Three Cheers for the Illusion of Separation!

I am noticing a pattern.  Every time I place my order at Pizzaiolo, I start to feel hot and flushed.  It’s not too long before I find myself ripping off my sweater and feeling the cool, sweet relief of fresh, restaurant air. (Only to prance my ignited, dreamy ass over to my table and realize that it is actually COLD in here… and proceed to pull my sweater back over my quietly swooning head) The common denominator?  No… not ME… the cashier.  I’m watching him now, from my seat across the way.  He is so engaged with everyone whom he serves.  His face shape shifts through a vast cornucopia of expressions, many of them involving a smile.  Soul.  The man’s got no shortage of this crucial, divinely human ingredient.  Awe!  He just gathered my Italian boyfriend’s empty cup, meanwhile igniting the Italian in a haphazard erruption of laughter.  I think I’ll go ask for some hot water in my travel mug so that I can interact with him again!  Be right back.

He sniffed the contents of my mug (it had a fully loaded tea ball in the bottom) and he said it smelled good!  My heart is all aflutter.  This morning I woke up feeling rather devastated.  Maybe because I’m changing too fast and I can’t keep up with me.  Not that I’m supposed to keep up with anything.  Quite the contrary.  The change is a shedding, and there is less for me to hold on to than I have ever imagined.  I mean, I could easily hallucinate that there was a whole world of “stuff” to cling to… but hallucinations are… just that.

Loneliness.  This year, I have been learning how to accept the loneliness that abides in my heart.  I suppose we all have our “reasons” for avoiding this particular potent nuance of human beingness… Me?  I was occasionally left home alone from the not quite ripe old age of two.  So being alone sometimes casts unpleasant emotional shadows in me.  (I also cherish being alone and do it often, so it’s an experience as loaded as a gleaming machine gun.  But the irony is that when I feel lonely, my habit is to harden my heart and not let Mykael in… Then I feel even lonelier, being near my beloved, but shutting him out.  This morning I had some insight as to why I do this.

Because the on the other side of this plagued coin that tinkers around inside hollow me, is this nasty compulsion to be saved.  I love casting my man in the role of Savior.  (And, coincidentally, I pick the men who love to play Savior.  Except when they DON’T…)  But throughout my two years with Mykael, I have had a plethora of gut wrenchingly disappointing moments when I have sent out urgent SOSes, calls to be emotionally, spiritually saved, and he stands before me, unwilling and unable to save this damsel who doesn’t even really need saving in the first place.  If only she knew this in her bones.  Maybe she does.  But then, her bones need to spread the word to her brains.  Anyway, I think this has something to do with why I hold myself in when I feel lonely.  Because I don’t want to meet head on the disappointment of that gap where no saving dares to dwell.

Tears drizzled my cheeks as I made my modestly greasy way to the shower.  I thought about oneness.  (I FINALLY finished watching the movie One last night.  I loved it so much and I was absolutely confounded as to why it took me like two fucking months to finish it.  Brilliant.  It was absolutely brilliant.)  Ahem, oneness.  To realize the truth of oneness implies that there is only ONE of us, right?  Well, that sounds pretty fucking lonely to me… even in its sublime profundity.  I could see why the One would dream of the multiplicity.  Duh, to feel less lonely.  Come on, what’s better than good company?!  Usually, when I contemplate the illusion of separation, I feel like I am drowning in an overwhelming sense of boundedness and isolation.  But today, I feel blessed.  I look around at Pizzaiolo and I see my implicit community.  I see fellow humans loving life.  My Italian boyfriend, my valiant, beloved, blush inducing cashier, my choir director, my ancient history crush who I made out with in the back room of the Real Food Company in the year 2000, the chubby, asian baby with enchanted eyes, whom I believe belongs to someone who owns this place and makes me want to have a child of my own every time I look at her warm, lunar luminosity.  Not to mention all these other unique faces, these imprints in the palm of a very generous, expansive and all pervading God.  Even if their bodies are outside me, and no matter how feverishly I pressed my body to any one of theirs, we would never fully merge, I still feel magnificent relief to be here with them.

Ahhh, today is one of those annoying days where I am too hot with my sweater on and too cold with it off, so I keep pulling it off, on, off, on, off…

This is totally unrelated… Or IS it?  I had been wanting to write about my name recently, and then Michael J expressed his curiosity about the very subject I intended to broach.  Is my name *really* Athena?  My name at birth was Dawn Athena Horwitz.  I’ve always adored my first two names.  But the last one?  Never dug it in the least.  It has always felt like HEAVY baggage to cart around.  Which is why when I was twenty, I changed my name to Dawn Athena Grace Kourage.  It stuck like to me like a sparkling, spirit gummed up jewel.  Until I was twenty eight.  At which point, a piece of my path involved shifting gears from the “airy fairy” aspect of my selfhood, into a more rooted, earthy power.  When I spoke the name Dawn, I felt like the word its self drifted up into the etheric stratosphere like a dreamy, rebellious balloon meandering aimlessly on God’s sweet breath.  Whereas when I speak the name Athena, I see and feel a thick, powerful staff rooting into the earth from the very center of me.  No offense to beloved Dawn.  I was born at six oh two am, and I am the dawn.  I am the dawning of something crucial that I can not see in this thick dark hour before my light is visible to that which it is destined to illuminate.

Athena Grace.  With a silent Dawn.  Horwitz?  I suppose I ought to make peace with my ancestry.  Word on the street is that making peace with one’s ancestry is the new rage.  Gone are the days of eighties Tupperware parties.  Here are the days of ancestral healing, recognition, gratitude and my favorite F word, FORGIVENESS.  I must also report that I FINALLY met someone on Saturday night, whom I told my name, to which she jubilantly exclaimed, “the Goddess of War!”  I told you that everyone mostly leaves that crucial facet of Athena-dom out, exclaiming, “the Goddess of Wisdom”.  Yes… and…

The Goddess of War.  Strategic war.  When I talked to my dad last week he told me that the first time he saw me, he saw Athena on my face.  He saw an ancient wisdom glowing from my fresh baked baby countenance.  Hearing that made me reverberate with glow in the dark tickles.  (I always imagined that my dad didn’t truly see me.  Recently, every time we talk, he says something that makes it entirely apparent that he sees me as clearly as anyone… and still… each time I am astounded and gleeful.)

God?  Please help us all love life and ourselves exactly as it is, as we are IN THIS PERFECT AND PROFOUND MOMENT.  Amen.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. contoveros
    May 18, 2010 @ 18:38:18

    Don’t forget the wise owl that hangs out with Athena. I painted about 10 of them when I got back from Greece, having this fixation with Athens and the Parthenon. Ceramics. Got them adorning a book shelf in the living room.

    Athena. Dawn.
    What’s in a name, anyway.

    Liked the history lesson. But, please keep your sweater on. Don’t want to chill a goddess.

    michael j


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