New moon, 0% full.
This coffee house full of energy: toddlers tumble on a rug behind me, hipsters walk in for their joe, and here's me at the back table. Middle-aged yuppy with headset, soaking my new favorite rendition of Om Namah Shivaya
Out the front window, across the street, a gravel alley rises between the backs of houses. That's where I'm walking and thinking, gathering my vision to be with and not avoid discomfort. What is all the discomfort in returning from retreat?
The first day back home and I could still feel my own body, my heart. I could feel
myself authentically. Day two, I notice the quality of separation - just allowing my husband to have his own anxiety, to not look at me or talk to me. It was ok.
Day three I feel the fatigue of choppy sleep, the weight of not being able share my joy. Doesn't that sound ironic? Sad because I cannot share my joy, he's not interested.
It's the juxtaposition of feeling so alive, so open, truly myself, and the silent drive home from the airport. Days unfold, nowhere to put a drop of joy. We talk bills and arrangements and details. I drink more coffee than I should, eat pasta on purpose, pull out hidden stashes of chocolate to the front of the shelf. I try to share my week but I can see in the eyes, no receptors. I cannot, for the life of me, figure it out.
But it's so familiar.
When I was in high school, one night after a fight with my mother, I ran to a park and cried under a tree. I talked out loud to God, very true prayers. My father had followed me and stood in the wings of another tree, listening to my pleas. When he revealed himself, he tried everything to distract me and change my mood. There we were, so intimately close with the heart of things, and he could not be with it, couldn't just be with himself in that space, or with me.
I stood next to that man in church for 18 years and we never shared an experience of the divine together. Together
God knows how I was born into a midwest family with a tantric heart! It's been true from the beginning - I experienced the divine in everything. In the middle of the pulse of everything. When I discovered words like scintillating, sublime, luminescent, I already knew them. That light was my seeing. Right there in my back yard, shimmering radiance.
Through the years I've grown in my understanding of tantra - it has very little to do with sex, sometimes nothing at all. It does have everything to do with a co-mingling, a relational dance with the Self, where we come to identify more and more with its qualities. We mustn't mistake another for the divine, and yet, it is through seeing the divine within the 'other' that we recognize its reflection within ourselves. That's a key experience - having a true reflection.
Is it wrong to depend upon it? Yes. Is it wrong to long for it? Maybe. Is it wrong to want to share that kind of love? No.
I thoroughly understand my pattern of sadness. How sad I get that my partner does not, cannot, will not, should not, meet me where I am at. I get that it's not his fault. I'm considering the possibility that I manufacture the whole thing because it supports a habit (especially with a primary other) that I have known my whole life.
But where's the line? Is it natural to hope for that kind of partnership?
Just watching my self-esteem wither. I begin to take that disinterest personally and then don't want to hear from myself either. I look in the mirror for evidence and decide to gain more weight. I'm reading a new book
in bed about a young man who learns tantra from a yogini master. Steve asks what I am reading but it's too late. "Just a book I got."
I would never be able to write it if I didn't have compassion for the way I compose a core issue. There is shame for how quickly I resume it after such a beautiful week of liberation from it.
Underneath and around it all, I have the strength to see clearly, so I am not being pulled under by the story.....just seeing how I weave it all together, and how I lose myself so well.
What it comes down to in the end is that it's a waste of time. And that's how the sadness turns to anger. I get so frustrated and angry that I walk around feeling sad. Enough already, what a waste of time! There's so much more that I need to do with my life.