Things I would like to See when you Open to Me.
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best—” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. ~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
As I look to the sort of future love that I would like to hold—one that includes ample room for my loneliness and her independence and yet is full of our friendship—I look over my past relationships and remember their lessons in love: and a long line of the dear women who have loved me, however briefly, files slowly past me and waves good bye to me, one my one.
I would like to see you come to my tall old house on the hill. It is the close of a long day and the sky is bright dark blue black, you know. The moon is animated, half hidden behind the clouds.
The moon won’t use the door, only the window.
You call and I answer and you visit my house on the hill. We have not seen each other for weeks. But you do not make excuses. And I do not pretend I do not know why you are here. Still, you are tentative. I give you a tour, that ends in my bedroom. You smell like sweat before we start, and I smell like saltwater after we finish.
“I wonder what Piglet is doing,” thought Pooh, “I wish I was there to be doing it too.”
I would like to rent a car and take my dog, and take the top down and let all of the sun and wind in—the wind too loud for music—and roadtrip to meet you.
A cabin began this story that is not a story—though I did not then know where I would find the cabin that would finish this story that is not a story. This story is not true, but it is not fiction. This story is my heart’s life.
And I must remind you that none of this is serious, it is only daydreams, occasionally hot to the touch. But one girl will have similar dreams and these words may become real. But if you are not that girl, these are only sweet words, a saccharine aftertaste, a bird’s too-loud cheery morning song.
You are far away. I do not know you. But you are familiar to me. And I am familiar to you.
Love is not now our obstacle. Passion we hold hot together. Timing, however, is in our way.
You are too desirable not to be dating another, now, and you deserve the best. I am always dating, but I am always waiting. There is a long line of lovely women with erect posture, with tall legs.
And so when I date, and am inevitably dumped (when she realizes how much I work), or am toyed with by une girl who plays games…I do not long mourn the loss of half of something. I wait for a full something: a match.
Match: we will be equal, but our balance will spark fire—humor, passion, insight—from off of one another’s hearts.
You are barefoot. I am a prince.
My heart asks yours if it is matched: we have sensed in one another the opening that I have felt before that people call love, but that I call you and me.
“This morning, with her, having coffee.” ~ Johnny Cash, when asked for his description of paradise.
I would like to see you in a cabin for ten days.
I would like to rest into your your chest. There are a thousand beautiful women and you are one of them but your intellect, your ethics, your compassion may raise you to a mountain wreathed by soft clouds where I may fall for you.
I would like to walk in the clouds with you. I would like to be silent with you as we walk the dark forest path beneath the bright sky. I would like to chop wood and carry water. I would like to hang up our wash on a line of twine. I would like for you to make me black coffee that is good. I would like for you to stay in your denim shirt, and nothing much else, all morning. You are okay with that.
Fall in love with her body, it is too hot for sheets, chart her terrain inch by inch—but fall in love with her face, and forget the map.
You said: the first time I saw the forest I cried. I would like to cry, because I have not yet even seen the forest. Show it to me? Bears, islands, whales in the water, and trees with the width of the wingspan of three of me.
And our morning agenda will be different than my loud mornings back home: here in this cabin, our castle, we will begin the day with kisses before even opening our eyes. If we make coffee first, it will be cold when I am finished with you and you are finished. Then we will swim to get clean. Though I have never skinny dipped I like wearing very little. I like the water: it lets me fly in slow motion. I jump and I dive and it is too cold and that is just right. You are too skinny, some say, and I am too bitter, the battle has been long…we are just right for one another.
A light kiss of two iridescent butterflies.
I would like to take refuge in these woods. I would like to create a small world that is populated only by you and me.
And this is how we will begin. It will not all be sex and cooking and aimless wandering through the forest and conversations and happy runs and lazy hours with Red dog and paperback books and pens by the creek…but it will be mostly that.
I will bring our book and read it to you. It will not all be romance, it will be better: it will be ours.
“In Wildness is the preservation of the world.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
My heart has become cold.
My heart has no insulation, now—it is open to the weather. When the weather reaches my heart a whisper is a roar, a breeze feels like a storm, an echo tells me of suffering half a world away.
It is all so sad, looking back at the lovers in our lives: the joy, the squabbles, the moments—swimming in the sun so bright the water is clear, laughing sex against the door. They are gone!
It is sweet: smelling lilacs in the Spring. It is delightful meeting one whom I have known in past lives. I do not believe in reincarnation but I do know you already: our conversation follows the harmonies of old friends.
