Things I would like to do rather than Fall in love with you.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 7, 2013
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Tyger, tyger, burning bright

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?  ~ William Blake



I would like to say something like:

There are so many human beings we meet, in this life.

I would like to find out which one you are. I can not tell. Is it you?

I am not shy nor weak, but I am meek.

I am not one of the boys who pushes onto you with charm and arrogance. I am better, different. So I am meek. But I am not shy, nor weak. But you will have to meet me halfway. This is what a match is: equal. There is tension in equality, a rhythmic balance, a sway that is not present if I am to dominate or be dominated. I would like neither. I want a match. I would like you.

You are not mine to take, so I would not like to take you.

You want to be taken, and so you are taken. And so you wait: you give me an hour, once a moon, and when we commune beneath the cold light you hear something open.

Oh, yes.

Because I do not demand you, I do not get you.

I do not want something I can get out of you. I do not want something from you that I can take out of you. I would like to share that which is freely and wholly given up from your bedrock. Your longings that are not a need but an echo off of the rock beneath your waves.

I do not view you as a thing. I would not like to keep you: a tiger must remain in the wild or it ceases to be Tiger.  I do not view you as an object to be won or lost.

I would like to take you: I would like to ride you.


Padmasambhava, who famously rode a wild pregnant tigress—rode [italics] not in any sexual sense, but in the sense of riding a powerful horse, or tiger in this case, riding the energy of the truth of life, which takes guts and practice and skill. Together they worked to liberate the minds and hearts of all they encountered.

We are in love but this is not yet Love.

I would like you to remember that if you are emboldened to hang a line up through time: if you open yourself for a month, or a week, or even a day, and stay with me, we would get to know each other. We could do dishes, and argue, and read, and hike, and grocery shop, and eat lunch by the creek, and I will not want to make love one night, “I’m tired,” and you will not want to make love in the morning, “I’m late to meet my friend” and we will text one another about small things: times and dates and funny photos. You could steal my toothpaste, and I could give you a new roll of toilet paper.

Love is in the details, or it is not Love after all.

I would like to see us know one another, instead of skimming the surface of Life until it runs out and we are nothing and all this is a fever dream, a cheap waste of this short, precious human life.

There are many ways to know one another.

There are many ways to know if this is Love. I would like to lose at Scrabble against you.

I would like to play volleyball with you. I would like to bicycle with you up the mountains.

Love is not about being the same. Love is about two humans appreciating one another. These are not pretty words, this is important. And if it is important, then we must laugh.

You are almost always cold. I am almost always warm. You like the blinds closed; I need the sun to wake up. I like the windows open, you like to have two comforters and six blankets and me. We will work it out: the windows will be open so I have my fresh air and breeze, and the heat will be low because I try to be an environmentalist but I will buy you warm slippers and make you tea and you can steal my big cardigans.

You like your pancakes and bacon, you love fresh fish and good steak, I like pigs when they are alive—”They’re smarter than dogs”—and for breakfast I like organic granola and banana and peanut butter and honey and cinnamon raisin bread; we both love big salads with too many things in it like olives and artichoke hearts, we both like black coffee in the morning.

We will work it out without compromising. But too we will give an inch, many times over.

The key is not to take it personally, because I know your bedrock, and you respect mine. The key is that you and I would like to laugh and be gentle more than we love to be right.

I would like to offer you a soft tee shirt to wear at night. I would like to take it off of you and lose it off the side of the bed and instead cuddle into our clean salt sweat.

I would like to talk with you, which includes listening and talking and not talking. I would like to do things together: go to an outdoor movie or eat vegan nachos with too much hot sauce (but I keep one end of the plate free of hot, for you) and drink hoppy beer in a loud bright tap room, or go on a road trip (you stick your legs out the window, I eye your legs) to go climbing together in a redpink canyon.

And I would like to not do things together, so that space in our daily lives gives us the air we require to tolerate love.

