The Epic Battle of Selves

As many of you are aware, the relationship with my Italian Amore blew up again.  On moonday morning, Serena and I left his house in a calmly tremulous frenzy, taking refuge in the miraculous beneficence of Ananda Assisi.  There was so much beauty and magic in surrendering into the hands of God in this way. People rallied to help us find sanctuary.

 

My Cosmic Dad found us the cheapest ticket home, which was $1250!  He fronted the money, explicitly stating that he needed it back ASAP.  I wrote a vulnerable post on facebook, sharing my situation and asking friends to help us with financial contributions, as I was at the end of my modest “nest egg”.   I was floored by the money and love that poured in! And also blinking in amazement at how profoundly worthy I felt/feel, considering the mess I made, letting go of EVERYTHING (save my trusty old Subaru, “Venus Ray”) and flying brazenly into the intensely emotional arms of a twin flame with whom I already had a wildly questionable track record.  

 

And now for the dripping, tender meat of this story.

 

Yesterday morning, I was moved to get an early start, so we hitchhiked the short ride (lonnng walk) to the top of the twisty hill where Ananda is nestled.  To be outside, in the River of Life.

 

We easily got a ride from the first car that drove by~ a friendly older italian woman with blond hair and a sturdy frame swooped us up in her ancient red coop.  I delighted in the loving strain of our attempt to communicate, despite the language barrier. By the time she dropped us off at the entrance to Ananda, my heart was wide and beaming.  

 

As we ascended the path, we nearly collided with my wild-eyed Italian Amore.  OMG. I felt like a deer in the headlights. All my vigilance centers flashed red alert.  Desperately, I groped inside for discernment of what to do…

 

In the end, I hugged him.  Good lord. I FEEL this man.  Even amidst all the singing alarm bells chiming inside, mostly I felt relief to be joined again in embrace.  His eyes were swollen, red and moist from two days of crying. After the extended hug, I tried to keep my guard up as he began to persuade me to come back, forgive all, start fresh.  

 

I was solid in my NO, as well as my stance of love.  “I’m not open to discuss this,” I stated, “all you must know is that I am leaving, I forgive you and I love you.”  This felt right and clear to me.

 

We loitered together awkwardly in the parking lot for some time…. Not sure what to do with this “Holy Moment”.  And then his MOM drove by (on her way to work)! I hadn’t met her yet. She saw us from a distance and pulled over!  Freaking out on the inside, I hung back as he approached her car. But Desire pulled me to greet her, unsure of how Serena and I would be received.  

 

She embraced us.  Strong. I let her in.  And she me. She was a small woman with a wiry build.  Strong from a life of hard work (on many levels). She smelled mildly of cigarettes.  I saw that she had the same hands as her son and I took them both and held them close in ecstatic comparison.  She gushed over Serena and commented on how much she resembled Italian Amore’s own six year old son. They have very similar almond shaped brown eyes and deep-toned skin.  Strange…

 

Then, Italian  Amore met our mutual friend for breakfast.  I felt relieved that he was getting support.  Their communion was porous, and we all ended up being together.  She encouraged him to drive us to the airport on Saturday. He was stretched between desire and fear of more profuse “bleeding”.  I told him to sleep on it.

 

He invited me to come on Friday, to the meditation and breathing program put on by the spiritual healer he connected with mere hours after I gave him the boot from my Nevada City nest.  She has been energetically holding him since then. And me too, to some degree. I really want to meet her. She is such a pure ray of Source Energy. I felt the power and perfection in this closure.  

 

We parted ways.

 

But my body was aflame with unbearable desire all day.  I could only thing of making love with him. I ached to reach out.  I strained to have restraint. I prayed hard to God.

 

Around five pm, it began to rain as Serena and I made our way toward the little Ananda market, under a large purple umbrella, in search of food for dinner.  As I labored along with thirty pound Serena in my left arm, umbrella and purse on the right, he texted me, inviting us for dinner. Ahhhhh. The fierce inner tug o’war began.  I said no. Seconds later, the woman I am staying with texed, reporting that the market is closed for a holy day… Some major “Madonna”-related thing.

 

Well there was my answer.  He picked us up on the side of the road, and we drove straight to his father’s garden, where we tread the soft, rain-moistened, giving earth, foraging for everything delicious and good.  

