Recent Thoughts - a Re Ply...Part 1... : LUSENET : The Garden : One Thread

Hello Dear One;

I'm really glad you've written. I've missed your words. There's a lot to respond to, here, and I'm happy for the chance. Thank you so much for all of it. Forgive me one more time for not being brief.

This is going in the Garden because I realize from your end-tone on this letter that you've made distance, and I'll not protest again. It may be the last thing we plant for awhile.

On approximately 8/3/02 9:30 AM, you probably wrote:

> Dear Cynthia: >

> I want to believe everything is unfolding as it should.
> I've wanted to believe in everything ever since this encounter started
> between us. >
> Right now I'm having my doubts.

About what - that everything's unfolding as it should, or that you can believe in this encounter? It seems to me like both are still and inevitably true. It seems like our doubts should have nothing to do with either of those things - appropriate unfolding or True Encounter. Perhaps the doubts are in the likelihood of the hopes attached to the encounter?

That seems MORE of a truth for me.

Part of what I've enjoyed so much about you is your honesty, your intelligence, your willingness to hope, AND your willingness to try to keep expectations out of the picture. This is the hardest part, to my mind, pre-meeting.

> Life is a "rough-and-tumble" and I don't think any aspect of life is ever
> completely exempt from that, including male-female relationships.
> Though there can be moments and interludes.

Long ones, please!

> > Our encounter has been on very thin ice ever since you "pressed on", and I
> cried "uncle!" in response.

Really? Then I wasn't paying attention, and I'm truly sorry if I wasn't, for I've tried to be very attentive to you - not necessarily doing what you say, but trying to understand what you really needed/wanted.

I didn't think we were on thin ice.

I felt like I'd done the right thing by communicating deeply with you. I think some of the qualities of our interaction have changed recently - since the phone calls, actually, and the cessation of letters.

I think what we talk about has changed since we began the phone conversations. I notice different topics, different language, different levels of give and take. What draws us together in the first place are still those original things, I think.

It's not my way to critique what someone talks about or feels compelled to share. Thought generally flows best when inspired, and critiques usually damage inspiration. I think we share more in e-mail.

> > We've been taking risks that most folks wouldn't even consider. ("fools rush
> in...")
> A parrying dance that seems to contain elements of "fencing", with little
> advances and retreats and a whole lot of other stuff beyond my
> understanding. >
> One thing I've liked about it is we've both been impelled (by some force
> inherant in our interaction, I think) toward a pretty high level of honesty.
> As you said last night, "frankness".
> There's a (not)"paper" trail.
> That's different and kind of cool.

The "not" paper trail is more the ordinary state of affairs in my world.

I love the paper trail. It makes it possible for me to look at it closely, and to analyze things - to test what I'm feeling with a kind of empiricism that relationships don't often afford. It's one of the reasons I can say some of the things I say, and said what I did about our phone conversations (recent).

It's only the last two conversations that I found myself feeling this way, but I really was sitting for 10 minutes at a stretch without saying a word, and then a few words from me, and then 10 more minutes. After noticing my discomfort level rise, I watched the clock to check myself.

I don't want you to feel badly, though you might, but what I was wondering was whether or not you were actually interested in me/us, or had questions about "us". It seemed, rather, that you were sometimes filling space, and sometimes making a lot of assumptions, rather than still exploring, and that got me nervous.

I've read that women tend to focus more on relationship in their dialogue, and that men tend more to recount stories. I don't find this to be *that* true, for I have a lot of stories (and here I'm tempted to go off into the socio-politics of why that might be, but I won't. I'll stay on topic...:-)) too, but stories aren't dialogue, and dialogue's what we really get juice from to do stuff together.

Given that it's all WE have, it seems to be what's called for now.

> > Every time something seemed about to happen that seemed like it would kick
> the thing to a higher (or different) level I always tried to say, "wait, are
> we sure we want to 'go there'".
> I wasn't always but you are so charming, and it seemed so right I always
> relented.
> But not that you always led.
> I did too.
> It was a dance.

It's interesting to hear you frame this. Perhaps you're right, and perhaps what I'm finally sensing is your deep and inherent reluctance. Perhaps I'M the one that hasn't been listening, and for that I'm REALLY sorry.

But you know, the question "Wait, are we sure we want to go there?" can only be rhetorical for people like you and I. Of course we're not sure. And YOU are so charming that you have to know that I wouldn't let you end it on that note for one little second! (maybe the second second, but not the first...)