But you are afraid, or you are bold, or your desire is cool, or it is cautious, or your interest is shallow, or it is fast, or other boys distract you: and so I will raise a flag that shakes against the wind, yellow as the sun, for all to see.

But I will not earn your love, nor steal it: I will sing an old sad song and you will listen, or you will miss it.


Soooo you take the high road…and I’ll take the low…road…and I’ll be in Scotland afore…yeee…for me and my true love…will never meet again, on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.


Take off your headphones when you bicycle: it is the dumbest thing, and I like you being alive and beautiful so much I could shout for joy.

And I would like to dance with you, and see your low expectations in the face of your own childlike wonder raised up as high as my yellow flag. You deserve a good gentleman with a better hunger, and you deserve less of cowardly men’s controlling desires and projections.

I would like to begin to love you on a kitchen-sink level.

And I would begin to love you truly, and if you love me too we will fall, fall, fall…fall like Alice into Wonderland. And we will wake and stretch and brush our teeth and run Red dog around the park and shower quickly and then descend the spiral staircase in our shorts. A light green leaf will fall into the hot tub, and I will always rescue drowning bugs, and you will not be allowed in with make up, and I will read a business book with water-wrinkled pages and wear a pale cowboy hat against the sun or rain, and you will read a good magazine.

And you would wear bright lipstick occasionally—red with a hint of orange against your gold skin. And I would undress you, and you would undress me, and I would wait for you to scream through the walls before I took my turn: such chivalry.

And I am already in love, but not merely with you. I am in love with what I see inside of your eyes: I can tell it is there for in the gaps of your midnight blue mind it flashes like lightning! But you do not think you care about any of this: you are used to a cold world: you know the language of power and push, and I speak only the language of slow times, of space, and so you greedily consume my meek love.

But I do not mind being ignored: again I am not here to win, nor to get your attention, nor to get any thing. I yam what I yam! And though I may lose, too, it is your loss or victory, for I no longer play games.

And so though I hold you up against the heroines of old…and though I respect the rock at the base of your being, I am not calculating. My humor burns orange: curl up against it and stretch out with a sigh and a yawn and curl up again and fall asleep. And in your dreams remember what your dreams already know: that love is not weak, that desire based on connection burns hotter than desire based on conquest. I am not shy in my honesty, nor will you be in yours: I will overwhelm your hesitation, just as you could flood my life.

I would like to see you today. I miss doing the dishes with you, I miss grocery shopping with you, I miss laughing into you and being made fun of by you, I miss your hips, like a rocking chair.

I would like to meet you for more warmhotblackbrown coffee in heavy porcelain mug in a sunny cafe with old-fashioned dark wood paneling. And then I would stroll with you and Red dog up into the green, wet mountains, and then I would visit artists’ homes with you, and see their work and care and precision, some of it brilliant, some of it patient.

And I would like to invite you into my home again. And I would like to touch you: then and there, and soft but firmly and then more and, and you would not stop me, but your mouth would open with surprise but without sound.

I would like to do this one thing to you, not with you, just inside the entrance, feeling you rise against the doorframe. I would lift your flowered skirt, and I would kiss your neck, and I would run my fingers into your hair. And then I would relax and let you do to me, too, not with me. And you might, again, kiss and breathe into my left ear, and I would laugh and growl into you like a friendly tiger: for I am ticklish. And you would press hard against the small of my back and though we started fast, we would continue slowly, first on the wall, then the too-hard floor, then I would carry you, clumsily, for the stairs are narrow not wide. And you, and me, naked, simple, entwined: finally on my bed, under the many covers, shivering and then sweating, all within the space of an hour. And then, though I slept nine hours last night, and it is only early, I would fall asleep against your breast. And you would wake me, it is late now, and we would sink into the hot water in my old clawfoot bath, steaming, it needs to be re-lacquered. And I would like to read my book while you read your book, our arms intertwined as the steam rises and the bubbles settle.