 

The kittens were wandering about and Serena immersed in their fluffy, enchanted world as we gathered armloads of dinner.  At this point, I felt so confused by the twist of love and desire and choices… the front surface of my body was a gnarled mess.  I layed on the earth and begged Her to help me release fear and come hOMe to my Highest Knowing. I could feel Her against me, alive and willing.

 

I prepared homegrown millet and green beans sauteed in fresh olive oil and garlic.  I asked him to prepare a simple salad, but he kept getting derailed by his all-consuming pleas to get me to stay.  I felt so mixed up. I had been so sure that we needed to go. I enrolled my entire community in my situation, and they showered us in money love and prayers.  

 

But the pull of our magnetism is sooooo strong.  And Italy is so dazzling… We shared so many tender, unborn dreams….

 

Get this, people– BOTH of his parents called during the short time we were at his house, asking him how he was, and telling him NOT TO LOSE ME.  That I was the best he’d ever had, and don’t fuck it up. Whoa.

 

We let Serena watch an episode of Elmo’s World, while we went in the bedroom and made quick and exquisite love.  I came. He didn’t. By then it was getting dark. “Bath time” had come and gone. Though he wished we’d stay the night, he drove us home.  I was sure I needed to digest.

 

I sought my hella wise friend Joy’s council.  I chose her because of her impartial stance and vast, sober, embodied intelligence.  To my dismay, it became clear that still my innermost truth is to return to California.  I felt grief for this. And fear of my Amore’s impending CRUSH against his own internal craggy scapes.  

 

Now thursday is dawning.  I am sitting with the intense internal pressure of love and fear swirling aggressively inside me.  

 

God help him be at peace with my choice.  And choose to stay open to love. We had planned for him to take Serena to the playground this morning….  Lord knows what will happen when I tell him I am really going.

 

Oh the sands in the hourglass that are the Days of my Life……..

 

UPDATE:  I told him I am leaving.  He came over. Desperately trying to persuade me to change my ticket for a later date, and go to California together in the winter after he’s harvested his olives, made oil and gathered money.  OMG. I know that if we are to heal and thrive together, we NEED the support of a conscious, evolutionarily focused community. We can’t navigate our shadows together alone.

 

I don’t know what to do.  

 

The End.

 

Haha yeah right.  

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This must be Italy….

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Yesterday was day 8 here in Italy, and it finally sunk in that we are here.  Before that, it was more like being at “Giordano’s house”… where the “extras” just happened to speak in mostly indecipherable, robust, ticklingly rhythmic tongues.  As soon as we dressed and ate breakfast, we piled into our little Fiat for an extended pilgrimage through the countryside, in pursuit of fresh, raw milk and cheese. While he was at work yesterday  his mamma blew up his phone (five times, to be precise), to report a source of organic raw milk at the farm just below her home, in the hills above Assisi.

 

My moon blood had just begun to flow- a sacred day I designate for rest and introspection (if such a thing is possible with a two and a half year old…).  I was not expecting the exxxtended amusement park ride along narrow, rutted gravel roads overlooking stunning, steep green and golden hillsides rolling across all space.  Turns out, he didn’t really know “the way”. All he knew is that the farm was “below the house of his mother”. My breath became involuntarily shallow, my body tense, after the gazillionth dramatic twist about the infinite span of ruined road.  I tried to let go and surrender to Giordano’s questionable leadership. But at some point, I lost it, and venomously begged to turn the fuck around and forget it. Nope. Driven by raw instinct (as he mostly is), he kept driving. Within a minute we pulled into the driveway of a massive stone house.  The kind you see in movies- sturdy rectangular boxes, with small, precise windows framed by wooden shutters. The surrounding land, lush, green and laden with friendly trees, spilling offerings of fruit and shade. Three happy country dogs greeted us, and called to their Master.

 

He emerged from the fairytale house, unkempt brown hair and overgrown beard flying everywhichway.  He was slender, with a hint of pot belly and posture that whispered the tale of a life of hard-assed, though gratifying labor.  Giordano got out of the car and greeted him. I could pick out a few Italian words… I think he said that he was the son of Raphaella, and she had told him they had raw milk for sale?  Eventually, he gestured for me to get out of the car. I unbuckled Serena from her carseat, and greeted the warm-hearted farmer. A voluptuous woman with pale, maudlin blue eyes, wide awake baby on her hip emerged from the house.