And since you've said this more than once, I have to conclude that you regret following the siren onto the rocks.

> > We tried different venues.
> I think for now we've pretty much exhuasted the E-mail one.

Well, this is what I've meant by my time-carving. I told you that I had made the choice to ensure I had enough time to spend in deep relating with another person who brought love into my life.

I've spent too many years letting work and other obligations interfere in my capacity to connect deeply. I figure that if I'm married to someone, they're getting several hours a day of my attention - in some form or another. I'm either doing work that is for/with them, or I'm talking to them, or connecting with them in the morning or before bed.

I figured that the least I could do was learn how to hold that time open until I was actually spending the hours that way, and I determined to do that by writing to and talking with someone.

I understand now that you're too busy. I realize that you really don't even have a few hours a week to devote to communication with me, much less a few hours a day. I certainly didn't/don't expect that of ANYONE, and wasn't expecting it of you. But I was hoping...;-/

You have a full time job AND you need to finish your thesis. You don't have a computer at home, and so deeply inspired e-mails are difficult for you. I, OTOH, am sitting here on Sunday morning, in my bed, with my cup of coffee, is an easy luxury for me that you don't have.

John has the same problem. He feels inadequate because he can't respond in kind - not because of capacity, for he's a much better wordsmith than I, but due to time.

I'm rich in words, and I've not understood the magnitude of this resource - I'm only now beginning to realize that I'm very fortunate in the syllable department.

I'm rich in time, and I'm good at making it. Not that I'm not terribly busy, but I watch zero television, and I don't punch a clock so I can do my job whenever it fits my schedule. I don't have an office schedule, so I can do parts of my work at home, or at a restaurant, and on whatever day or night that it fits best. I worked very, very hard for this time/freedom resource, but perhaps I've not done the best job recognizing the differences between myself and others (once again!!!")

I receive a lot out from your e-mails. I actually think they're a better investment of time than the telephone. I do appreciate the bandwidth of the phone/voice - the immediacy of the back and forth (if it's there) is the main component of phone talk, as well as the vocal cue set that adds so much more to meaning. But the e-mails have a lot of thought in them, a quality that I like VERY MUCH about us. It may take us a long time to write them, but that's service to the Other, as well as ourselves.

> It's too time-consuming and when I sit at the computer I need to work on my
> thesis, not on letters that contain outpourings of the mind and soul.

Yes, I see that you don't have time for that. I understand, and I accept it this time.

> I like talking with you on the phone a lot but I think now we've pretty much
> exhausted that for the main reason that, as you said last night you "haven't
> seen your phone bill yet."
> I feel terrible about that now, especially if you are not getting out of our
> conversations what you want to get out of them.

Again, what we say on the phone - lately - has been different than what we said earlier or what we share in e-mail. Less about "sharing" in the back-and-forth that phones can do, and more stuff - histories, stories, etc. - that are better for e-mail. Information that's kind of one-way.

I was waiting for you to notice that the conversations had become really one-way but you weren't seeing that yet. I was trying to figure out what that meant, and started to become concerned that meant you weren't listening to me. That, in turn, seemed to imply that you might be making lots of assumptions, because you were making lots of plans that seemed to include US.

I get red flags when plans are made FOR me, ABOUT me, without enough questions OF me. (It's that sovereignty thing, remember?) To a point it's flattering. But when it's about such high-level stuff as you and I seem to be about, I start to feel like I'm not really the one being seen - I get the feeling someone else might be in your mind, and I might be just a place holder.

When you mention "plans", but there haven't been any questions like "Would you like to..." and "When would you like to...", but instead there are statements "We will...." and "I want to take you..." well, again, it's flattering AND I'm left with either going along and just hoping I feel like it at the time, or having to disappoint you (even though you suggest there's no disappointment possible).

You're going to BM - as you always have, and should do - with a very full agenda. If it includes me, because we don't talk specifically in person or by e-mail, and because there are few inquiries or co-plans being made - then I'm in the dark about it, and confused when it's intimated.

I don't mind surprises - a couple. But it seems like you'd be spending a bit more time exploring what I was already doing so you'd learn how to nestle those surprises in around my plans, and so now my curiosity about what/how you're thinking has been aroused. It's also uncomfortable to even mention this, because I didn't want to stimulate self-consciousness, since that inhibits spontaneity.