“And only the enlightened can recall their former lives; for the rest of us, the memories of past existences are but glints of light, twinges of longing, passing shadows, disturbingly familiar, that are gone before they can be grasped, like the passage of that silver bird on Dhaulagiri.” ~ Peter Matthiessen
Come visit my town and we will play volleyball with new friends, families and children and dogs by the busy creek below a wide, green lawn beneath wide, old cottonwood trees. A mile above our day is nothing but open sky and a big bird, circling silently on an invisible current.
I will take friendship plus attraction any day over falling in love. For I am no fool for fickle: I search for a love that is built of friendship and can withstand the most merciless rains and flooding.
And I will take it all and give it back into you and you will take it all and give it back to me, every day. And if I am given nothing I will give it back: for loneliness is a broken-hearted love affair with my life.
I will massage your shoulders with my strong hands that shake, slightly, from too much fresh coffee from this rich earth carrying so much suffering. I grew up trying to massage my uncle’s and my father’s strong shoulders and my hands grew capable.
My hands relax into your back and neck, and your back and neck relax in my hands. Your hair is long and dark in the shadows of this, our first evening together. Later, your intimacy is dark as you open, to me, but when I turn you over again and breathe into your ear and bite you, light, I see your teeth, still white in the night.
I would like to tell you that it is funny how it all happened. It could not have happened any other way, except that it should have happened every other way—the odds were all against us. But we were the Universe’s only choice. This—coming together—is how karma works.
Chapters end. This chapter of my life has been a song of poverty, cell phone, solitude, laptop, americanos, bars, parties, dating, Dharma, dog, house, charm, community, workworkwork, bouldering, baths, movies, yoga, travel for work, wealth.
Time has faked left, run right—though it may not seem to move, it can not wait for me.
I would like to continue to enjoy this chapter of lovers, but it must end: like the last notes of the bugle playing taps to wake an encampment of warriors to a Good Morning or a Good Evening beneath fading or rising stars.
I can not wait for you. I am hungry and I need you. We each deserve the full: friendship, passion, love and service.
“Now” by its nature can not wait, but it proceeds. Love may wait for one season, but not for two.
For a decade I have worked and worked. And when I finally look up I see my friends are older. Some of them move in together, some of them have babies, some of them have whitening hair, some of them build powerful businesses, some of them work as hard as I do, too…so we do not see each other for years…and before you know it we are hardly friends. My hair is still all bright, but soon enough, one winter morning, my copper beard will have white in it.
You are young so you do not know, yet, though you can guess: life goes on and our once-young friends peer out from elderly faces with childlike eyes, wondering, how did I get here? I am still who I have always been, but now I am an old person! My friends live life, even as I work my days away: they have barbeques, they raise children or fall in love. They move to Olive City or Red Roof City or Independence City or Hipster City or Fog City or, now, Cow City—while I bike home.
In a few months I will visit you or you will visit me or neither: we will skip our stones into the river of life and the ripples will disappear and our two rocks will sink to the bottom and the river will flow on. The river may wend left or right but it does not wait.
I have set my king mattress on a few untreated pallets that a friend cut to fit. You should visit. I will offer you the guest room, which is red, and wood-paneled, and sunny yet cozy and we will make your bed and never need to remake it.
I would like to kiss into love. I am wearily desperate to relax into someone I can just be with. Our long-distance romance and our initial insecurities upon first meeting will both disappear like those two rocks skipped onto that river—when we touch. When we touch my body and your soft body, your dark tart cherry nipples, my freckled cheekbones. Your silly animal sounds, my tiger eyes. Your clothes will be lost in the sheets until tomorrow.
“I can be someone’s and still be my own.” ~ Shel Silverstein
I only met you the other day, but I have known you. I do not remember the particulars, but I do remember the little fire behind your eyes. I would like to curl up in front of our fire, and you would like to curl up within me. We are both tigers.
I remember you: I remember the give and take in the music of our conversation. I would like to precisely remember your red smile.
I would like to remember the way you express a childlike freshness uncompromised by life’s rough edges. You are, somehow, like this newly opened leaf, reborn each Spring, still wet, sticky, glimmering in anticipation at life.
I can not wait to know you, but waiting will force our friendship to grow, and friendship is the core of our affection—not our evident passion, not my eagerness to rest, not our connection borne of auspicious coincidence, not even our shared, rocky path of service.
“Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart—and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then, the warrior can make a proper cup of tea.”
~ Pema Chodron
My weariness can not calcify into self-pity: instead it must give me resolve. My metal has been fashioned by years of challenge. The heat, your smile, our caring…will light the fire in our cabin in the woods and our story will ripple for generations.
You had better watch yourself: I am coming for you.