Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “the lover

Three Loves: Eros, Filial, Agape

OFF-snakeI’ve been trying to create a lover from thin air. Using all my conjuring powers, all my musical and romantic tricks to summon the next great lover. And… I’m not sure I have been doing it right. I learned something this morning as I revved forward into a peaceful Sunday morning, alone.

At church I was listening and not listening to the sermon. I had not been in over a year. But I did love this preacher and this feeling of home that was comfort and solace in my past joys and pains. But for brief moments I was trolling. I was scanning the entire church for attractive women. WHAT?

Sid, was giving a sermon on love. WHAT? Maybe it was time to give my search a rest and listen. Maybe this morning was no random occurrence. And in my somewhat mixed state I listened and scanned. But I became aware of the frivolousness of my longing. The type-a searching, that had produced ZERO ecstatic partners, may not be serving me. What if I relaxed. Sat back. And grooved on being present and lovable. Loveable even to myself.

The words from a song by the band Bush kept running through my head.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breath out…

So, there was one woman. She was familiar. She had been part of the church for at least 5 years. She had joined as a recently divorced mom with a three-year-old daughter. She was beautiful.

Eros: is often thought of as the love of sex. But it’s much more than sexual. It’s the fire, the passion, the drive to create. And noticing that much of my eros, or erotic energy was focused on finding a partner, I could understand how that energy was being funneled away from the other creative passions. In my attempts to create the lover I wanted, to woo in a certain way that the other person becomes inflamed at the same level, was draining some of my resources and some of my beauty with all the effort.

It was not her. I was too intent on looking for someone. Perhaps I was too intent on “creating” someone who loved me back. But my impatience could lead me to a lot of unnecessary churn.

In fact, I want to let go and present myself a bit more low-key and wait for some of the flame to come from the other person. I wanted patience. Even in the heat and rush of passion I did not want to be the 90% generator of the flames. I would not create my lover. My lover needed to come fully created and meet me on the field. Anything else, was beginning to feel like pushing the river.

Filial Love: family, community, connectedness. This was the love I was being washed in, sitting alone with friends. Sometimes, in the darkness, even this filial love is not enough, and we’d rather stay in our quiet, dark, boxes and suffer alone. But just knowing that our family was out there, that our filial ties were strong even when we were all silent… Today I felt the family I had been missing. And the love from the family of origin that I had never gotten as a child.

Agape Love: the flat-out powerful love of the creator, however you care to imagine her. God, Jesus, Mohammed… Native American gods. All part of the whole. The GOD of gods. However you chose to believe, however you chose to be amazed, that was the god of Agape. And while it could be sustaining, it was not nourishing in the same way as the first two. And certainly not as filling and energetic as the first one, Erotic.

So if I am running around, poetry-ing, wooing, sending love letters to someone who I hope to awaken, perhaps I am draining some of the essence that I could be using elsewhere, if I just relaxed into the process. Time is the key. Time is everything. And timing is important too.

Let’s look at the woman in the congregation. She was obviously attractive to me and known to me. She was the only sexually attractive person in the congregation of about 120 people. And that’s it. We caught each other’s eye several times. I flirted in my mind, and tried to return to the message Sid was delivering. I had mixed results. But I did learn something.

  1. I found 1-person-out-of-120 people sexually attractive.
  2. Her physical beauty was what drew my attention in, as I was scanning.
  3. What I knew about her, other than her initial introduction to the church, was nothing. She was alone today, but that’s all I could tell.
  4. She smiled at me. Or was she smiling in my direction? Hard to know.

If I had been determined and focused on finding a partner I might have stayed after church and initiated a conversation with her. I didn’t.

This one attractive person was amazing, and the revelation of my above-average tastes was also revealing.

I do understand the commitment, beyond all measure, to continue the search for love and loving within the entire arc of our relationship.

It was not her. I was too intent on looking for someone. Perhaps I was too intent on “creating” someone who loved me back. But my impatience could lead me to a lot of unnecessary churn.

I learned something from what Sid said about marriage today and the line of the marriage vow, the part about “until death do us part.” It seems so archaic today. Do we really believe in marriage, or that vow, with today’s marriage statistics?