In the end, all of this does NOT boil down to things you should change or do differently. But it points to something, and I'm not sure what.

That's why I'm noticing. Based on this note you've sent, it seems that my cognitive dissonance was reasonable.

> When the phone bill comes in I want to split it with you so please tell me
> what it is. >

Oh, sweetie - it's a gift. I'm sorry if I've seemed stingy. I don't mean to be. But I had to speak up.

> Now I'm going to be honest because I don't know any other way to relate to
> you because we've pretty much been doing it all along (being honest).
> I didn't notice it in the E-mails you sent this week (when I expected to),
> so that's different, maybe good and nice.
> But >
you are sending me some serious MIXED SIGNALS.
> Maybe we've talked about this sort of thing (if that's what it is)
> when we talked about men and women having misunderstandings or
> communications breakdowns and then the man goes off and ignores it and then
> comes back in a few days and starts up where he left off before the
> misunderstanding and the issues don't get addressed properly.
> I feel perhaps I have done that
> and if I have
> I need you to come forward and guide me
> toward the right pathway
> so we can address the pertinant issue(s).
> Our encounter unfolded tentatively and respectfully at first
> and then it exploded and bounced around into some crazy areas.

Do you really think they're crazy?

> > I don't want you to be afraid to meet me
> because of any reason
> and if I feel you are
> we will address it and MAKE OTHER PLANS

Please look at that language above. If you feel I'm afraid, then "we will... make other plans". It almost makes me "afraid" to be afraid. What other plans might we have to make? And why aren't I allowed to be afraid?

It's scary to be told that if you feel that *I* am having a feeling that scares you then you WILL deal with it. Or rather, you will make certain that WE deal with it. I think you meant this to be reassuring. I'm not so sure that it actually is.

> > On the other hand, and I will be frank,
> I feel there are "other things" going on
> that perhaps you have not revealed to me
> because it seems strange
> that the tone of our interactions could change
> because of two-consecutive phone conversations
> we had where I wasn't a good listener.

As far as "other things" go, there's nothing I haven't told you that's relevant from my POV, now.

> > There's no "paper" trail for our phone conversations so we can't trace it
> back so easily.

Hopefully I've helped out some with the explanations above and below.

> Here's why I really think things have changed
> from what I picked up in last night's conversation.
> Before, >
you said you thought you might miss me DURING the event,
> that I might be preoccupied.
> Last night you said you might not have time
> to schedule for hanging out with me during the event.
> These could mean the same thing, or they could mean opposite things, or I
> could have misunderstood one or both of them.

The first was said back when you were reminding me that YOU were extremely busy during the event, rangering full time, getting in your full night's sleep, etc. and that you wouldn't have much time for me - being in my camp, etc. (not that I thought you'd enjoy it, but you said you wouldn't have time)

The second was said since I have begun getting my days and nights scheduled in the vacuum of you suggesting anything specific or asking any questions about what I might have planned at BM, beyond the little we've outlined to date.

You've really not made any suggestions to me about things I might want to volunteer to do, but you volunteer full time, and you know the sort of nature I have, so I've gone ahead and signed up for a few things, too, assuming you'd be knowing I'd 'put in my time' on civic duties.

You didn't mention anything I might hook up with for the Rangers, so I assume you want me at arm's length from that arena. You've also made no suggestions about where I might volunteer that would be advantageous to me, nor have you offered to steer me in a direction that might be useful to a newbie. In fact, you've really shared very little with respect to your knowledge of the inside workings of the event (not that I need it, for I'm resourceful and can take good care of myself) but I notice this.

Part of me thinks that if I'd just remained polite to you, you would have sent me all kinds of advice and contacts by now. But I've pretty much been left on my own. You did mention once not having time to go stand in line for ice, and how that was a burden, so I extrapolated from that that having Ice was good, and hard to get, and so I volunteered for ice shifts on strategic days that will help our parties and camp. But you didn't suggest I should do that.

I've also made the assumption that you realize that rangering in the daytime puts your work schedule at opposite ends with MY work schedule of evening work for things at our theme camp. So I guess I'm ALMOST thinking that - in the absence of specific plans that you seem reluctant to make (and, given that it's Burning Man, I fully accept the spontaneity of that) - you'll be fine with whatever pieces of time are left.

