Romance dawns in Graceland!

WftaOF

It’s four forty one am.  The refrigerator is singing a resounding rendition of the sacred syllable OM, and my nervous system feels like a potato chip.  (Not the thick, ridged, crinkle cut ones… the thin, irregular, bubbly ones that are translucent with grease.)  I am a refugee, mud-streaked, bleeding and disheveled, stealthily fighting my way back into the honey-dripping throes of Graceland.  I was stollen away and locked in a solitary tower, without my faithful laptop, or even a toilet paper roll, ink and a feather to write my Life into honest, lucid, artistic existence.

Actually, I fell in…. Love?  Lust?  Or have I risen into the aforementioned dynamic duo of L words?  I’d like to think I have risen.  But being so perpetually sleep deprived, unfortunately, it feels more like a fall to the gritty, indifferent ground.  Ohhhhh YES!!!… I am loving being dramatic right now.  But I felt a pang of sadness, talking about the ground that way…. because the ground is Mother Earth’s own sumptuous* body, and she is anything but indifferent.  Indifference is not in any healthy mother’s instinctual palate.

*I just looked up the word “sumptuous”, because I wasn’t certain of it’s precise meaning… and I was surprised to discover that it implies expensiveness!  “Expensive” is not how I would describe this marvelous place we are blessed to call hOMe for now… But I still like the word… Sumptuous.  The sound, the feeling of my mouth and breath forming the word– Feminine.  Round.  Sensual.  Mrs. Earth is definitely all that.

Are you still with me?  Or are you like, “Athena, stop masturbatorily pontificating, and TELL US who in God’s hella holy name you have risen/fallen into this wild and unruly state with!!!”

Yeah, you’re right.  Life is but a flash in the pan, and I really oughta roll up my sleeves and get to it!  But wait!!!  May I please share something frivolous with you first?!  When I wrote the word “oughta” just now, I had a flashback to my hella glamorous childhood… Back in the tragically dull, concrete-heavy, gridded neighborhood in San Leandro.  I must have been a budding pubescent, with a few dwindling, tenuous shreds of innocence still in tact.  My mom drove the fuck out of a silver Dodge Caravan minivan.  Stick shift.  (Actually, I learned to drive on this beast.  The clutch was a total bitch, and the car had a proclivity for lurching forward at the slightest mishandling…)  My Ma had a job delivering phone books!  All the fuck over the vast expanse of the East Bay.  I mean, seriously, sometimes she’d have to drive more than an hour, with said van weighted with phonebooks to get to her route du jour.  Rush Limbaugh was her abiding co-pilot.  Even though I didn’t share her smolderingly impassioned political views, I did find him mildly amusing… Actually, I am still impressed by his marked (though misplaced) intellectual capacity, which enabled him to throw his outrageously opinionated and substantial weight around in a compelling fashion.  Ahhh the good olde days!  Are you scratching your head right about now, and wondering how in the heck I fell into this tangential cul de sac of memory lane?  Well DUH!!  Because his book was entitled, “The Way Things OUGHTA Be”….. Grin.

Ok.  Get this– his name is Giordano, and he shot like an Italian comet, straight into my DRIVEWAY.  I oft wondered how I would ever find a lover while cloistered in the thick, wooded folds of a spiritual community who collectively strives toward sexual renunciation…. Improbable, right?  Well, I flew home from Costa Rica, and this beautiful man was… just here…. My landlord imported him from Italy to….”help him” .  When Ryan introduced me to his quiet Italian buddy, the man didn’t even make eye contact, so naturally, I inadvertently dismissed any possibility of… anything.

The next day, he was loitering in the driveway, as Serena and I were heading out on some mundane mission or another.  Giordano just watched us… the way a child watches.  With passive, unadulterated curiosity.  A couple days later, Ryan told me I should invite him to the River.  This caught me off guard.  “But he didn’t even make eye contact,” I replied.  “Is he capable of connecting?  Is he just shy??”  Ryan assured me he was “just shy”.  Hmmm….

Since it was the rapidly dwindling end of River Season, I didn’t have time to dick around.  I either invited him, or forever held my peace.  So the next morning, when I saw Giordano pacing the gravel driveway, I invited him.  He said yes.

God, why do I endeavor to write my life down on the page in thousand word installments???  It just doesn’t make sense…  I’d be better off writing enchanted, sprawling epic poems that unabashedly draped about Infinity.  But here I am again… aspiring to contain my existence in a meager thousand words.  I guess I dig the challenge.  Akin to how The Lord delights in smashing His archaic prayer onto a measly grain of rice.  Besides, I can always come back for round two.  And three and four and affinity….

