Saturday, February 28, 2009
This seemed to be the central thought of his trip. Escaping from the humdrum and perhaps confusion of a life without goals, he decided to play roulette and choose a travel destination for a one-week trip to clear his thoughts.
Portugal was the winner, planned on the spur of the moment, as trips to Portugal often seem to be. He enjoyed his first two days alone, until a French couple looked at him incredulously and remarked, "You're traveling alone?! No boyfriend, no girlfriend? Too bad!" Only then did he start to feel lonely.
Until he was walking along, recently off the train and consulting his thin paper map of Tomar, and a young woman waved and shouted from afar, "Hi! Do you speak English?" Her big smile took him off guard and he said, "Yes..." She turned out to bethe third woman he'd met while traveling who was working on her thesis. "Why do I meet all these intelligent women while traveling?" he asked her, with a touch of frustration and a smattering of irony.
"Because intelligent women tend to travel more, I think," she replied, somewhat coyly.
They spent the day walking and having good conversation, as he explained his current life dilemma. "I've worked for so manyyears, but still don't know what I want to do!" All he knows is he does not want to follow the monkeys. If everyone is going to see a monument or landmark, he does not want to follow them there.
His travel partner's only and best advice for the day was this: "Just because the monkeys are going somewhere doesn't mean that you should not."
Maybe a life lived avoiding the beaten path just for the sake of avoiding is just another way of not having to make your own decisions.
After finally achieving the goal of gifting her with a fresh delicious orange, partaking in new and delicious pastries, and carrying home one for the road, he hugged her at the train station. "Thank you so much," he murmured. He watched her run to her train, wondering what would have happened if his coin had landed with the other side up.
"As we awaken we realize, more than just intellectually, that what we do to another we do to ourselves; then behaving ethically is not so much a choice as a necessity, a sacred duty, a commitment. So long as we can sexually mess around with and manipulate others for our own ends (sex here being not much more than a matter of making ends meet), and frame the whole messed-up scene as not being messed-up, we are only fucking ourselves, regardless of the tantric robes in which we wrap the whole thing. It’s no accident that one of the many meanings of “fuck” is getting exploited.
"You cannot have sexual maturity without a corresponding emotional, moral, mental, psychological, and spiritual maturity. Those who are cognitively very developed, but whose hearts do not yet see, will not be sexually mature, tending to either be shut off sexually or to indulge in erotic fantasy (utilizing their minds to jack up their sexual excitation). Those who are spiritually and morally relatively advanced, but who are emotionally immature, will not be sexually mature, tending to dissociate during sex, or to burden it with tantric expectations. And so on.
"Sex does not need to be — and in fact cannot be — crystallized out from the rest of our experience (as those overly focused on the mechanics of sexuality often try to do, both in conventional and tantric contexts). Rather, it needs to be seen, felt, and lived in vitally embodied, openeyed resonance — and relationship — with everything we do and are, so that it is, as much as possible, not just an act of specialized function, nor an act bound to the chore of making us feel better or more secure, but rather an unfettered expression of already-present, already-loving, already-unstressed wholeness.
"If you don’t want to get fucked, you’re going to have to disturb your slumber, and rub the sleep out of your “I’s” — and this is more often than not down-in-the-trenches hard work, a true labor of love, asking much of us."
For more on the work of Robert Masters, visit his website: www.robertmasters.com
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
"What other European men don't realize," he explained, "is that women want to be courted. You must conquer a woman, in every way. You have to create a spark in her eye. A woman is sacred."
While I didn't agree with all of his reasoning, something about what he said struck a chord in me. In my previous relationships I admit we have gone very quickly to the sexual phase. After a very short exciting period of "does he like me?"and the adrenaline of not knowing, but hoping, sexual relationship seals the pact.
Nevertheless, these supposed pacts were very easily dissipated once things went wrong. Eventually I always realized I had made an incorrect decision, chosen poorly. At that point I realized I had never really attached to the person, and breaking the relationship was very easy. The message that I began to formulate and process with this new conversation was that my mistake has always been that I am conquered far too quickly and easily. I must slow down, must allow myself to attach to a person through good conversation, shared moments and memories, smiles and, yes, even that frustration and nervousness of unrequited hormones. Perhaps then both of us will be sure to choose wisely.
Maybe a woman should wait, should demand that her relationship with a new man build and grow until she has a spark in her eye that is not born solely of sexual attraction. Maybe this is not an issue only for "other European men," but for men and women around the modern world.
What would it feel like to be "courted"? Have American men lost that art? Did they ever master it?
by Nikki W
The other one, busy keeping an eye on her child, offered this question: "But do you think they liked their life? Were they happy? All the marriages were arranged. Can you imagine? There was no love."
