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As the Muse Moves
What follows below is a note to Daniel Henklein, a new and wonderful friend I've net-met who took me on a great trip through SF last weekend, from his lonely post in Alpine, Texas. I felt a bit of poignance that it was he, and not you, sharing the space with me, but I have little control over how the Love moves through us, or where the Touch decides to land.
You'd probably like Dan. His moniker is TipiDan, and we (and you, too) share a *lot* of common valence. He's a ranger - literally - as well as one of the founders of the Black Rock Rangers in Burning Man (not meant to be a police force, but rather to be a *rangering* force, a stewarding force for the preservation of the Playa environment, and the right of BM folks to continue their event) and its Earth Guardian movement.
He's a range botanist who often lives in tipis and does field work in the remotest parts of plains and desert areas. He's a true mystic and an excellent writer and thinker. And he took the time to set me up with meeting people and going places in SF over the weekend, since I'd mentioned that I'd be there and didn't know a soul, fielding for hints about stuff to do (that - pout - you didn't see/respond to, pout...)
Our latest synchronicities were amazing and fun. I'll post them here later, for I wrote and shared with him a log of SF field notes, based on his list of things to do, and enjoyed my jaunt immensely. I felt like we were on a date, even though I was all by myself, and so did he. What a blast!
Talking to him about you, and about my writing (for he's *very* interested in "Chasing Spring", and my reading his thesis work on range ecology has already influenced my story greatly), has brought some things into focus for me that I wanted to share with you.
I found myself reaching into these Daily Tales, and discovering the parts that can be pulled from the mass, inspired by the love I feel for you, but ready to stand on their own - needing to stand on their own, in part because you have left them there, without response or co-creation, and they morph along, becoming new in the context of me as I change.
While some of the Tales are intensely personal, many were crafted as inspired by you, but not *to* you, nor *for* you, because I wanted to care for my heart, and the small child inside who is devastated when her gifts go un-acknowledged, and her flowers wilt unseen. (You knew this when you told me last December that you felt as if Kandinsky were painting only for you, and my words were wasted on your eyes). But they were always crafted to stand somewhat on their own, for I knew how at risk my heart was in your hands, and so parts of them do... That is a beautiful thing, don't you think?
It was interesting to describe you, and us - and the source of these Tales - to Dan. He grows curious about me as a woman, in that cautious sort of way that we all get when we hit this age in the Road, and I work to reply in truth, without omissions that would wound, without presumptions that distort or pre-determine.
Because of your silence, I don't feel comfortable representing what you and I "share" as anything more than one facet of the Cosmic Love, and certainly not a particular love that can be talked of as "John and Cynthia". The few friends who know of my care for you know it mostly as an infatuation that goes unrequited, a private mostly one-sided thing that (narrowly) escapes pathos by clinging desperately to the sublime and impersonal.
I hold it differently, of course - or more inclusively, rather. I certainly can dismiss it sometimes as the fantasy of a woman who hasn't the strength nor attractiveness to bring anyone into her life that could love her, but I do know that for the self-negating demon that it is, and not the embodiment of truth. There is much between us that is beautiful and high, even though it goes unmanifest and unreciprocated. The Tales and my notes - and your answers when they come - attest to that.
However, your silence has been more difficult for me of late, as I've sincerely begun to ask for attention, in as kind a manner as I know how, that you are simply not inclined/prepared to give. I truly do accept that, and am glad that hope remains alive in you that we may see each other, someday, again.
But I'm a passionate person who is reaching out to Connect. I'm approaching the top of a ridge, with a desire to look ahead and create the magnetic attractors that will pull me on into Fall - literally and figuratively. My solitary state gives me a freedom to be With, freely, and I'm ready to do that. I'm ready to plan trips, and make time For, and look forward to touches and kisses and oases of Together on this walk of Alone.
I had hoped to spend some of my near-future time with you, and as my sense of the immanence of that possibility fades, you now tell me that "past isn't necessarily prologue." Perhaps not, but it does imply trajectory, and probability, and holding open options - especially with so little evidence that they are indeed options, and not just mirages in the heat of my desert - is no more natural nor coherent than keeping them at bay.
You also say "hope remains".
Last night I cried - I howled - for an hour, in sheer anguish at the self-made jail that I live in, and the silence that continually meets my heart's requests. And yet all the while, I played through some of the most beautiful work on my piano that has ever come through my fingers, and laughingly/cryingly I had to worry about short circuits resulting from electronics and tears.
