdfeeder. The breathy gasp of joy is out of me before I know it. Like falling in love, it just happens. Your experience of the moment or the person simply happens.

– So a person’s powerless? Defenseless?

– What would you be defending? As for powerless, you’re not. You have a lot of say over what you do in response to falling in love. You can pack up and run. Some do. Or you can allow the experience.

– What about rushing into it?

– I’m not sure you have, speaking for myself anyway, that you have much choice over the intensity of feelings.  I think there is such a thing as moving to quickly. Remember to breathe, enjoy the beginning of things. There are a couple of things I’ve learned over time. The hard way in some instances. First, never give up who you are for someone and second, allow yourself time to be sure the person you’ve falling in love with is really there, and, if you they are, that they’re able to be fully present as real intimacy expands its reach.

– Giving up who you are would be?

– For me it would be, say, someone doesn’t like that I’m a writer or love to read or that I jump into the fray when I see someone’s rights are being denied.

– And people being who they really are? Allowing intimacy?

– There’s healthy compromise and there has to be in relationship, but if you begin to give up the essentials of who you are, resentments build, the relationship becomes toxic and then you’re done. As for people being who they really are or being able to continue to be present when the intimacy becomes real on all fronts… Sometimes I think people present themselves as someone they’re not, not so much because they want to be deceitful or dishonest, but because at some time being themselves openly was a dangerous undertaking. Connected to this, at least in my mind, is the person who flees, runs, disengages – you pick the word – when the relationship really begins to be fully intimate. Some run because when you are fully with someone it can feel as if your very existence is at risk. It’s not so, but God knows it can feel that way.

– Are you a runner?

– No. Other way around, there are times I should’ve disengaged and didn’t. And then, one more thing.

– And that is?

– In order for any relationship of any kind to be a healthy one, each person needs to be who they really are safely with the other. Absent that, there’s no point.

– And so when it comes to you falling in love again?

– (Smiling) If there is the possibility of being in a loving healthy relationship with someone, I don’t want to miss it. Cool?

– Cool. Thank you.

 

Beware the distance makers

You reach a point in life, I have, where you just say straight out what it is you have to say, response be damned.  I do know what I want to say here, I only hope I am able to say it.  Let me start with this. When life inflicts pain on me to the point it buckles my emotional-knees and takes air from the room it is not lost on me that I have the power to leave this life if and when I choose. It is not a top-of-the-list choice for me, but it’s one I’m acutely aware of and, at times hold fast to. Sometimes enough  is really enough.

Some years ago a close friend of mine, a woman who faced a challenge with weight, told me some of those who put on too much weight do so to protect themselves, to keep others at a distance. Over the years I’ve recognized a plethora of habits and behavioral idiosyncrasies in people, behaviors, that do exactly that.  I call them distance makers.

It is unlikely I am saying something you don’t already know when I say intimacy can be scary. It can feel, for very real reasons were one privy to the details of someone’s history, life threatening. So, believe me, it is not as if I don’t understand the existence and need for distance makers. I have enormous compassion for those whose distance makers protect them (or so they believe) on the one hand, yet rob them of much of the life experience they deserve to have on the other. A closer examination reveals yet another prevalent pattern when it comes to distance makers. The distance makers that  applied yesterday may not apply today. In fact, what once protected you in life may now pulverize your life and, not at all incidentally, pulverize the lives of others. In one of his letters John Steinbeck wrote, “We’re creatures of habit, a very senseless species.” He was right.

Distance makers are like anything else, there are healthy and unhealthy ones. Principles come to mind. People espousing racism and other forms of bigotry are not going to be found in my personal life. Nor are those who are active alcoholics, addicts, people who are violent (emotionally or physically), and so forth.  But then there are the unhealthy distance makers rooted so deep in the fear of loss or fear of being hurt – physically abused, raped, shot, stabbed, assaulted – again! that we miss the mark and drive off the very people who love us the most.

I’ve seen friendships, relationships, and marriages shattered to pieces by distance makers. Like anyone my age, I’m 60, I’ve experienced my fair share of loss. Losing someone I love from my life immobilizes me more than anything else I think. Takes the air out of the day. When someone I love dies, I swear to God there is less sun in the sky for a time. Sometimes I think the sun itself is mourning. Losing someone I love as a result of unhealthy distance makers is brutal; the word pain doesn’t come close to covering it.

Beware the distance makers, they may rob you of the life you want and deserve to have. Getting back up gets harder not easier over time, at least it gets harder for me.