And though and then you would take me up the mountain and we would drive, and drive, and drive our way around the closed roads, still blocked by last month’s unconditional flood of change. And we would dine together at the Nepali buffet, all you can eat for twelve bucks, first meal of the day. I like the feeling of hunger for it reminds me of all those hundreds of months without you.

Missing you, thinking of you, like a friendly lonely thin tiger smelling the slip of a season into a new season.

 If you and I spend our seasons together we would find that our dreams and fantasies of happily-ever-after-love have holes in them through which the wind of karma blows: our yellow flag shakes. And I would like you to look ahead and see what I know: the wind will replace our pretty ideas with something brighter: life.

We would talk, and sometimes we would be regrettable, we would schmooze (and shop) at the farmers’ market and you would cook and I would like to help and we would dine with candles and music and I would like to do the dishes and you would help. We would lean into a half dozen pillows or more and watch half an hour of a good movie before you fell asleep and I would get up and work for another hour and a half, until I fall asleep on the couch, and then return to bed to join you. And then you would wake early and leave me for a run, your hair shaking behind you. We would meet friends at their homes and their friends or children and have a good time, or a hard time. We would feel vulnerable in one another’s presence, or forget one another and laugh into our drinks.

Do not worry: you would like to make yourself safe from Love: you could avoid our warmth by staying with an old boy who does not do you any good: he does not love you any more, but sees you as a pretty possession that he is afraid to lose but too arrogant to care for. Either way, he does not see your Nature: he sees you as Beauty. Or you could avoid our love by falling into life’s vicissitudes: we are all so busy that it is easier to rush than to slow and be kind to ourselves. Can you see through your bright eyes that our quiet love is a rare thing, and if either of us is to treat its birth cavalierly, then we do not deserve it? Can I slow and see or will I be too busy for us?

For there is a positive arrogance in saying: this, here, now is real and I shall acknowledge it against the tides of mediocrity: for our share of life is brightly finite.

This, here, now is real and I deserve she who deserves me and the world needs two more who will serve it with joy.

I see what you do not see, now: that your heart is a pearl, polished into being by experience, rubbed together with caring as powerful as your ability to rest upon your rock, in reality, at this present moment, and to serve society with a positive arrogance that proclaims: I have been given much and so here I am.

I want to see your pink art with black lines and wit and frame it precisely in shadows on a big, empty wall so that I might look into it as I look into your fire eyes, and be warmed in your long absence.

The girls play guitar and fiddle and sing softly in high lilting laughing voices across the street and I stomp with disarming charming abandon!

I would like to ride my spotted horse while you ride your black horse and I would like to ride into the hills of my forefathers, who own nothing.

I would like to hold your hand as it holds this green leaf, yellowed, that fell early from its tree, this Autumn. And I would like to imagine that it feels your careful care, for your eyes are warmed by your heart, and I would let you sadly nestle into me as a bird folds into its nest, resigning itself to a storm. For my heart is as large as a city, and it glows with the fire that, with the right mischievous love, shall serve to inspire thousands upon thousands to inspire thousands upon thousands more.

Do not trust this friendly tiger: ride me.

It is easy.


tiger lion garuda dragon



More Things:

You just read the ninth.

Read the first, Things I would like to do with you in the Woods.

Read the second, Things I would like to do with you this Evening.

Read the third, Things I would like to Remember about our day in Vermont.

Read the fourth, Things I would like to do with you in Time.

Read the fifth, Things I Would Like to do with You Before I Lose You.

Read the sixth, Things I would like to hear when you are Confused.

Read the seventh, Things I would like to say to you without you Knowing.

Then read the eighth, Things I would like to do with you when you visit my Home.




tlgd tiger lion garuda dragon

Random unedited Notes from the Shambhala Glossary (Meek, symbolized by the Tiger, is one of the four qualities or dignities of a noble human being devoted to the welfare of all. For more, see Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Trungpa):

Meek means resting in a state of simplicity, being uncomplicated and, at the same time, approachable. Whether others are hostile or friendly, the warrior of meek extends a sense of kindness to himself and mercy to others. you are never seduced by trivial situations. your awareness allows you to refrain from activities that dim the vision of the Great Eastern Sun.

