It’s not about wanting to be better looking than anyone else. Nor is it really about being desired by more than one woman at the same time. That’s just the method, the expedient means my lack of confidence in myself is causing me to see as necessary, in order to get what I really want: to be loved by someone else who’s beautiful, some ONE else. So, just as the Buddha bravely discarded His expedient means by saying that he really didn’t undergo countless virtually impossible to do tasks over many lifetimes to achieve His enlightenment but that He had always been enlightened, but instead was always doing the simple, kind act of practicing the bodhisattva way, so too must I bravely chant to discard those expedient means of my own—i.e. to be better looking, to have more women than others loving me, and open up within myself my absolute, unstoppable self-confidence by simply loving myself and loving others freely and without reservation.
I know the idea of making love to a stranger may sound more than a bit creepy, but love is like peace, justice and human harmony and happiness. If we wait until it feels right and perfect, the right time may never happen. Have you ever stood by a pool of cold water hoping for the right time to take that dive? Even if you try to go in at the shallow end, toes first, slowly, my experience is you still have to encounter that burst of cold water. But then, after that, you have so much fun. Or, to continue the metaphor about peace, justice and a better, when we take a bold move of any kind, we strike out against nature, refusing to allow her or anyone, whether through a force fabricated, to be our goddess, to bind us to her services (or theirs), striving to realize not just the easy part of our DNA but all that we are endowed with therein, we will fall, we will stumble, we will be severely hurt, we will suffer the agony of defeat and the pain of embarrassed humiliation. But it is still better to live that way, not just because of that tiny rose, that prize that awaits us at the end of an interminable stem of thorns but because, with every defeat, the rose we so ardently and desperately desire becomes us—we become better people for it, better lovers, even if the reciprocation is post-mortem or by a different set of deities who do not enjoy the luxury of being worshipped. (7/2 ADD: Amazing how faithfully unsought deprivation turns us into philosophers and spiritual mentors while depravation (you said you liked word play) and meanness are the products of having everything we want fall into our laps). I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, as much as I don’t know what your decision will be, that I can definitely count on Shakespeare and Verdi being in full agreement with me.
Ah, the idea of going to see a Broadway show, sitting at the New York City Ballet with someone who appreciates it as I do, who loves the finer and deeper things of life and has the full passion and the affection that makes life rich in all its facets. Though, like Henry V, I have spent a lifetime in grittier social climes, the blood of centuries of cultivation since the shakedown at Sinai still flows within this, albeit somewhat egalitarian bosom that longs to cling to yours.
You clearly will never understand how alone in the world every writer stands until it is incumbent upon you to fill that blank page and create that drama all on your own, to travel to unknown climes, up massive and intimidating climbs, at least not until you assign yourself that life’s mission. No, you are the person in front of the camera, the prima donna, the shining light. My job is to make you shine and yours is to shine. Your job is to turn your light on and mine’s to embrace it with a color that makes you so brilliant—doubly amazing. We could have that amazing partnership through life.
Love is vulnerability. It means meandering through scores of less than perfect circumstances to savor the limited time you might have with someone equally scared of what it means so that something more beautiful than anything else in the world can be experienced by you together with that person fully, physically, emotionally, mentally (although that’s usually where the rub is because our minds abstract and make things out of things which are not things to begin with) and spiritually. It means, as John Legend might say using different words, being with someone full of imperfection but loving her (him) even more because you, though the imperfections may be vastly different, are the same human being, a creature by nature full of imperfection yet, perhaps unlike all other creatures, yearning desperately to come together to form a more perfect union each day than the day before, finding yourself, like magic, suddenly loving the very things you hated, then growing to hate them again, then learning with patience and work, to love them again, a feature I don’t believe any relationship that runs its course to the deepest and happiest love is without. After all, if it were not for these imperfections, there would be no makeup sex, the best kind, the pinnacle of all sexual experiences (perhaps I idealize a bit here since my own reality has not always guaranteed that—not the quality of the sex part, but the makeup part).
I’ve really put a lot of care and thought into this. It has lived with me as any other of my writing pieces I have deeply treasured before sending them out into the world, as I’m prepared as any child leaving home for the cruel onslaughts of indifference, apathy, ignorance and simply a world being so wound up in its busyness that the cure for this fearsome time bomb we’ve turned our planet into yet do everything in our power to defeat our universal and wise premonition within us—that they are blind to the very cure right before their eyes—the healing power of poetry turned out by the pure human spirit that beats, unheard and unfelt, to a much saner and paced beat.
Many a flash has hit my mind that I’ve jotted down over many pages of my journal but have been unable to get it down in the memory of my computer (ed. note: I was at work when I wrote this where all phones and computers are strictly forbidden; thank goodness of the pen and paper), which is afforded me so little time to make legible, edit to clarity, wisdom, perfection and romance so as to be able to penetrate the protective wall you have wisely put up high surrounding your heart, hoping neither to pierce a vulnerable, wounded place in the bedrock nor to fail by writing against a part of the wall too rough and thick to have any effect, but to find the opening, hidden to my eyes, the secret gateway of admission to the palace of majesty that is your solemn, sublime, beautiful and exquisite world, hoping that somewhere in what follows will be the key, the password, the combination that is the magic.
Okay, take a pause, take a breath. And let’s go catch a concert in the park. Or maybe Shakespeare.