This writing continues a series Intimacy. To read in succession, you may start at September 3, 2017. There you will find, also, an introduction.
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This sharing together, however one may speak of it, I realized when I awoke but could remember little content. This was her last day. What happened that night before? Did she know as I knew - for I was fully aware of the sharing, though physically asleep? Did she choose to visit me with this purpose? We each other? Was she saying "Goodbye"? I do know, however one would try to explain this, or explain it away, what happened was a continuance of Intimacy shared over many months prior. I had, indeed, not been able to normalize the sharing; so, finally, I simply allowed it to remain and be. I could not deny it, nor did I want to normalize it in some way - and, I still do not want to - It lives on, we do.
Ken Wilber, in Grace and Grit, quoting from his deceased wife's diary.... Treya writes of longing...
I suppose a part of each of us wants to be 'normal' so we can be accepted. I know as a child I never wanted to attract attention for being different, and yet I wound up living a life that could scarcely be called normal. A normal education at one of the seven sister colleges, a year of teaching, a normal M.A. in English literature, but then a sudden veering away from the path with a passion for environmental causes that led me to the mountains of Colorado. Environmental work, skiing, assorted odd jobs, teaching skiing. Then another unexpected, sudden change in direction. Born out of a deep longing for something I was at a loss to describe, a bicycle trip to Scotland took me through Findhorn, a spiritual community east of Iverness. There I found an answer, or part of an answer, to that longing, and there I lived for three years. I learned to recognize that longing as a spiritual longing, and there I learned various ways to begin to honor that longing. that insistent call from within.
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This sense of seeing truthfully a reemergence of longing for Intimacy, which arises from Intimacy - for Love arises from Love, likeness birthing likeness - from the burial of yesterdays, was tantalized into feeling and vision by an account given in Terrance Keenan, Zen Encounters with Loneliness, in which he writes of seeing his mother in her garden:
Picture a small boy looking out his bedroom window at dawn. He sees below him a walled-in garden under very old trees, the brick walls heavy with ivy. There is the scent of green on the air, of apples, of earth and manure from the nearby farm. The grass in the garden is wet and the small flowers are heavy with dew. In the garden he watches a woman with long white hair, the first he has seen it long, let down. She is walking barefoot. Her nightgown and robe are wet at the bottom. She is holding a cup of tea, walking very slowly, talking to her plants softly, words he cannot quite hear, until he realizes they are words she has never spoken to anyone, they are Czech, her birth tongue. He senses, without words of his own to articulate it, this is a private moment, how she places herself into her day. The unexpected intimacy moves him deeply. Though he witnesses it again over the years, this first touch of an inner other stays with him - what it is to be with another without judgment, to enter their vulnerability, a sudden unsought intimacy that eliminates "other." It is the intimation that the "light itself" has no boundaries.
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Regardless of my so-called spiritual path and its fruition, I am still a man, human being among other humans. And I am touched deeply by their kindness and presence, and I feel deeply both it, and its ending. The other day I enjoyed the company of a dear lady, just two days ago. And the aroma of that Communion, over less than an hour, wafted over me, alerting me to how much I both long for closeness and, when feeling it impossible, sense the comfort and safety of my refuge of contentment within my own being and life, a somewhat-reclusiveness of varying degrees over many years.
Yes, I am a man, and sexual, and I have enjoyed the intimacy of physicality, but without much of the depth of Grace I still would wish with someone prepared to enjoy the physical and that veil as opening to a deeper, fuller Communion beyond us. I long for touch, even just holding a hand, or a finger touching the kind contours of a body. I am getting older, and can accept that life offers no guarantee of this, and little else. I am old enough to know life is not a treasure chest I open and take out anything I want. Sometimes, I live with the want but, thankfully, not haunted by it, at least not often.
Yes, I am a man among other men and women, and am amazed at how few persons are fearless enough to be close even in only a friendly way. We seem to be afraid of being seen, so we settle for polite, nice social etiquette. We unlock the door of Closeness until we hear the knock, then run to lock it, failing to answer, failing to welcome, then complaining of feeling unloved, then nursing our unfulfilled yearning, or deadening it with some futile substitute. Or we deny our need for Intimacy by indulging the company of others, being amidst not truly much being with. We share space, but remain hidden. When, truly, he or she may be more intimate with others who shares less space and time with them. This like discovering a Communion so pure, most of us are not prepared to receive it. We long for that we have been little prepared to know, even recognize. We misname the longing. We decide the longing itself is its end, rather than seeing the longing is the voice of Intimacy Itself.
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This is somewhat like a recent Sharing with someone the night before she moved on from the body. We had sensed and enjoyed a sacred Intimacy for many months. We had spoken of the Love that allows deathless Communion. The night before she 'died,' I had, thankfully, released her bodily. I had promised to rejoice in her passing. That she asked of me, my last time visiting her, sitting on the side of her bed caressing her hand. Alone, this night, I slept. Yet, whether a moment or all night - it seemed to go on for hours - , there was an unspeakable sharing I can call "soul-with-soul," she physically miles away. This sharing together, however one may speak of it, I realized when I awoke but could remember little content. This was her last day. What happened that night before? Did she know as I knew - for I was fully aware of the sharing, though physically asleep? Did she choose to visit me with this purpose? We each other? Was she saying "Goodbye"? I do know, however one would try to explain this, or explain it away, what happened was a continuance of Intimacy shared over many months prior. I had, indeed, not been able to normalize the sharing; so, finally, I simply allowed it to remain and be. I could not deny it, nor did I want to normalize it in some way - and, I still do not want to - It lives on,we do. This, to me, was the Intimacy untouched by death, made possible by the prior sharing and likeness of depth of being. - As far as Intimacy is concerned, persons have a potential for Intimacy, some little, some much. She had much, more than she knew and appeared able to know, though I kept trying to get her to see. Possibly, we were both being shown. ... I still Love you, I miss you, but respect your Journey continues not here, but where Love cannot part us and has not parted us.... So... to you I say, with Love...
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.
*Jalaluddin Rumi. The Illuminated Rumi. Trans. Coleman Barks.