Hale To My Friends!

If I was stuck on a desert island and could only bring ONE thing that was vital to my sustanence, guess what it would be?!  My BIBLE!!!

Just kidding.  It would be my friends.  Really, it’s a wonder that God invented such sheer exquisiteness.  Mykael and I went to the Sunset Party (an outdoor dance party at Stafford Lake in Novato) yesterday afternoon.  I was not so enthused about going for some reason… Maybe because to me, dance parties are so seven minutes ago.  Maybe because my feelings were still hurt that the Mister didn’t go to church with me, nor to the grocery store or the farmer’s market.  Yep, I think that’s it.  I was certainly all brooding on the ride there.  Brooding is such a colossal waste of time.  Honestly.  Especially on a rich, warm Sunday in the springtime.  I’ll never have that Sunday back.

It’s weird observing myself in this relationship… (Hey!  More mating sparrows!  Cool!  Right on the power line across the street!  The male is making his feathers so PUFFY.  He looks like a sparrow shaped marshmallow.)  Anyway, I used to be entirely committed to transparency in my relationship.  The moment that I thought or felt something, I would offer it up to Mykael with the intention of deepening.  But somewhere along the lines, my commitment has eroded and I notice myself holding on to a lot more, sharing less.  Mostly to avoid the typical big, exhausting arguments born of my sharing.  I used to feel so important as we bush wacked our way free from these frivolously frequent ego tangles… but I must have reached my ceiling point, because now I feel like they are way too much trouble.  The sorry alternative is me feeling hella separate and brooding alone.

I sat in the passenger seat, stewing in my own negative juices as we sliced down the 101.  I struggled to drink deeply of the beauty streaming by outside the dirty windows of the hefty jeep cheroke.  Smooth, rolling hills, swaddled in a soft, green carpet of grass, dappled with broccoli… or were they oak trees?  I can’t say for sure.  Blah, blah, blah, cut to the chase, Athena.  You are only allowed so many words, use them skillfully.

Yes, Mistress.  Long story shortER, it wasn’t until we were traversing Novato’s own city streets that I could no longer tolerate being Mrs. Detached Brooding America.  So I pierced the space with a sharp vocalization of his name, “Mykael”… and then, fixing my gaze forward on the unfamiliar thoroughfare, I searched for what was next to speak in order to share my heart and make space for the present moment to flood into me, flow through me as it ever yearns to do.  But, just as I feared (did my fear create it?) the conversation rapidly turned to sharp words, attack and defense and general linguistic-emotional bloodshed.  By the time we parked near the lake, we were not sure if we’d be together tomorrow, we were hardly speaking and my heart felt full to bursting with every negative emotion of the rainbow and I couldn’t seem to find the valve to release any of it.  Fabulous.  The lake, nestled among more ripe, green, voluptuous hills was large, cool and shimmering, benevolently hosting images of the blue, dancing sky upon its nearly smooth face.  So what?  I felt incapable of taking more than a meager slurp from beauty’s overflowing cup.

We ambled along with agitated hearts in a steady flow of human traffic, toward the lake.  (It must have been a mile from where we parked.)  We scanned the perimeter of the festivities for a weeping willow tree, where our friends purportedly were camped.  The closer we got to the chaos of the party, the artificial heartbeat of thumping bass, the sea of young, generally beautiful and too hip for school humans, most all of whom clutched a requisite frosty beer in one hand, and  carelessly trampled the once verdant field of green grass, the more I felt like an alien, crash landed on a strange planet.  Then we landed on Friendship Island, under the said weeping willow tree.

The thing about my friends is that they aren’t the types who let you get away with hiding.  They are a sensitive and compassionate posse of yawning, stretching bodhi satvas… I felt terrified to be felt in my current state of pain.  Why?  Shame, I suppose.  I felt like I was rotting away in a self imposed prison of fear, confusion, judgment.  Not very attractive, right?  But the five year old monkey goddess daughter of Maha and Moon shouted my name with glee and unabashedly leapt into my arms.  I couldn’t help but soften as I held this agile, radiant, hollow boned (she is so light, her bones must be hollow… you know, for maximum flying potential…) packet of wonder.  Next a sweet, soulful hello from Love Herself, the almost eight year old sister of the hollow boned leaping one. Then I wandered, guarded, to greet the grown-up contingency.  Maha wrapped his arms around me and in an instant, I sloshed apart.

Now I’m sure you’ve heard of rainy parades… but how about emotional monsoon picnics.  No, they’re not quite the same as Monsoon Weddings.  Those are way more romantic.  I fell apart in his arms as Miss Magic stood by, oozing compassion.  I felt ashamed (and relieved).  This was a party, after all, and parties were invented for FUN, which I was not capable of having or being at that point.  I know, I know, I totally deserve to be held in fragile moments… But please do forgive me for forgetting this from time to time.  Honestly, it makes my moments of need more vivid when I have to surrender that voice that doubts my worthiness just to be spontaneously, unconditionally held.  What a relief to cry, to release.  Magic invited me to lie down on the earth and feel held while she spoke gentle, meditative words to me.  Maha sat near too and poured the thick honey of his presence on tangled, sobbing me.

Don’t bother looking for Grace beyond the sky if you have not recognized it in the generosity of others.  Grace is simple, unconditional and spontaneous.  After I offered a generous slew of tears to Stafford Lake, relief slowly spread through me from within and life winked with the promise of peace again.  No, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it winked with the promise of fun or joy… but at least peace and inner space.  I expressed my inquiry about how much struggle is healthy and appropriate in relationship.  In church that morning, Reverend Elouise had preached that relationships should be agitating, in the name of growth… but HOW agitating?  Where does one draw the line?  I suppose that ratio of ease versus agitation is different for each one of us.  I want to grow.  This is a fact.  But… I also want to thrive.  What is the recipe for thrival?  I know forgiveness has got to be at the top of the ingredient list.  And FRIENDSHIP.  Surely a hefty dose of intention.  And without a doubt a steady stream of peace.  What is obvious and non-negotiable is that I must keep moving into the silence within, and all will be healed.  All will be forgiven.  All will be as all will be and that is all.

I invite you to remember and celebrate the blessing of friendship today.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. k
    Apr 26, 2010 @ 23:58:07

    Amen to friendship. Good friends will save your ass every day.


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