But I don't REALLY think that, and so part of my saying I'm getting scheduled is just that: I'm getting scheduled. It's less than 3 weeks away for me, and so far I've got:

Laying out our camp site - all structures and camps - Friday
Dinner with you at the Commissary (TBA)
Meeting you on Friday.
Setting up the Eye Sea - Friday and Saturday and Sunday and Monday.
Saturday drawing the Playa for the Eye Sea - I also have general camp set-up.
Announced Open Heart Waves Camp parties on Wednesday and Friday nights.
Hot Spring patrol - 2-3 times.
Ice Shifts - mon and fri
A possible field trip to the Aural Reef for my camp/friends that I'm coordinating
The Eye Sea -set up and monitoring - hopefully it's a stand alone static piece but I won't know til I'm there, and it's primary for me.
I want to hang with Rivka some.

That's about all I want to schedule. I have my personal hygiene, camp maintenance and meals, sleeping, and then sight-seeing to attend to.

I'm glad that you're working out your scene and I hear you that you're going to make it comfortable enough for us, but I wonder if you've considered the fact that I'm arriving before you and leaving after you. I have to set up a good shade structure and complete personal camp. I don't want to go through all that trouble and expense and NOT use it well.

You've generously offered to give me access to your space (IF it's there) as a quiet sanctuary/retreat from the boom and the noise. You're a veteran, and so I know that I MAY need that, and I'm looking forward to it. OTOH, I'm not sure how often I'll take advantage of it.

YOU won't be there, for you'll be at work. My friends won't have that comfort opportunity, so I'll probably be hanging with them, helping them get through the uncomfortable heat, rather than hanging in your space alone unless I'm desperate.

I don't anticipate being desperate too often. If I've erred in my set-up, I anticipate toughing it out, and burning in the experience. I'm a farm/field worker, Appalachian/Cherokee stock, and will probably be in the trench with my buddies rather than ditching the hard times in someone else's set-up because I couldn't plan my shit well enough. (and I know you intend this to be "mi casa, su casa" but I've not been invited into the creation of it, only the use of it, if it's there...)

I feel a bit uncomfortable that you've not talked more about practical camp stuff - not so much "advice" especially at this point, for the BM site is pretty complete, I've read it thoroughly, and the info you gave on bikes, shoes, water, and the wind-tunnel for tent is helpful - but most recently talk about the actual logistics of what we're doing respectively is scant. So what I see is that you're taking care of yourself - that's good - and you're expecting me to take care of myself, on my own, and that's also fine.

What I take from this, and the info you've shared about your space (that sounds lovely!) is that you're making an environment that I can retreat to if I get overwhelmed, but you're not suggesting how I can create that for myself. Again, that's ok. That's not your job. We don't know each other (as you say), and have no obligations to assist one another.

But, you've also suggested that there's a chance you won't come - so this really means that if I rely on you for my comfort/shelter, and then you don't show up, then I'm up a creek without a paddle.

I'm too self-reliant for this. I do notice when I'm expected to look out for myself and, given all this, I see that I have to plan for REALLY HARD, and all-by-myself. (I appreciate the warnings, and I took them to heart...)

Your presence is actually a potential, not a definite, and so it's a luxury that I can't afford to count on. You said so yourself. It's odd that you'd not remember this constantly, and weren't helping me focus on my set-up for my trip, just in case you didn't show. Again, I get the sense that if I hadn't encouraged our getting closer, this would have probably come naturally, since you said you're the advice guy for BM. I suppose that the excitement about our connecting, coupled with your lack of time to talk, may have interfered with these practicalities.

BTW - I'm pretty much all set now, and don't really think I NEED the advice, except for possibly esoteric tips that you know would be helpful at the last minute to anyone. General advice would have been more useful back in June/July. I have my shade structure and am working out specific details that have to be solved in person. I'll be setting up the whole she-bang next Thursday as a camp structure for our huge 3-day party at a nearby camp/park - nice while I'm still 10 miles from the hardware store.

> You said you were scared or nervous about meeting me.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002


CONTINUATION.... This is too long to do as one post! Sorry!!!! :-)

It does seem natural to be a little nervous, doesn't it?

> In previous conversations I haven't sensed any of that,
> but I certainly sensed your unease last night.
> When I put it off to the fact
> that I would put you at ease immediately
> I think now I wasn't listening or was in denial.