Well, our first date was sweet.  His english was decent enough to sort of understand each other… and sparse enough for the experience to feel like the set-up of a cheesy romance novel!  I was struck by his sweet sensitivity.  And his innate proclivity to connect with Serena.  He seemed a little embarrassed when he stripped down to his black, cotton briefs, confessing that he didn’t have more appropriate swimwear.  We laid on a flat, smooth slab of granite and marinated in gentle, delicious, autumnally slanted morning sunlight.  I tried to speak slowly, and with simple, latin based words that might transcend the language barrier.

During the following week, I felt a soft, potent longing to see him… but we were both consumed by work and Life.  He did timidly hover around my front gate a few times… Each time I eagerly sucked him into my music and sunlight drenched lair.  It was comical… the way he loitered awkwardly as I cooked and tended to the masterfully flirtatious Serena.  Our mutual desire was obvious… yet neither of us sure what to do or say.  Is that like SO romance novel, or what?!  One time, as he was preparing to leave, I got super bold and asked, “Would you like a hug?”  I forgot to mention that he flies back to Italy on November 3rd… so we really don’t have time to dick around.  It’s a classic case of shit or get off the pot.  Anyway, naturally his answer was YES.  We moved into an embrace…. And…..

OhMyFuckingGod.  Talk about clothes-on-energy-sex….. Luminous, gushing rivers flowing between us, birthing entire new ecstatically persuaded galaxies.  Neither of us wanted to let go.  Just melt and bleed into differentiated unity and bliss.  Then he departed.

But he left trail of reverberating, energizing lust that fueled me for days.  Jesus. The next weekend, I invited him back to the River.  This time to a nude beach.  I was tickled that he opted to keep his underwear on, regardless!  Not Athena Grace.   Lordy, this story’s end is nowhere in sight… yet I must draw this entry to a close.  More to come.  Literally.  I’ll just say that we had a beauty-full time together that day amidst the sunlight, clear, rushing water, smooth stones and earthen, perfumed air.  Serena loved him from the get-go.  And he, Serena.  Which naturally gets me hot.  If this was not the case, I don’t even think I would bother.

What I am bursting to unpack next, beyond the linear sequence of our hella romantic unfolding… is the deeper cut.  Witnessing the cacophonous choir of selves within me… how they all seem to have disparate motivations and longings… and how I am navigating these deep and murky and compelling waters.  And what about Ed?  So much more to tell!!!

Talk to you soon.

Romance and Heartbreak on the Shores of Athena GraceLand

It’s raining, it’s pouring, Athena Grace has been ignoring her blog… And now she doesn’t know where in the spiral galaxy that dances her alive to start!  I have swum through so much since we last slow danced, cheek to cheek, you and me and this dreamy stream of alphabet.

I’ll start with the perfect pink slice of salmon sashimi melting in my mouth like oceanic butter.  Like the slowest sex in my mouth.  Many moments have I relived the beautiful piece of fish merging with my eager mouth in the dimly lit, upstairs section of the sushi restaurant in downtown Hanalei.  I prayed to be paid twenty dollars for a poem… (since right now, I am living “poem to poem”.)  I prayed to be taken out to dinner and well fed (fish).  I prayed for thoroughly satisfying, top-notch company.  I did not pray to merge with a man who had just broken up with his fiancé and come to Kauai alone, rather than honeymooning in Mexico… at least I didn’t THINK I did.  But I offered him a poem.  He accepted and spilled enough messy guts to feed an army of wild dogs who find figurative entrails to be a delicacy.

He handed me a twenty and asked me to dinner at the place of my choice.  Despite his current state of floundering in the center of a great mess, I felt his core of power and goodness and assessed him to be capable of the quality company that a deep sea diving mermaid such as myself requires.  What can I say?  It turns out that he is a fellow Capricorn and we climbed mountains together and dove deep with the aid of our fishy, sea goat tails.  He was no pussy when it came to eye contact, either.  Between unfurling, multidimensional personal mythologies, we found each other’s eyes and floated serenely on the ocean of light that lives within and without them.  I was taken by surprise when waves of sensuous, sumptuous turn-on washed over me as we joined in breath, in heart, in mind from across the high table strewn with utterly delicious fish and seaweed salad.  I hadn’t felt turned on by anyone since I’d been here and I was starting to worry that I never would again.