 

Together we ascended the stone stairs and crossed the threshold into a darkish, cozy kitchen.  It felt intimate and brimming with life. Serena immediately spotted the baby’s bouncy seat, and brazenly demanded to climb in and press all the musical buttons.  Into the kitchen wandered a little boy, not too much bigger than Serena, wearing only a t-shirt. Rippling streams of Italian conversation filled the small kitchen as I stood receptive and shy.

 

They gave us tiny cups of their homemade yogurt to sample.  Then the man and his pants-less boy escorted us through the charming, wild garden to a dark barn, guarded by a silver horse.  Giordano fed the majestic guardian one of the fallen apples he had foraged for the cows on our walk through the garden. In the barn, five cows eagerly licked the remnants of their breakfast from the feeding trough.  Giordano offered them the remaining apples, which they gladly devoured. Their udders were small and freshly emptied. I petted each of their wide, soft faces, marveled at their massive strong bodies and wondered how I can eat beef and live with myself.  

 

We left the barn and meandered around the back side of the house, into a basement room, where giant slabs of dead pig hung from the ceiling.  Our kind host showed us a hutch filled with rounds of homemade cheese. But not enough to sell, they said.

 

Back in the house, our host offered us coffee, “strong enough for Mexicans”.  As I was neither Mexican, nor in need of excessive jacking up, I declined. Giordano accepted.  The ample, lactating queen of the castle brought us a large plastic water bottle filled with that morning’s milk, which they insisted was a “gift”.  We schmoozed a bit more before exchanging friendly goodbyes. “Ciaos”, actually.

 

The drive back to the main road didn’t seem nearly as long and daunting.  

 

Not too far down the main road, we arrived at a (relatively) more commercial  farm, where Giordano bought some fresh mozzarella and ricotta. Serena was thrilled to see long lines of holstein cows fiercely committed to munching massive piles of hay.  The smell of cow shit filled the warm, humid air.

 

We hopped back in our little Fiat (who runs on propane) and traversed more windy roads, in pursuit of MORE CHEESE.  Haha. This time it was another family home. A friendly man with a full, grey beard, shining eyes and strikingly short denim shorts greeted us, along with two small, eager dogs.   He and Giordano exchanged some friendly words and then the man led us into his kitchen, which was flooded with sweet, buttery aroma. A woman with short, grey hair, joyful eyes and a german accent greeted us.  Monica. Though she wasn’t “fat”, her “extra” suggested her love of baking and partaking. She was rolling out greasy cookie dough. Her teenage daughter, exuding a modest presence, sat at the far corner of the table, spreading some kind of chocolate goo on toast, making intermittent crunching music.  

 

Serena was dying for a cookie.  To my relief, they weren’t ready yet.  Poor thing. I wish I’d never let her eat a cookie… or even watch a show in which they ate cookies.  Because Pandora’s box is officially OPEN.

 

I felt my aura tucked close to my body as I spoke with effulgent Monica (in english) about simple things like her love of baking, her grandchildren in Germany, her daughter’s longing to get a nose piercing.  She pulled a small, homemade calendar from the wall and beamed as she showed us photos of her children and grandchildren. She promised Serena a raincheck on cookies, which she even threatened to deliver to our doorstep on her way to town one day.  

 

We eventually left with a huge round of sharply scented sheep cheese.  

 

The heat of the day was now upon us.  Our meandering morning outside of time suddenly came to a jarring halt.  We still had an errand to run in the town of Assisi. I felt hungry and aware  that Serena’s nap time was approaching faster than was convenient.

 

Hence we embarked on another epic leg of our day’s journey, which included driving through the stunning center of Assisi (OMG, I can’t believe I live a stone’s throw from such an ancient, mythic “destination”), spending “hours” in a massive store, in (fruitless) search of a mosquito net to protect us as we sleep (Serena is getting devoured every night and my heart aches each time I look at her sweet face, dappled with inflamed, red bumps.)  Exiting the belly of said store, ravenous. Resigning to eating lunch out, even though money is feeling uncomfortably scarce. Climbing to the highest hill in Assisi, to a restaurant overlooking the Whole World, owned by two brothers who press Giordano’s olive oil. Everything in their restaurant is organic, and mostly grown and made by them. Even the flower in the hearty, country bread and pungent, buttery blue cheese.

 

I could write a whole story about lunch.  But I don’t feel like it. My body craves yoga.  And the moral of this story, is that in Italy, “going to get milk and cheese” is not a minimal, colorless endeavor.   It is a weighty, relational Happening, which requires half a day and fully awakened senses.

Let it be noted.

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