A week ago I was looking forward to a long drive up to Eugene, OR to get better acquainted with a woman I met at a meditation retreat and with whom I had a correspondence and a number of long telephone conversations. We seemed to be similar sorts and of like interests and just two years apart in age, so seemed like a situation which was rife with potential. I went up there with expectations and hopes.
Turns out that is not the best baggage for travel when dealing with another human being and some known and unknown wishes for a relationship based in some version of reality. Long story (not really), short, I turned around the next day and came back in two stages.
The drive up of 10 hours showed me I’m not the Road Warrior of Old. So, lonnng trip back and fully loaded with baggage of regret, feeling foolish, mis-understanding people and myself, lonelier than I was because it felt like a last chance that had been a foolish mistake. And there are elements of that. Nevertheless, life goes on. ‘Til it don’t.
It’s taken several days to settle down and not be despairing and unsettled, because “I’m supposed to be more together than this.” “What the F…were you thinking, you fool!?” “How could you be so…?” On and on, and feeling lower and lower and a sense of mis-apprehending everything and I couldn’t find my way back.
Then, a moment yesterday. “What happened to all your meditation, years of training, lofty advice given to many over the years as they experienced their own versions of this human aspiring?”
Oh, Right! I can and I must sit with (WITH!) this, and see!
Allow it to just be there, and Here.
It’s harder when I have to do that, rather than offer it as advice. Practice makes practice Real.
Live and learn. Live and be willing. What is Acceptance? How to do all those things? Sitting still
Just bit ago I had a piece of pizza and some small salad looking forward to talking to some friends about this in the next couple of days, but still feeling that “Less than!” which people often say to express a Lostness. As I was pushing away from the table I recited the gratitude verse at the end of the meal.
“The Universe is as the Boundless Sky,
As the Lotus blossoms above unclean water.
Pure and Beyond the World is the
Buddha Nature of the trainee.
Oh, Holy Buddha we take Refuge in Thee.”
And I wept.
For This life.
I’m not sure if this is the correct spot to place my “confession”/”yearning”/”sort of despairing thoughts, but at least you’ll probably see them here. Feel free to move them wherever or just have a good chuckle at the insanity that lives in my hamster cage and then his Ctl-A, Ctl-X, to make it all go away without anyone else seeing it. I’m telling you mostly to demonstrate that our gray matter, damaged as it is, can come up with just about anything.
Don’t laugh—yet anyway yet—but you know how it is that I have not just sympathy but true empathy for your feelings and emotions because…
…first, realize that I’ve had virtually zero in the even slightly healthy relationship, outside of my vast love and desire for what we referred to as the “negro loco” (black drug that makes you feel good) or chiva, which actually means goat but for some reason has been adopted as a synonym, from west of the Mississippi River to South America. And since no human could match that
feeling I never tried.
Until I’d bee sober a while. Then I did begin a slight pursuit of a fellow 12 (or is it 13th?) Stepper. Discovered that road was equally imperiled with pain and delusion. So I gave it up yet again and tried to convince myself I didn’t need a partner to complete me–and this is from someone openly bisexual, mostly because I figured if I got involved with another female at least I could find someone who had a J-O-B (or some disposable income.)
Again told myself I was meant to live and be alone, sober or using–I simply was goods that were too badly damaged for a sane human being (animals are another story, and if I ever find one that wants me and has a job, or money, I’m taking him or her and never letting go!)
But I did have a bit of a fantasy–it’s not the reason I took up Buddhist practices or anything, and I know you are so far out of my league that it’s almost a joke for me to have fantasies that someone so much farther along in so many ways would see me as anything but a sick wreck just barely capable of almost holding a conversation (but not quite that cognitively functional) that
could use some mentoring. And you have done an excellent job as a teacher/mentor–don’t get me wrong!
And the bullshit that lives in the hamster cage in my head has nothing to do with you, really. It’s all about me and the bucket list I’ll never put anything into, much less fill. I had been wanting an opportunity to tell you some of this but it really didn’t fit in anywhere until you related your story. I’m sure you will find someone that fills in your paint-by-number life. As you have in the past, so you will in the future…
I would be so unfair to anyone to sign up as their “project car” that it’s not worth talking about. But hearing your story at least lets me know that people far above me in our respective stations in life. Of course, there’s the fact that at least one human being DID have romantic notions with you as the object–and probably more than one,
I don’t know why you turned around and went home, nor what’s in the future for you, you and she, you alone, yada yada. I’m just hopeful that I still have you as a close friend, as I can number my friends on one hand and fantasies aside, you still are my best friend. I just want you to know it happens to all of us. And consider yourself complimented by my feelings–granted being admired by a person in a league way below what you can catch doesn’t mean much, but it has to mean SOMETHING, doesn’t it?
BTW, Instructions–read, chuckle, then delete before everyone I know (and you know as well) learns more about my business than I’d like them to. And call or Zoom or send a smoke signal to reassure me that we’re still friends…if in fact we are, as I’m hoping.