What I learned, or heard at least, was that this vow was more about commitment. Could we commit to wanting and working towards a love that would last. That we could put ourselves all in, and vow to do whatever it takes to keep the relationship and love growing, in spite of setbacks both personal, financial, and physical? Could we say YES to the full thrust of the LOVE we were being asked to participate in?

It’s food for thought. I don’t know about marriage. I don’t know what the ring and the vows mean today, in my life. But I do understand the commitment, beyond all measure, to continue the search for love and loving within the entire arc of our relationship. Where it will all lead, that is more of a mystery. But when she shows up before me, and says, “YES,” I won’t hesitate. I will know. But I can’t go out questing for her. I can’t write poems to capture her. I cannot make her into the lover I imagine.

Trying is not fair to either of us.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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image: snake, hand, bokeh, james lee, creative commons usage


This April’s Fool: Today I Napped When I Should’ve Walked

I masturbated when I should’ve written. I ate well and then I ate a bag of popcorn. I watched television and played an iPhone game on the hammock in the front yard. I was April’s Fool today. I was full of something, unaimed and unfocused, I gave into the whimsy of the humor on Facebook. I forgot for a moment that I have a business to run, that I am trimming myself to attract a better mate. I forgot all this stuff and simply fucked around today.

I did pick up the guitar and I wrote a few lines of a song…

maybe the lover IS the goalyou’re who I think about, when I think about *uhhh*
you’re who I think about
you’re who I think about when I think about it
and I think about it
and I think about YOU

And I found myself thinking about the lover again. What about that proposition? Just walking around the grocery store I could see the beautiful taut bodies and think, hmmm, maybe if I said YES again… I’m conflicted. But masturbation is so easy. So quick. So soulless. It’s clearly why I went on Flight 7 a few weeks ago, just incase. In many ways I’m happier than ever, and in some ways I’m still alone. Full of myself, but alone.

Perhaps I talked too much today. I spent time on the phone with my male friend talking about her and it and what we were gonna do. And then I didn’t do it at all. I started out with a spark, but it faded, and today even the coffee and moments of inspiration didn’t carry me forward.

Alone I am able to listen to my heart. Sometimes I don’t want to. I had an offer to join someone for happy hour and hugs. But I was more comfortable being uncomfortable. I noticed that if I filled all my empty spaces with a relationship, I would have very little time for this empty, and yet important, reflection on myself. Myself being alone.

I point at how fast my ex-y jumped into the sack and now into the house with someone else. And I hold up some example of health and mental clarity, but here I am, alone.

What is alone, today?

When there are posts to write, music to sing, or poems to voice, I am like a romantic warrior on a quest. SHE is here, SHE is everywhere, SHE will eventually find me again. When I am bored, bored and alone, I have a different conversation. I wonder about what I want. I wonder about what it would look like if this evening, instead of dinner for one and catching up, alone, on Game of Thrones, I wonder what it would be like if that someone, if SHE was in the house waiting for me to come in and start our “together” time. And for a moment I have pause. I wait and savor the peaceful sunset in the hammock. I cook the salmon to my liking and give the rest to the cats.

What is difficult about being in relationship with an artist, from the artist’s perspective is how to balance the draw towards time with loved ones vs. time at craft. Without the “time at craft” the artist will become an idea rather than a practice. I am rediscovering the artist that has held his tongue for years. Hold that vibrant word inside no longer.

But what of that potential date? What draws me towards giving up this quiet nothingness of an evening? What warmth of company, of community, of skin and breath and angle of bone, is worth all the trouble of figuring it out? Last week I could not have told you. Today it was apparent, I wanted comfort. Not applause, or even sex, just company.

It is important to listen to the desires of the heart. It is important to remember what I am seeking and what I am willing to give up.

And on an April day it is occasionally okay to abandon the plan and camp out on the hammock and play games, fuck off, and day dream. Drive and direction can be picked up again tomorrow. There’s plenty of time. And in this time, this alone time, it is critical to listen to what the heart is longing for while being aware of what I am willing to give up in the name of resolving or filling that longing.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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