Athena Grace!  You’ve only been here three weeks, silly girl-woman!  I know, I know… but still I wondered where in God’s vast Ocean my turn-on had swum to.  And when my body flushed with frivolous, dancing lust, I surrendered to it like a bold gust of tropical wind, letting it sweep invisibly through me, awakening my senses, tickling its way through all of me, wanting nothing save the pure, immediate poetry of the experience.

Wow, it is really raining.  I am at the bakery, sitting at a table under highly functional umbrella, thank goodness.  At first, I imagined that the storm would pass in mere moments, as most of them do… but it’s not passing.  The entire sky is thick and silver, as though I am profoundly lost in the jolly infinitude of Santa Clause’s very own beard.  I wonder if I’ll have to park under this umbrella for the rest of my life.  I’ll be okay, because I have a cliff bar and the bag of sunflower seeds I just bought… plus all of the water I could possibly drink splashing gaily down from omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient Santa Clause.  Heck, I’ll just throw caution to the wolves and sharks and stay here under this umbrella until I reach enlightenment!  What better do I have to do?  Fall in lust with wounded, tumultuous Capricorn men?

Yeah, so we lingered and spoke of forgiveness and our respective life experiences, pausing to dance in one another’s eyes or splash in the inexplicable electricity born of chemistry.  He has been a spiritual seeker for many years.  A monk even.  He has a six year old son.  Like me, he has taken a very scenic route Home to the land of Honeyed Love.  Though, while my alma mater (and galactic institution of Higher education) is the School of Mostly Soft Knocks, I gathered that the knocks on his door of Realization have been a few shades harder.  Not excruciatingly hard, mind you… Just not pink, girlie, Shirley Temple, Care Bear knocks like I prefer.  More like He-man and Skeletor sparring violently in the midst of angry inferno nightmare knocks.

It was definitely past my bedtime when he finally dropped me off at home.  But how quickly I forgot that once we started making out!  Imagine that.  I hadn’t expected it.  And it wasn’t a make-out session designed to get anywhere, other than right there in the front seat of his borrowed, burly, burgundy Bronco.  Because of this, every touch was both whole and holy.  My body was electric, my body was oceanic, my body was late afternoon sunlight on laughing, wind-swept Hanalei Bay.  We let the waves break over us and reality was distilled to touch and breath and the nectar of drunken lust.  He told me he would love to make love with me, gazing in my eyes and luxuriating in the totality of our communion.  I agreed that that would be beautiful… AND (incase you haven’t noticed, “and” is the new “but”…) AND… I was not in a space to be impulsive like that.  But I was happy to luxuriate in the decadent idea.  If nothing more than for ecstatic shits and giggles…

We parted ways and I stumbled wet and wild into bed.  I barely slept, dreaming of sex and the cheap imitation of Divine Love.  By morning, I was convinced that it would be harmless and adventuresome to have an erotic fling with this wounded, profound man, whom I felt so completely seen and understood by.   Slowly, as the day crept by, I had built an entire world of fantasy and hope the precious commodity of human touch… intermittently flinching at how fast I had created attachment where there had once been nothing but delicious, sacred spaciousness.  I prayed to God to let go… but something in me preferred to hold on.

We met at Hanalei Bay in the early evening.  He informed me soberly that he had found his wits and was more interested in using his remaining five days on the island to heal than to binge.  Now naturally, this was the RIGHT choice, no matter WHO you ask… Naturally.  Yet that didn’t matter to my own fragile, white dove of a heart, which immediately shattered into a mess of sharp, splintered feathers and bled relentlessly.  I witnessed this with strange spaciousness.  Plus I was exhausted from the lack of sleep the previous night.  He made sure to clarify that he was not running away from me in any way, only toward his own strength.  Good boy.  Sigh…

I hitchhiked home with a sweet old man named Freidmann whose eyes were perpetual smiles.  Because of the perfume of gentleness and time-tended understanding that exuded from him, I let my heart quiver and spill, right there in the cab of his truck.  Yes I cried.  And his eyes kept right on smiling.  I crashed out by 8pm, sleeping for an unprecedented ten hours!

This man… whom I did NOT pray for… He was indeed a teacher and a gift.  He broke me open to a new level of awareness.  Awareness of my own need for space to grieve and heal.  Now I can see the value in remaining insular for a while.  A generous while.  Now is not the time to merge.  Now is the time to draw deeply into myself and make a strong fortress Here.  Even the most enlightened sex is cheap candy that I do NOT fancy right now.  That said, I had a wonderful time with him and if I had it all to do over again, I would play it just the same.  I give thanks for this small but filling slice of a romantic chapter in the sacred book of Athena Grace.

Amen.