Here I am, sitting alone, in my temporary room, in my dear teacher, my wonderful friend’s, home, in this small German town, where I have visited many times over the last twenty years, this time where I have been given time to reflect and discover fully my connection to my most divine source. It stormed last night, wind blowing the heavy doors open and shut on the balcony, Zeus sending bolts of light hitting our earth, shocks of thunder all around me, teasing me, as if to say, “you can run outside if you dare or find a way to sleep and dream!” I chose to sleep, though I woke more times than I can count.> 9/9/13- Today, it is the 9 year anniversary of the day Max and I met…so many nines, what would a numerologist say? He, Max, contacted me, as he had so many other women, on match.com. Internet dating, the way to find true love, find friends, or just “hook-up”. We were both, with such different intentions, quite confused. The “player”, he thought HE was, thought I was a temporary fling, one to win over, then move on…the hook up, his usual M.O. I thought this big guy, Max, was novel, enticing, so different than the others and I would change his ways; true love is what I was counting on… I felt deep within me, we were a good (if a bit odd) fit.
Our being together as a loving partnership wasn’t easy, especially at first, our motives so different, and still so much the same, yet we didn’t know that either, then. We worked together well – he the consummate salesman and me so experienced in business, while both of us deeply desiring more of our creative selves to blossom. As we worked we laughed, we talked about more things than either of us knew we knew, we explored our bodies, our lives, our world…oh yes,we began to travel and unravel our ideas, our beliefs, the places we had read about in books. His friends became mine, mine became his, found some we knew in common, and made new ones too, so quickly our heads did spin. We also met ourselves, each other, and people who presented ideas, new ways to live and be in our world.
I guess you would say we lived our love in a whirlwind with more loving in eight years than most have in thirty or forty or even fifty. Sometimes I feel cheated and lucky, all at the same time. I can’t be sure what he’s feeling right now, since so far he hasn’t appeared in the clouds which today lie so high above me. This is the second anniversary we have not spent together on the same plane. Today, the cheated part I am feeling will subside as I continue to count my blessings, so many of which we had, I have now, more still and yet to come. We each took our own challenge. To change both mind and heart, to believe we could be loved fully for who we were and to accept,without reservation, love. I learned to stop controlling, to feel secure in me, that in the midst of turmoil, I could be present in my love for me and for him, for all there is.
It wasn’t always easy, for either of us, the first years he spent fighting desperately to hold onto his apartment only a half hour away, as we lived together happily. Max’s one leg out the door was for me a wobbly feeling -silly that his one leggedness could make me feel so damn unsteady. That was until we met Bob Stevens and Max could see and feel the space to be safe within, to then feel it was possible to be that way in his own world. And the universe provided proof, as the apartment building was sold… with that event, both Max’s legs began to fully move in unison with mine. He was learning to embrace the change he promoted others to do so often. And I was so much more relaxed knowing he was no longer on his way out the door, I could breathe more freely. I too embraced change.
I remember how we would take turns, both encouraging the other to be better than either of us thought we were. What’s the matter with human beings to have such inferiorities? Our parents might’ve been to blame for presenting these falsities, but we were the ones who believed them. Together, we were learning how to find new strengths in our individual sovereign selves and as a divine partnership.
“Life is good”, Max would respond when others would ask how he was. He was right, though often I would patiently correct him to say “My life”, Bob had taught us both to take full ownership of our feelings – the most responsible way of being. He would remark, the “my” is implied and we would converse (rarely argue) as to the merits of both.
When we first met, Max told me how much he admired the relationship of Bill and Margaret, a couple (years older) he knew from his work at Orso in LA… He said “”They can talk about anything, and you can see their true affection!” We spent birthday dinners and lunches with them, then one day I mentioned, “Sweetie…Recognize any similarities…this is what we have…can you recognize us when you now see them?” He replied with a smile in the affirmative.
Born in Harlan, the notorious eastern Kentucky coal town, to a gangster father and bombshell mom made quite a story for Max to tell, let alone livel. There was so much he had overcome – I marveled at the ways he had learned to process his life. The many stories he recalled, from carrying a gun to high school – his father insisted – to graduating from EKU with BA in english and theatre, playing rock and roll: drumming and singing from Chicago to Florida in the 70’s, being chased by a bear on the highway in Tennessee, equity theatre in Detroit, acting in NYC & LA, diving in the Caribbean, singing in the Kings Chamber in Egypt with Gregg Braden. The colorful tales (and there were so many more) seemed to have come from at least two different people. Our life together created additional tales which illustrated our inquisitiveness into our inner and outer worlds. It was a wild ride.
It is now the afternoon. This morning I was a passenger, as my friend and teacher, Aristhaia, drove us to the Rhine where Can o’Max #3 was to be emptied. We passed tiny villages, sparkling from last night’s rain; the green vineyards and fields of corn and golden sunflowers made it the perfect setting for what was to occur. We wound round small roads, actually narrow lanes, passing under the autobahn until finally the car was parked. Walking down a nature path, a patch of the Rhine River could be seen. Nothing like the LA River I know, this area had small rapids, areas of rock worn smooth by the water, and on this we stepped from pebble to pebble, rock to rock, me carrying can #3, while Aristhaia led the way, holding a pink flower. Opening this third can, like those previous, took some time, it took patience, both of ours combined, prodding, twisting, and praying the lid open; this time, it was done with improved finesse. With can now opened, Aristhaia began to sing and i proceeded to slowly release its contents, with it came those tears still inside me. As the ashes drifted through the waters over the rocks I watched Max ascend into the light, with me urging him on. “Go for it Maxie, you can do it!” I whispered, this almost afraid to really say it, knowing it was really the best for him. Truly, it was beautiful. My tears were both joyful and sad, mostly the former.
Here I am, now sitting, writing in a cafe in Freiburg, watching people…girls talking about boys, small children and mothers eating ice cream, a man feeding his dog cookies as he drinks his cappuccino… Max was right. My life is good.