Well, you can't just "put someone at ease" Dan. That's a kind of "making something happen" that doesn't work very well where other human beings and their feelings are concerned. But I do sense that about you, and wasn't worried about THAT.

> Because after a little more interaction it came out that
> you weren't afraid I wouldn't like you
> but that
> you were afraid you wouldn't like me?
> I think?

From the beginning, you always left room for both possibilities. That was graceful of you, and it's graceful not to be specific - then and now.

Also, it's not about "liking". It's about chemistry. You said that early on. If I used the word "like", that was wrong. I definitely like you. There's no way I can't LIKE you. You're amazing.

However, I've also been hearing expectations (maybe between the lines), contrary to your earlier statements about not having any. I recognize it's a wiggly line, but we still have to pay homage to it.

You were the one who said we should/would/could love as LIGHT BEINGS FIRST (your caps :-)). I loved that. I still do. Your insistence on holding it that loosely has given me the courage to be inspired in our connection.

But our connection has drifted FAR, FAR away from being Light Beings with one another because you don't have the time nor the energy to write and deeply interface - even a few hours a week - and yet that's mainly what we'll have for the next couple of years - no matter what.

And now the focus seems to have shifted from being good friends with a Light connection into being together in the flesh at BM, even though early on you said THAT would have to be held very loosely. Yet we'll only have small chunks of hours in a few number of days for that, and then that part's over - at least for awhile, and we both know that.

What I'm left to wonder is what THAT'S about.

I want to be a Light Being with you, first and foremost. You asked me to be a little libation bowl that you could pour some juice into and let it slosh around a bit, for the glory and celebration of the One Love that flows through all of us. I sent you a bowl to symbolize that willingness. I'm THERE. You said that could happen, and then we might even move on from one another - who knows?

But you no longer have the time for even that part - the pouring and the sloshing - except for the few days at BM, maybe, if you get the time off - and then it's over.

Because you don't have time. It's ok. But you really don't have the time.

> Here's where neither of us were forthright enough perhaps, or both laboring
> in a bit of denial.

I don't see that yet. I think we've both been really forthright. I'm not sure about the denial, because I'm not clear on what the reality is that's being denied.

> That line you said about not wanting to be "a party to [anyone's] {my?}pain
> or suffering or disappointment".
> I'm trying to get a handle on that.

See below and if there's no handle there, please follow up if you get a chance.

> > First of all,
> for you
> ("things you SHOULD [already] know"? Pardon me for pointing out the obvious,
> I'm not condescending, just laying down a groundwork):
> one can't go through life like that. >
If one did one would never do anything, accomplish anything, find love, have
> your heart broken, break anyone's heart, LIVE, or I daresay DIE (the right
> way).
> In the end one would become an introverted social recluse
> and shy away from any sort of interactions with ANYONE because they'd be
> afraid to "hurt" them.
> I believe they've even made a movie or two about that sort of thing, filed
> under "mental disorders".

Thanks for owning that. You're a grown-up. I like that. I own that, too. OTOH, you have told me about how you've suffered long and hard for love, and given me examples. I'm not sure how that fits with the previous paragraph. You've said that you don't leave relationships on good terms - I'm not sure how that fits, either. I don't want to lose my contact with you. I don't want everything to hang on physical connecting. It feels like that's where it's going. It feels like that's all you'll have room for. It feels like if that doesn't gel, then it's over. I thought that was just going to be a PART of it.

> I want to LIVE and LOVE before I die.

You will. You are.

> To make an omelet you have to break some eggs.
> Anyone who doesn't understand that needs to study up on what life is.

Well, I'm studying. I still don't understand.

> And as I suggested,
> I think it is a "rough-and-tumble" all the way around.
> Secondly, >
what makes you think you could hurt me?

My mistaken speech and misplaced sentiment.
A vain conceit on my part.

> Everything I have done,
> every step I have taken in our interactions I have done
> because I wanted too, because I felt that it was WORTH THE RISK.
> Even the steps I took that you invited me to take I did
> because I WANTED TO.
> Because I felt it was WORTH THE RISK.
> Remember,
> I wrote a poem,
> and coined the phrase "Go in HARM'S WAY: of the HEART!"
> To do otherwise is to deny life, and love, and possibility. >
When you refuse the rose
> all you are left with is the skull.
> I understand quite well what sort of a game we are playing.
> I understand the risks and I understand the potential rewards.
> You need not fear for me in any way shape or form.
> If I was already in love will you
> I'd be writing poetry
> for you
> instead of offering up stale samples of my past works

Yes. I Know. I'd noticed...It's part of my doubt.