I am frightened by the difficult feelings that will accompany the creativity I've been working so hard to amass. It looms and invites, and I know it lies ahead - but I know it's the juice I've been living toward, and I agreed to its price long ago. I've spent years building to this place that comes in the next little while and the Rent is coming due.
In addition - or perhaps, because - I'm moving into my Crone time - the first edge came this last weekend - and I know that portends years of impending endocrine flux that desperately needs my evolved art, and my evolved heart, to hold it.
I don't know if I'll hang out with Dan or not (though I will hang with Some One) but something stirs in me like wind before rain, or that cool edge pre-night, or that glow before dawn. Through loving you I've learned that the terrain of true love is not so much about the individual who wears Love's face, but simply the fact that a face appears that is willing to wear The Love.
There's no knowing who or where or when that One will show. But you're right: Hope Remains.
I know you enjoy the turns my meandering life takes, and so I thought you'd appreciate this next Valley of the Heart as it comes into view...
Letter to Dan Henklein, 2002/05/31
It's well into morning and I'm just ready to be off for the bulk of the day.
Here (following this e-mail) are two essays I thought you might like - "A Wilderness of Heart" and "Dreaming Sea". They are part of a collection called "Daily Tales" that has unfolded (and is still unfolding) against the backdrop of an intense monologue/conversation with John Barlow, a very dear friend of mine.
He has been a foil for my intense outpouring of artistic/relational energy for many months now, and his ability to listen without freaking out has pulled a voice from me that's begun to take shape, like a djin coalescing out of smoke and mist. He has accepted my words and enjoyed them, but does not respond in visible depth (though we love, and we're respectful friends, and it's good) for he's busy and the world pulls on his sleeve and demands that he attend to it.
We've accepted this as a Condition of the Muse, and have struggled and evolved within these parameters of asymetrical connection. Love exists between us - ephemeral and One, with part of its story in a song/poem ( One Kiss ) I wrote that shares our mutual sense of the deep connectivity and shared effort that flows between us All - and yet that particular need I have for a particular connection, the particle part of the wavicle phenomenon - the "He" of "We" - goes frustrated and unfulfilled.
I have a very difficult time staying out of relationship, for I'm a natural partner. I have a difficult time staying in relationship, for I'm an intense partner. I'm not mean, and have few hard qualities beyond The Vibe - but The Vibe is big, and I'm iconoclastic and intimidating (and this is only what I'm told, for I'm tragically unaware of it) and most seem to have to work to hang onto their center around me.
How folks hang onto their center under stress, while in partnership, is where a *lot* of life-work with The Other is. My own work has always had such an individual flare, and been so complexly formative for so many years, that few - no, no one - I've ever met has been able to hang alongside the energy for long. The few who do eventually come to see *that* as the Challenge, and being an endurance test for someone I love is not my idea of a great time.
Of course, how folks hang onto their center under stress, while OUT of partnership, is where a lot of the life-work with Self is. I'd say the two deserve equal time, that I still need to cultivate myself out of partnership, *and* that the oscillations in the continuum of effort make for a frequency/hum of being that is manifestly interesting and a necessary focus of my efort.
The fact that I'm drawn to write to you, in this manner, sharing poetry, essays, and afternoon romps, at this time when I'm more individuated than ever before, and less in need of partnership than ever before - and more inclined to independence than ever before - is a *very* good sign, as far as signs and portents go.
The Internet has been a blessing for me, because it allows me to connect deeply to a few special others without subjecting them to the full onslaught of my "character charge", as one friend put it many years ago. In the connection I can grow and explore myself, and the Other as they allow, and let days turn to weeks without too much drama (beyond what's needed to make the sun rise and set), so that the wind can grow still and reflection emerge in the surface of this strange pool we all drink from, here in this desert of form.
I write as I'm moved. I write as long as I'm inspired. I don't share from a sense of obligation right now - I share only as I'm compelled by the desire to connect. Your ability to respond so fully to me over these last two weeks has caught my eye and my mind.
I feel myself speaking toward you - your kind shepherding me through SF last weekend from your mount in Texas was a tremendous thrill, and something I very much needed - and I'm now feeling my way into a rivulet of connectivity that implies a spring at its head.
And so I write with this Voice that my friend John has nurtured in me - in the voice that is now so clearly (and I didn't see this as well before you came along) growing into an unexpected but hoped for maturity. I discover writings - once letters - have morphed into essays that stand on their own, with the tells of my eyes and my heart, and I find that I want to share them today.
What a curious and pleasant surprise.
So, for what it's worth to you, you get to see them next.
Enjoy the Day.
-- Anonymous, May 31, 2002