Summer is here, the air is sparkling, birds are chirping, smells of jasmine and fig are wafting, and I am jonesing for physical adventure...a camping trip, going caving, windsailing, river rafting, boogie boarding, anything...to be outdoors, to use my body fully, to be wild and reckless and abandoned.
Instead I am still at my desk at my computer, typing, typing. Another one-act play idea has occurred to me. Don't want to over-talk it now, while it's still just a twinkle in my eye, but maybe I can get it written quickly. And lesson plans for tomorrow night's poetry class, including new poem of my own, and copy and send out the new revised improved hot tub play.
Meanwhile C and I continue to deepen intimacy. And the paradox is that sometimes deepening intimacy looks like pulling apart for a minute to get some breath and some perspective. Sometimes things deepening feels like slowing down. Sometimes it feels scary in a different way than the first heady rush of "I've met somebody!" feels scary. Sometimes it feels awkward, like "I want to just clean my own room, is that okay?" and sometimes it feels lonely and sometimes it feels clear and good.
I see how far I've come. When I was younger, I depended on men to expand my world for me. I wanted to have a big life, but I didn't know how to go after it myself within the context of a relationship. (That is still a conundrum.) Alan taught me to drive and use a computer and he showed me the country. Years later, when I saw the animated Disney film Alladin, I related to princess jasmine, who had been shut up in a castle. With Aladdin she goes flying on a magic carpet and sees the world.
I had not been shut up in a castle--not by any means. I had been to Europe, on my own, and to Haiti, with a girlfriend. I had hitchhiked across Canada with another man. But with Alan I felt like the world was my oyster, like I could finally get out and touch all my dreams. The irony is that by the end of our nine years together I had used marriage as a way to shut myself away from the world. I had to become single again in order to fully participate.
In the past I was always attracted to people who seemed to have something I lacked, some passion or competence that I felt was missing from my own life. It's not that way for me with C. I don't covet his life; I'm not trying to steal his energy or his time the way in the past I wanted to do with other men. I love his gentleness, his tenderness, his care for me, and his sly, goofy sense of humor.
In the past I called that coveting and projecting "love"; I wouldn't do so now. I would call it poverty. Out of the poverty of my own sense of lack, I'd become fixated on what I imagined another had and could give me, the happy and beneficial transfer of their vital energy into my own coffers. Men with children, fathers, were my especial targets; I imagined I could hitch-hike, or even hijack their hard-won family. It never even came close to working, but that was my fantasy.
C has a family, but they're not a big part of his life. If I am to help fill that gap, I'll have to do it from the ground up, as everyone does. I'll have to face whether or not I want to do that enough to do it, or if I want to spend the time banging out this new play I'm incubating. Or volunteering, or meditating, or wherever my deepest passions lead me.
Meanwhile C has been playing a lot of his own piano and organ music lately, coming up with bits and pieces of things that may become part of the musical. He has his own process, more private than mine. I have the most public process in the world--every time I write anything, I immediately email it to my whole family and about a dozen of my closest friends. C is quieter, slower, more thoughtful. That's good. It just leaves space for me to feel some of the insecurity and fear that drives my whole frantic process.
Last night I watched Brokeback Mountain again with G, who had rented it under extreme pressure from me and all of his other female friends, what I call his "harem." He liked it more than he thought he would. The cinematography is pure poetry. The second time around I caught a lot of tender subtext that I had missed on first viewing.