If I'd touched something true in you, things would be different by now, wouldn't they? Unless, of course, everything hinges on meeting in the flesh, thus diminishing the call to be Light Beings together, and somewhat dimming the prospects of keeping the light on over long distances, for long periods of time, while you're indentured and I'm in motion (or glued here still).

A girl doesn't need to be told by a fellow that if he really loved her he'd be sending her original works. A girl is wired to see those things right away.

> that I think MIGHT apply to our situation
> but can't be sure because I just don't know?
> (Was that I question?)
> [I LIKED that little bit in our conversation last night, by the way. That
> was neat. My real answer was "does it matter?" What was important was
> whether you TOOK it as one of not.]

Sorry, I'm missing this here - I think the grammar is throwing me...what part of our conversation are you referring to?

> > I THRIVE on chaos and ambiguity and uncertainty.
> Those are fertile fields for cultivating the poetry of the MOMENT, the
> "theater" of the MIND.
> The Magic Theater (for madmen {and women} only).
> And speaking of which I remember so many occasions
> that I observed during the '60s
> when couples who were tight, or who thought they were tight,
> took acid together and split up as soon as they got over it.
> They're relationships could not survive it,
> could not survive the new perspective,
> the awakening of the subconscious,
> the opening of their own personal Kali Maws.
> The odds are against us.
> Way, way, way against us.
> They have been from the beginning, from since we started this.

I'm not calculating the odds, so I can't agree with you here - not disagreement, just not knowing enough to do odds.

I don't have expectations - not beyond the struggle for honesty, respect, communication, good intentions, loving treatment, an openness to the future, and the sharing of genius - and it's hard for me to say that the odds are against that. Unless they are, and I'm just really bad at human math - likely, too. sigh.

The fact that you know something of the odds present suggests you've got other plans/info. If the odds were against us from the beginning, something/someone had to set them that way, right?

I still have high hopes that we'll either fall in love or be the craziest friends ever.

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002

> > For I've seen the same thing happen
> at pows-pows, gatherings, festivals, concerts, rendezvous, parties,
> May Fairs, you NAME it.
> A couple enters into that group Kali Maw
> and they are not together anymore when they come out on the other side.
> They thought they were tight but they weren't,
> or they would have been on a mundane level
> that many people live their lives on.
> But enter the Kali Maw and the rules change, the dynamics change,
> the threads of destiny that are available to pick up change.
> A relationship has to be VERY STRONG to handle that,
> especially if it is born in mundanity.
> I thought we were offering one another an opportunity
> to initiate a relationship that could come into being in chaos,
> that might
> in the Kali Maw.
> That might EMERGE from that black hole
> instead of disappearing into it.
> Just an opportunity.
> That's all.
> No guarantees and

Yes. Exactly, to these last 3 sentences.

But I also think we're throwing all this into the Kali Maw without having any expectations of what might emerge from it. I think part of the brilliance of the maneuver is to truly be expectation-free - to expend energy building the connection beforehand (through light, through inspirational and soul-seeking words to one another, through high elevated thoughts of one another as divine energies striving to Fully Connect), to deeply enjoy that connection while we were building it, and then to OFFER it, and even to willingly give it up, and see what happens.

> Cynthia,
> you told me you LIKE fantasies
> and invited me (or so I thought) to feed your fantasies.
> So I did.
> I'm sorry if I over-stepped my bounds
> or pushed your buttons in the wrong way.

You haven't over-stepped your bounds. I've tried to be really specific in this letter (and all of them), and as truthful as I can be. I may be wrong in what I've said, or how I'm figuring things, and I'm very willing to hear anything you have to say. I love the fact that we can talk about this stuff together. It really is one of the things I love the most about us.

I'm sorry if you think I'm having fantasies, and I'm really sorry if you're just feeding them. The last thing I need is someone doing me a favor by feeding my fantasies.

I wanted so much to have a light connection with you. I thought we had that. No, I know we HAD that. And this is still THAT.