The warrior is modest, his mind is never bloated by poisonous arrogance. Modesty here means feeling true and genuine. self-contained but awareness shines out with tremendous inquisitiveness You begin to see things as natural messages. The warrior’s awareness is always joined with discipline. Therefore you don’t miss anything; you see every detail. clear[s] the ground in such a way that the universe begins to be come a part of you. “Tiger is basically experiencing a humble an gentle state of being.”

The analogy of a Meekness is a Tiger in his prime, who moves slowly but heedfully through the jungle. Tiger expresses a combination of self-satisfaction and modesty .. with mindfulness. … he is relaxed. there are no problems. His movements are like waves; he swims through the jungle. [Tiger is] the analogy for the warrior’s confidence. is a natural state of awareness and mindfulness in the way he conducts his affairs.

because there is no hesitation the warrior’s mind is vast. … uplifted and sees beyond the limits of the sky. vastness comes from seeing the greatness of you own spot, your own particular place. .. ambition and a poverty stricken state of mentality are overcome. You actually are able to jump into that vast and powerful ocean of magic

The fruition of meekness is that, because the warrior possesses extraordinary exertion, he is able to accomplish what purposes or objectives he is trying to fulfill. not speedy, aggressive, or heavy-handed. .. but relax and energized. . the Warrior of the Meek has abandoned gain, victory, and fame. meekness has vision and confidence. a natural sense of fulfillment which does not beg from others.”




About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


33 Responses to “Things I would like to do rather than Fall in love with you.”

  1. Kiersten says:

    sweetest simple beauty ever…

  2. andeejo says:

    ooo i'm the first commenter? 🙂 this one totally sucked me in. forgot to eat my dinner while i read. thank you 🙂

  3. Jenny says:


  4. elephantjournal says:

    Kristin Monk wow

    Patte F Book or some collection would be much appreciated. Such a pleasure to read it. Thanks. (And I think everyone would greatly benefit from losing to (and winning against) one's fiancé. How do they handle each circumstance? Very revealing, no?)

    Laura E M This is another piece of writing… I just melt…. melt.

    Felicia Gomez V Utterly beautiful prose Waylon, thank you!

    Sarah Jane A wOw

    Alix L Achingly beautiful. Just perfect

    Deborah M i don't know a single earthling… male or female… who would not succumb to this 9th verse… je pris son envol sur le souffle que vous avez apporté ces mots à la vie avec … merci mercy merci

    BettySue G It is beautiful. Real.
    It made me have a smile & tears at the same time.

    Waylon Lewis best compliment possible, thanks you!

    Vickie L this entire series. Would really enjoy having them printed together in a book when you finish.

  5. I think I might actually have blushed while I was reading this. I adore this. (It, possibly, is both the latest and greatest, but that's a hard call.)

    "Padmasambhava, who famously rode a wild pregnant tigress—rode not in the sexual sense, but in the sense of riding a powerful horse, or tiger in this case—riding the energy, which takes guts and practice and skill. And together they worked to liberate the minds and hearts of a people."
    This entire analogy and scene is magnificent.

    I know what it's like to write from both your heart and your head, using your imagination and intelligence to create something that you would want to read and let me tell you, you nailed it, Way. (I'll be reading this again.)

  6. Coley says:

    Wow! I hope there is a woman receiving all that love. I pray she understands what she has and loves equally in return. I dream of this kind of love for myself.

    Thank you for sharing


  7. elephantjournal says:

    Yay! These comments are surprising–I felt like it was boring and flat and the worst yet and just a tired old trope and…kinda horrible, you know?

  8. It's not. At all. Honestly, I think that's possibly rare insecurity 😉 Seriously, though, some of the greatest literature in history has to do with finding beauty, joy, emotions and stories in the everyday, and mundane. (This is what I often try to create myself, and what I prefer reading.) Quite seriously, Way, I wished last night that I had this in the form of a paper book by my bedside for my nightly read.

