I understood something tonight for the first time. It came about after I wrote a post on depression and the artistic temperament for one of my other blogs. As I was explaining how my art is often a form of self-soothing, I cracked open a tiny window into my own current situation. I’m not depressed, but I am highly activated and in an artistic spurt. Tonight as yet another love poem (or poem of #desire, as I’ve come to call them) surfaced I caught a glimpse of myself, doing my thing. And I noticed the effect. The poem of longing seemed to relieve some of my suffering. It gave me a lift even as I was expressing my dismay.
By telling my story, even in poetry, I am giving voice and awareness to my inner voice, my inner pain. I don’t admit my sadness or loneliness much these days. I’m too busy, too creative, too “happy.” But tonight, something in the back story of the love poem signaled from my subconscious creative brain to my rational and self-assessing brain that there was a problem.
Again, it’s a poem. But as I look back on the two books of poems that have come out of this period of my life, I began to understand, tonight, that these were as much a narrative as my prose. When read in sequence, you can see the arc and trajectory of my heart out of darkness and into hopefulness. I even achieved several moments of “love.” Even when the relationship couldn’t hold the feeling, in the poems I captured a tiny sliver of the potential.
Women of potential. My muse.
And tonight, as I was writing this poem, about something as simple as noticing a woman’s dark shiny hair, I was also able to hear a bit of the ache that I long to medicate with a relationship. And barring that, a love poem.
In the act of desiring, in the writing of a romantic epistle, I am releasing some of the tension I feel. In touching the sadness in words I can begin to unlock and feel them in life. Again, I’m not sad, but I’m lonely. As creative and inspired as I am, my seeking is consistent and unanswered. I have learned patience. I have learned the language of love. I have taught myself to compose songs. And yet… I’m alone.
Another moment occurred this weekend that opens up a bit more of my thinking about relationships, and “what’s next” for me. I had taken a long Saturday afternoon to drive my daughter and two of her friends to the local outlet mall for her birthday. That afternoon, when I got home, alone, I was exhausted. After a quick nap I arose and felt inspiration hit as I was trying to put down a song idea with my guitar and computer. An hour later I was one song richer, and again, slightly exhausted.
And at that very moment what I wanted was someone to share my song with.
I contemplated going out. There was a local band playing, and I knew the woman who books the club was newly single… But I was tired. Fulfilled somewhat with my creation. And still, aching for connection. So some of what I am longing for is simply being seen. Having someone to share my new book of poetry with. Or even a new poem. Sure, I’d like someone to come along who can trigger some of the “loving” sides of my poetry and songwriting, but I’ll settle for a confidant. Well, perhaps a cuddling confidant.
I know that I don’t want to become addicted to this state of longing. It’s sort of romantic, and productive, all this being alone. But it’s not a condition I aspire to, it’s merely where I find myself at this moment. And clearly, for a few moments more.
All is well. A new poem is written. A song released inspires yet another. My creative heart flows and flies.
And. Longs. For. Connection.
The Off Parent
- What Is A Love Poem?
- forgive me if i go poetic
- The Divorce Recovery Path: My Journey Back to Joy (part 1)
- Why Blog About This? What’s The Point?
image: the author, kristy duff wallace, creative commons usage
I was trying to figure out why the cold weather and my upcoming birthday were starting to feel heavy rather than up lifting. And I got it. I’m alone. Damn. In this most exciting of times, dark cold nights, holidays and birthdays and time-off ahead, and what… Nothing.
Last year I was falling into some sort of intoxicated frenzy of a relationship. (see this poem from that time: it’s just desire) And while I know it wasn’t healthy, it was so sexual, I’m now recalling the warm friction and the full mornings lounging, lovemaking, and lounging again, until we had to get out of bed to find food. It was good and innocent, but lacking in some fundamental element that I have to have in addition to the good sex.
When courting this woman I was not aware that she was about to turn 40. (I was moving towards my 51st year.) And while that wasn’t the issue, there were definitely issues that ran along those lines. She was recently divorced and still working through a lot of conflict and drama with her ex. And, of course, I was a good stand-in confidant for her. But I didn’t really like being her sounding board for all things divorce. It made my heart heavy. I would try to sum up the conversations occasionally with, “Oh that dickish-ex.”
I was also struggling with my own issues, as my ex-y had pressed charges against me with the AG’s office, and now it looked like I might not be able to save my house. I was heading into the holidays with very little money, and very little self-esteem. And this woman was just the tonic I needed. Or so I thought.
She met a lot of my criteria for dating.
- Pretty. (she was way-out pretty)
- Funny and playful.
- Has kids.
- Gets me.
And still there was something fundamental that was missing in our interactions. I couldn’t put my finger on it. But when she railed at her ex, I sometimes felt like I was part of her inner dialogue. And sometimes she also said things to me that seemed (I don’t know) disconnected.
I’ll admit I was so struck by her sexiness that all I wanted to do was jump into bed. She, however, wanted entertainment along with her sex. She wanted to “go out.” But we didn’t even know what that meant for us. Probably two very different things.