If anything, you have really pulled back, not pushed forward. But you've done exactly what you said you'd do in the very beginning, and so perhaps I wasn't listening to you:

You don't do anything you don't want to do.
You can't be hurt (though I might be)
You don't have time to connect by e-mail.
E-mail doesn't work for you anymore.
You can't financially afford long telephone conversations.
You have to work on your thesis.
I don't inspire you to original writing.

It's ME that hasn't been listening. I'm sorry for being so bull-headed. Well, Ram-Headed, actually.

> If there are "other things" in play,
> such as,
> if I may be frank,
> that you have unfinished business you need to work out with John Barlow that
> trumps anything that you and I are flirting with
> that doesn't have anything to do with ME.

I'll always have unfinished business with John Barlow. You know that.

John and I are Light Beings together. We are in the One Love. But Spirit won't even let us meet up in real-time/space. We can afford no expectations. We love each other deeply. He has no time to Connect and he's said I'm too much of a handful, headful and heartful to be served by a man on his schedule. It's been very hard for me to accept this, but I do because I have to. Just like you have to accept the death of the woman you deeply loved. He was glad that I'd found you to Connect with. But I seem to have run to the end of your Connection energy right now, too.

> We've never met.
> I don't know you.

I feel like I know you. But feelings are, well, feelings...

> > I don't particularly LIKE fantasies.
> Direct, unvarnished experience.
> Raw, naked, unadorned experience.

I believe that we are having exactly that. To me, THIS is "raw, naked, unadorned experience." I don't see how it isn't, and I don't understand people who say that conversations like this are not experience.

I'm a little confused about the "fantasies" part. Sure, there are bits that flit around in my head about you - long conversations about your thesis and my work/writing, dialogues about how the world works (and doesn't), coming for a visit in the Fall/Winter, touching and kissing and loving if the chemistry is present, traipsing around on a couple of your vacations "Chasing Spring", being "the craziest of friends no matter what", wondering if you're "the One" that could be fantasies, I suppose. Those are the sorts of fantasies I mostly flirt with.

There are also strong feelings of past connection. It's extremely rare that I can share all these things with a single being. To have that person (you!) be someone who's so admirable in terms of character, capability, intellect, willpower, enthusiasm, and sense, while also holding space for mystery is amazing.

I was not ready to let you slip off so easily. As you said, if I hadn't insisted, IF you'd made it to BM and I hadn't pursued the contact with you, it would have been a polite "Hi there. Nice to meet you" said to some nice lady you'd corresponded with over e-mail. Thank goodness it will never be that...

> > I certainly have thoughts about you that I have entertained,
> thoughts about how things MIGHT be between us. >
I would never have entertained such thoughts
> if I had not felt that I was being invited to do so. >
> Mademoiselle,
> let me assure you >
> HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS of you whatsoever.
> None whatsoever. > >
The very word and the very thought give me shudders of distaste.

Then I've been receiving mixed signals from you. Or, more likely, simply reading things wrong. My apologies if I have done so. If it's all just fantasy, and you've been indulging ME, then I'm even embarrassed at the presumptuousness of my own interpretations.

> > This is a GAME.

OK. I get it. Anything goes. Nothing's really serious. Nothing really matters. Right? I mean, it all does, and it all could, but it doesn't really. Not really. Because you mean "game" as opposed to "real", right? And even though you say "Magic Theatre" it's only magic because if it hurts you can make it a game (or maybe not), and if it feels good you can make it a game (or maybe not - depending on how good you are at playing the game) - and then it's all a relative sort of truth that can be anything you want/need it to be, and it becomes the wheel that one steps into or off of, and none of it really matters...

...and yet it does.

Yes, I know. This is a GAME. I just play it for keeps.

> > Didn't you know?
> I thought you wanted to PLAY?

Yes. And it stopped feeling like as much fun when you stopped writing and stopped talking "with". It's fun to get little things in the mail, and to send them, and that feels game-like. But it's starting to look like Burning Man will be a sort of end-game, rather than an enticing and compelling middle-game. I don't like being set-up for tragic end-games.

Either we won't gel on the ground, and we won't end up remaining Light Beings with each other (because you don't have the time to be Light Beings, as you've said and demonstrated) or we will gel on the ground, but we'll have to say good-bye (because you still won't have time to be Light Beings, no matter what - else we would be right now).

IF it takes meeting in the flesh for you to find the time to be a Light Being with me, then we're not THERE. We'll be someplace else, and that might be good, but we're not there now. And that's where I thought we were/are. I took comfort from that fact. So I feel like I'm discovering that and I'm a little disoriented by the inaccuracy of my assumptions.