  9. Polly says:

    Just got swept away.

    My heart racing with longing for that love.

    Wasn’t sure of the point of view at first, thought female the realized male….

    Just beautiful, thanks for shAring

  10. Miranda says:

    Wow! I got sucked into this one. Love is definitely about appreciation and not possession. It is refreshing to read articles such as this one to remind yourself that others have the same thoughts.

  11. Thy says:

    This was so simplistically beautiful and complex at the same time. I needed this today. Thank you.

  12. fluxustulip says:

    Graceful prose for an autumnal transition. Combining the mythic with the mundane creates a very warm (and easy) flow. Far less lament and longing, more of a gentle yearning. Which is much kinder, don't you think?

    A trope? Not entirely. Just a natural following of the seasonal changes. Soon to move into the best season, in nature and relationships, the contented certainty of winter.

    Ya know, although you say you have no desire to seduce, surely that is exactly what these words are intended for.

    For now, if you can, just for a while, Mr. Lewis, put away your laptop. Go outside. Lie under a tree. Look up and listen to the slowing Earth. Feel it supporting you. This has got to be a much easier place to be.

    And, I doubt you would lose at scrabble. Seriously.

  13. Nancy says:

    Speechless, breathless, beautiful

  14. lynnola says:

    This is so good: "If you and I spent time together we would find that our dreams and fantasies of happily-ever-after-love have holes in them through which the wind of change slips: our yellow flag shakes. And I would like you to look ahead and see what I know: the wind will replace our pretty ideas with something even brighter: life, together"

    Beautiful. Makes me ache for those first stirrings of love.

  15. elephantjournal says:

    I'm horrible at Scrabble. As a wordlover, it's surprising how bad I am.

    As for getting offline, I do it frequently and will follow your exact advice. I kinda hate my phone and while I love my work getting offline sustains me. Relephant, via Jennifer (commenter above):

  16. jasmine says:

    I desire to be loved and understood like this. A supernatural love. You have a wildly stunning mind, heart and soul! I once comented “merry me” on one of your instagram posts. A whimsical and silly decision. But a delighfully witty typo.

  17. Karen says:

    Le Swoon. The best thing I've read in a while. Just what my soul needed today. Thank you!

  18. nnn says:

    love is ego driven. It's all about the ego. idealistic indulgence if you stop for coffee you know you're going to get a doughnut.
    need, scarcity, drives, operate at an subconscious level
    nothing new. yuck.

  19. Jojo says:

    Breathless, tender, sweetness. I especially adore the line, “I want to begin to love you on a kitchen sink level”. Reading these makes me want to put on my worn, woolen sweater and dream of being loved so thoroughly.

    Thank you…

  20. elephantjournal says:

    Merry you, too!

  21. elephantjournal says:

    You sound fun! Let's hang! I'll buy the coffee and doughnuts.

    To be serious: obviously there's an ego-driven love, that in Buddhism would be categorized as one of the three root poisons. You're right on. We'd call it "attachment."

    But there's also a love that's less about projection, and more about caring. Less about ego, and more about encouraging the best in our friend. Via Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche:

    "…we have a fearful mind. That fearful mind is the mentality of those who are still taking pleasure in hibernating in the cocoon of comfort. People come up with long lists of reasons they would like to hibernate. They complain that the world has not provided enough hospitality, so therefore they have to stay in their cocoons. Philosophers, psychologists, musicians, mathematicians, cooks, and seamstresses alike–all kinds of people with all kinds of mentalities–may have their own answers as to why they should be left in their own particular cocoons.

    Based on that situation of fear, the baby or infant warriors, would-be warriors, may have arguments or logics to justify remaining in their cocoons. Those of us who have left the cocoon and joined the warrior's world always treat such would-be warriors gently. We respect them, but on the other hand, we don't just let them lie in their cocoons forever. We gently take the cocooners out of their cocoons and we place them, instead, in the cradle of loving-kindness, hoping that they will not be bothered by being disturbed.