"I want my children to have these experiences -- kissing, dating,etc. -- before they are 20," she said, and continued expressing frustrations: "Otherwise, they are at a disadvantage. They need to know what to expect, how to reclaim their rights so that they are not taken advantage of. It bothers me that the Church and sex-ed programs don't do that. These kids need to be smart and empowered about their choices, not live in fear while being all caught up in the hormonal rush."
The four of them sat at the small dining room table adorned with a perfect bowl of fake fruit, fresh walnuts still in their hulls, a bottle of Port and green wine. Conversations among them had taken many turns at this point and eventually ventured down two different paths.
The Italian looked up from his conversation with her over at the other side of the table where the astute Colombian and the little American were looking at an open and connected laptop.
He looked at his multi-lingual conversation partner and said to the table: "I can't believe we're talking about Italian history, and they're looking at Facebook!"
The Colombian looked up from the screen and replied dryly: "I can't talk about Mussolini with someone who's blog is called The Kissing Lessons."
Friday, February 20, 2009
"We should get one and carry it around with us. I'll take a picture of you with it, and we can post it on facebook and create some more fodder for gossip back on the other side of the pond. Keep those boys guessing," her friend winked.
"I like the way you think," she laughed.
She carried her rose around as they toured the city, and past the Darwin exhibition. They quickly learned that a woman with a rose drew much attention -- more attention than being with a blonde in this country.
"You know, a woman is percieved as being more attractive to men if many men think so. So if one girl turns some heads, other guys will notice other guys looking. It stems from the great sperm competition. And, I like to call this the Bachelorette Effect."
Upon learning of their bus companion's Italian-ness, the little portugirl turned and asked her: "So, tell me the truth: Are Italian men really the best lovers?"
The italian girl scrunched up her face, and shook her head with a laugh. "No. ... But they would like you to think that."
"Italians are great lovers, of course," he said as he looked up from the saucepan that the oil and the tomato sauce was marrying in. "And, the Spanish, too."
"Oh, she must have married a putz. All of the friends I've had that changed like that were with guys we warped their worldview so much that they changed and our relationship was not the same. It's amazing how one person -- even an undeserving guy -- can change a girl's outlook with his insecurities, and because of her insecurities in dealing with him."
"That took me a while to figure out," the little one said. "The other signs seemed so convoluted."
"Absolutely!" she replied. "He should have been more upfront with you, especially after you were so upfront with him with your feelings. I'm more mad at him right now at this point of the story for not being clear with his intentions. That's just selfish."
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
"Love is everything it's cracked up to be. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk everything, you risk even more."- Erica Jong
"When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness -- and call it love." - Robert Fulghum
Wrote Voltaire in a letter to his partner Marie Louise Denis:
"Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed."
Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an inner life."
"The person one loves never really exists but is a projection focused through the lens of the mind onto whatever screen it fits with least distortion." - Arthur C. Clarke
From the artist and poet Wolff Bowden #1: "You belong to love as wheels belong to roads, as grapes belong to the blossoming of taste, as corn belongs to crows, as shadows belong to the ache of heat, as happiness belongs to the capricious pangs of the soul."
From the artist and poet Wolff Bowden #2:"May the color blue behold your body while sun washes your shoulders near the window. May your lips refuse the kiss unless your heart is home. May euphoria find you in the place where you are lonely. May you light a billion candles with your mind."
"Greet one another with a holy kiss." Corinthians 1
Monday, February 9, 2009
Monday, February 2, 2009
Woman Unto Herself
The original meaning of "virgin" had nothing to do with sexuality. It meant, rather, a woman unto herself. A woman who is whole, complete unto herself, owned by no man.
Such a woman can be in any phase of life, young or old, married or not, mother or childless. She has smashed the distorting mirror of outer world "reality" and experiences life through the private rhythm of her being, a rhythm whose source is the Mystery that flows through all creation. This intuition is her heartbeat.
Woman Unto Herself is an expression of the inner world that cannot be grasped by the mind or ego. Once embraced, she nurtures our outer reality, giving extraordinary meaning and richness to life.
Regardless of the synchronicities, she couldn't help but wonder if this was the gut reaction -- a final clearing of sorts -- of the ignorance of those key visceral signals for all those years prior.
She woke up the day before at a more normal hour for a Sunday with only one clear thought in her head: 'I'm tired of boys getting in my way. And I'm really tired of boys who don't understand their inner work...'
She began her day early, despite interrupted sleep. She was alone, and living it. Most importantly, loving the space it gave her.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
"Did you say 'I'm just looking for the Big O?'" her friend asked.
"Well, the attention did feel like a little bit more than just customer service..."