> > It will always be a game on a certain level.
> On another certain level it could be something else if we emerge from the
> Kali Maw hand-in-hand [or otherwise together ;)]
> Otherwise not.
> Risky business. Thin ice.
> So?
> What?
> "(S)he who does not contend neither wins nor looses." [Lao Tzu]
> There's a whole bunch of ways we can deal with this.
> One thing:
> I ALWAYS leave my "dates" a handy "escape route" that is painless and
> graceful to take.
> That's just the way I am.
> It's part of living by the golden rule.

But I didn't need you to leave me an escape route. And I wasn't feeling like your "date". Til now, that is. Maybe that's part of my discomfort. I thought I was more than a "date". That's THE assumption that usually, historically, gets a girl into lots of trouble with a man. He says it's a "date". She thinks it's "more". Therein lies the single misunderstanding that's fueled more theatre than almost anything else on the planet.

> > So maybe we should just float things out from here: skim along until we end
> up in the waterworld.

That's what you wanted two months ago. I'm sorry that I didn't let you have that. I broke my own rule of going with the Flow - your Flow - and pushed for mine. My sincere apologies, my new/old friend. I didn't mean to push you where you didn't want to go. It was my own hunger for connection and love, and it was selfish on my part, and I'm ashamed.

Of course we'll float things out from here. I wouldn't dream of asking you otherwise - not again.

> If you think I'd show up in such a place without a lifejacket (or 23) you
> should know now I have a hydrofoil.
> I GIVE OUT lifejackets (and handbooks on lifeboat safety).

Yes, I can see that. It's all those life jackets I have struggles with.

> > Plan your escape routes NOW.
> I already have.

I haven't. I just have one escape route, and it's the life I'm living. I don't back off. I only go forward.

> > I'll see you on the playa (if the Feds are actually willing to give me the
> time [almost 2 weeks] off).


One Love,



-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002

Hi there.

So, don't sweat it, ok? I'm sorry about the tangles. Please don't spend any energy worrying about them, or untangling them, or anything. Ignore this and do your work. You'll have to believe me when I say:

I'm not upset. I'm not disappointed. I'm not angry. I'm not frustrated. I got everything out yesterday, with my post in the Garden.

Let's have one of those leave-it-alone moments and see where it goes on its own. Kali Maw, remember? Black silk scarf Kali Maw.

You're busy. You're too busy. It's OK. We'd really be better off if we'd BOTH just accept that. You wanted me to. I didn't. Now I do.

I know it will change. We don't know how it will change, or when, but that doesn't matter. Right now it is what it is. No use fretting over it. No use spending time on it. There's nothing to "solve before we meet" (in ref to your note below) I'm glad you thrive on uncertainty and ambiguity.

I'm really ok. Really. I'm not trying too hard. I'm not trying at all - I am what I am - I am fire. The only thing I've ever had to try to do is not burn so hot, out of deference for others' sensitivies. David La Chappelle told me to stop that...

I don't need any more advice (and wasn't asking for it in my note, but thanks anyway) I don't need anything.

You were right. We've fried e-mail and phone.

And this IS raw experience. If you can debate the point in the medium in question, then the medium MUST be experience.


See you on the Playa!

MUCH Love,


: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :: : : : : : : : : : : :

-- Anonymous, August 05, 2002

So many things. Wow, a traffic jam. A snarl. Like a snarled fishing line. And I want more than anything to untangle this. But like you said I haven't any TIME.

If you check back through our letters you'll see little snippets of free verse I've written for you that are as right and as important as anything I've ever written. So to start things off it's not true that Cynthia Beal does not inspire me. Au contraire Ma'demoiselle. Au contraire.

So many things, and this is hard here because I can't cut and paste and insert to respond like I do on the E-mail line.

I'm going to the E-mail line to respond to this point by point.

How many words have we shared by this and by telephone? What's miraculous is that our communications haven't snarled up BEFORE this. This is a little hump we need to get over before we meet.

Everything's OK. I do Love you as a LIGHT BEING and there's no doubt I always will. I think I'm going to Love the real whole YOU too.

And "this" AINT direct, raw, unvarnished, naked EXPERIENCE. ;)

See you soon. Dan

-- Anonymous, August 04, 2002

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