    Sometimes they are offended. They might cry and kick and even shoot a jet of diarrhea right in our face, but they are still somewhat feeble and sweet. In spite of their kicking and screaming, we place them in the cradle of loving-kindness. We take pride in such persons and regard them as would-be warriors, in spite of all their bad temper. We are not put off. Nevertheless, the first step, providing loving care and loving-kindness, takes lots of patience."

  22. I’m in love with those words…..

  23. Myriam says:

    Just what I needed to read on a Sunday morning while still in bed. It spoke to my unspoken desires, my romantic and unrealized views of love and true intimacy. Beautiful and moving like a real love story and so intricately descriptive of the most minute details that make up our lives and loves.

  24. Olly says:

    Is this a real story of yours? Well, just yesterday I wrote something shorter (via Line..) and very similar to a man I had to give a 'dead line" kind of. I also wrote that I do not want to play any longer, is a loss of life, of time, energy. i know what I feel for him but he can't take it….A person whoi has closed his injured heart long time ago, who passed from one woman to another with just 2 relationships in his 41 years of life…..a man who gets lost in his work, to the point of making it the only source of the meaning of his life…..Sometimes, being too aware is too painful, we can see the potential of people and how they choose to stay inside a cage whose key they posses but they are afriad to open. No words, no actions from our side can help…i HAVE waited, tried hard…to the point I was sooo sad most of the time…I had to choose, because I love myself too….and wrote that I need a man who cares for me, that sex only is not in line with who I am now…..I did not get a nice result…..but this " u are right, I don't deserve…sorry for everything'. And this is how hours of talking about ourselves, of kissing, eating, huggins, jockings and all the rest…get cancelled in one minute, the time it takes to write 3 lines……I do not feel anger….after so much yoga…..I cannot, I don't feel anger anymore, I feel sadness and compassion and no matter what, I would like to thank him for the time he shared with me and the lessons he brought in my life ( I do believe in this!). I will do it, thanking him, later…..Now it would seem like psycho behaviour by someone who lost the connection with his soul….Sometimes our Light is not the right one for the one we love and IT just blinds them, making them running away…..We must realize this and step back, once we have tried our best… is their duty to find their own path……and we sacrifice our desire of sharing life with them, let them go….and may be later they will understand that Love….passed by and they did not recognize it.

  25. Olly says:

    and one more thing…apart of loving all the lines here..I love the" I will always rescue drowning bugs"….cause I do as well ;))),

  26. Lori says:

    Complete synchronicity that this came my way. Today. Thank you Mr. Lewis (and Universe).

  27. nikko says:

    very beautiful, living this at this very moment.

  28. Janine says:

    hearts beats a little faster; breath quickens; a smile.. a few more smiles; blushing; a warm feeling rushes through me; goosebumps – how powerful and beautiful are these words that they touched all my senses and lifted my mood. everything – all of it …comes right back to this. oh how wonderful to be on a journey of love like this!

  29. Monika says:

    This is the most beautiful, and possibly the hottest, thing I have ever read. I saw where you said you thought it was flat and uninteresting – far from it. You reached into my soul. Thank you.

  30. Linda says:

    Waylon, this writing is the ultimate seduction… Beguiling, while showing your full-on vlunerable and romatic nature, as well as your spiritual side. So very lovely. You will be spoiled for choice for a like-minded partner. Wishing you the best xo L

  31. jesse says:

    absolutely beautiful

  32. Leslie says:

    My first time to read this article, as well as the other things I would like to do ….
    Goodness, takes my breathe – simple, honest, naughty and thoughtful; reflecting on how to incorporate this beauty into my perspective, and prospective love.
    Inspiring. Thank you. I'll be back for more

  33. Wow! Just WOW! I think I just fell in love. I started reading this on my tablet and it kept me riveted as I got myself ready for work, peeking at it in between stolen moments. What sweet, pure, magnificent love! Every person should know a love as sweet and as deep as this. I could literally picture each moment with perfect clarity. Well done, Waylon! Well done!