Still I liked having her on my arm at the club to see a couple of my friends playing hot jazz. No dancing though. And we ate out a bit, and that’s nice. But as we rounded 9:30 pm she was ready to start the evening, I was ready to wind down. I blasted through some wine-soaked evenings with her, and came out the other side wondering, “What the hell did I do that for?”
Short answer. Sex.
We, fit well in that department. But in most other areas we didn’t have a lot of common interests. She loved music, but it was more from an iTunes perspective, not necessarily going out to see bands. She liked partying, and I wasn’t really ready to jump back in that pattern, with the potential job interviews coming up. And so we ate nice food, spent mornings in bed, and tried to find other stuff to do together.
And that’s a part of *my* problem. I have a lot of projects I’m working on. (This blog included.) I’m not ever looking for something to do. I don’t need to disconnect to unwind. I plug-in and get creative. That’s my passion and my past time. So how am I going to fit a girlfriend in?
It’s an interesting question. I came close to sorting it out with my first girlfriend. We really liked being together. And we did like to go see music and movies together. And she had her own projects that gave her a lot of contentment as well. I got to feel what it was like to have someone who was cool with just hanging out. “What’s for dinner,” became a date invitation, even if it only meant one of us would grab some stuff to make dinner. That’s what I really wanted. Just some living and being with someone else.
If the idea of dating was to entertain each other every night we were together that got tiring pretty quickly, especially if the time to start was 10pm.
I’m missing the smell, feel, and presence of a woman. As the cold weather seeps under the doors I’m missing this amazing vixen that came into my life to light me up. And she did to that. She ignited my sexual enthusiasm in a way I hadn’t experienced since college. And while we didn’t stay together very long, I came away with the understanding of what good and happy sex looked like.
This winter I’m okay with the loneliness. I raise a glass of bubbly water to my hot lover from a year ago, as I let her memories go. I’m resigned to the rebuilding program I started 4.5 years ago. I am also committed to saying YES to someone amazing. Nothing less will do. But for now, I’ll be here, buzzing away at my creative tasks. The more amazing I become, the stronger my broadcasting signal grows. She’s out there. Lot’s of women of potential are out there. It’s up to me to call them in.
The Off Parent
back to On Dating Again
- Dating Time Out: Swiping Left or Right is Wearing Me Out
- Gentle Catch and Release
- Unadulterated Love: What Is Joyful Sex?
- Reversing the Flow: Putting Women in Charge of Courtship
image: tango, juliano campos, creative commons usage
I get it. It’s hard to find the time to date. Even when you have opportunities, and willing partners, sometimes it’s just more of a hassle than going on your own. Let me share an example about my evening, tonight.
I’m invited to a cool house party for a musician friend who’s going to perform. And I sort of have two potential “dates” for the evening, but… I’m not calling either one. What? Hard to get closer, hard to find another lover, if we’re always going by ourselves. Let’s examine.
My first choice would be the second “woman with potential” who has been renamed “the muse.” After three months of courting, on all available “every other Saturday nights” we never even shared a sexual kiss. It’s okay. But having an aspirational relationship is one thing. Being in a relationship with someone who’s not that interested in going further, is another. And after her three-week vacation up East, she’s been too busy to get together. Best to let that sleeping muse rest quietly in her own world. She was happy and self-sufficient before I came into the picture, and she’ll be fine with or without me. She’s still aspirational, but on an artistic plane, rather than relationship one. Okay.
My second choice would mark a fourth date with a woman from OK Cupid. She’s cute enough and smart enough. And we’ve hinted around sexual discussions enough to know that an opening could be available for that. But… She’s not who I’m looking for. And I guess she’s knows it. My several “wanna have lunch” texts, which were really about having lunch, have gone unanswered. I guess she senses the heat is on or I’d be more active.
There’s even a third woman who came on pretty strong on OK Cupid and has since then gone dark. I just opened the site to see what she’s up to and she’s apparently blocked me or dropped off the site. Okay.
So, I could call one of the first two women. And make plans to have a drink and some food before the show. And get a little contact time with either of these lovely women. BUT, it’s easier to not call them and go to the show alone. Maybe there will be a nice woman there to chat up. (grin)
So in the slice of time that is available outside of being a single parent, and doing our work, there is some space for another person. But the more you get into the alone time the harder it is to work to fill it with opportunities. So the time goes along, and we’re alone, and it’s okay.
I’m pretty sure this is the story with the Muse. She’s not had a long-term relationship for years and years. And her sixteen year old daughter needs her. But even she said, “I might be using her to keep from making time available to be in a relationship.” And the bigger tell was when she returned from a three-week hiatus and hasn’t really made any effort to connect. Then again, neither have I.
I write the love poems to soothe myself. I improve my fitness to make myself feel better about myself. And I am readying the live band show in two weeks to bring my full creative potency back into fruition.
And when she shows up it won’t have to be WORK. There will be negotiations to find the slice of available time to be together, but it will be an effort in mutual attraction.
The Off Parent
< back to On Dating Again index
- Casual Sex. What? I Have No Experience with This…
- The Honey Trap: How Beauty Can Lead Us Astray
- Burn the Maps!
- Little Turnoffs: On a First Date with a Woman
- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
- Facebook (follow us on Facebook and keep up with all the conversations)
- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)