“I’ve enjoyed watching your relationship with you and your husband…”
“Haha he’s not my husband…”
“Oh, sorry, your partner…”
“Well, not really that, either, we’re sort of something else, a new experiment of sorts in sovereign relating…”
This morning I am feeling deeply.
The deepest of love.
A desire to share the sacrament of what it’s like, this full-spectrum friendship.
And the weekend we just spent together seems the perfect story to paint the picture with.
It goes something like this: A 3 hour drive where we were both prepared to listen to some music or audiobooks together but instead the time whizzed by with talking and laughing. Sharing pieces of our lives, exploring our journeys through consciousness, tidbits from favorite authors and modalities dropping in to add flavor, and lots of laughter at ourselves, our patterns, and the weirdness of life in general. Drinking deeply of each other’s uniqueness with special endearment to the dorky and quirky parts. And freely plunging our hands into each other’s
Various synchronicities began making themselves known in delightful ways: “Did you bring a water bottle?” “Awe, shit, I forgot it!” “Haha, I had a feeling to bring an extra for you.” “Damn I forgot my pipe, maybe we can stop at a smoke shop.” We’re a ways off the interstate on a lonely highway taking us into remote mountain desert. “Let’s turn back into town and find one, we’ve got time to spare.” “Nah, it doesn’t feel like going the right way to turn around.” Minutes later, he’s laughing as we approach the last building we will see for the next hour A smoke shop, of course!
We arrive at the retreat center, a beautiful ranch with a small lake surrounded by cabins, wondering which one we will be staying in for the next 2 days. We call our band mate for instructions. “Just keep driving until you see the turnoff to the campground and choose whatever spot you want!” A brief moment of shock as we realized that we didn’t get the CAMPING memo, followed by laughter and creative juices flowing as we find the perfect camping spot and experiment with sleeping in the back of my prius. Giggling at his willingess to climb in and lie down to try it out, assuring me he’ll be okay if he just tucks his feet in a bit. He shares relief at my joyful flexibility and stories of how it hasn’t been so easy in the past.
We unpack, discovering that that day’s meals are not provided in the retreat, but our friend rounded up some camping stuff that will be arriving later. Lovely! And a little disappointed I don’t get to try camping in my prius. Haha! We’re the only ones at the campground so we hike around a little and find a shady place near the flagpole at the amphitheater to lie down and rest. And kiss. And let our energy get big together. Such a unique celebration, everytime. This time the surprise was Gaia joining in as we laid back and let her energy join the celebration, pouring through our hearts. I had the loveliest download while this was happening and tried to express it with words, unsuccessfully. All that came out was roaring laughter at the exquisite flow of energy pouring through me and the ridiculousness of trying to make words for it.
The retreat starts, we learn and breathe and sing and drum and cold plunge and meditate with tobacco, all the while sharing insights and triggers and things we would improve. We get hungry and start pulling out the odds and ends we brought as snacks to make a meal: Various nuts, protein bars, a jar of olives, yogurt, berries, cottage cheese, A bag of strangely seasoned corn chips and some quasi-firm celery, peanut butter, apples, a block of swiss cheese with bite marks cause last time I didn’t have a knife. For the next 48 hours we come again and again to our hatchback charcuterie and enjoy the different combinations and synchronicities that show up in our makeshift meals.
Just like our makeshift relationship: new things always showing up because neither of us is holding on to the other person being a certain thing for us. Celebrating each other’s growth and allowing the newness to emerge and be born over and over.
Sometimes our cocreation looks like seaweed chips that are a year expired, but don’t taste too bad (a healing session where we hold space for each others’ old stuff),
apples broken in half by his strong hands, peanut butter spread not-so-tidily with the one knife we just keep licking and using again (wild sessions of lovemaking with no spoken rules yet absolute trust in whatever delicious messiness comes through),
cutting the sweetness of black licorice and kombucha with some kalamata olives and swiss cheese (sharing a moment of fear when the most benign of touches on my hand triggers an old story and I just need to say it scared me and I am free to quickly return to my own safety and gratitude that my expression did not lead us into drama),
Finding the joyful mixture of real grape juice poured into fizzy water and preparing a cup for each other at different times (The lead and follow, follow and lead we experienced in our musical performances and the harmony and bliss of that cocreation).
Our individual commitment to fullness and openness meant we each brought a few things we knew would sustain ourselves and got the delightful privilege of combining our fullness and allowing it to make new creation after new creation, each a delicious surprise that demanded expansion to make room for the ever growing love being revealed to our consciousness..
Turns out an experience we could have easily storied into not being prepared, not having what we needed, scarcity, suffering, a good weekend ruined, drama about who was to blame was instead surrendered to love and possibility and creation. And it feels like a richness was achieved there that the perfectly planned outdoor cuisine with all the tools and fixins would struggle to match.
Minutes into the ride home I rest my hand on his leg and he enfolds it with simple tenderness, the silence broken moments later by my query on his thoughts. He shares a connection to a similar memory with a previous partner and we talk about the challenges of relationship grief. He invites me to experience an audio course he’s taking and we stop throughout to pick each other’s brains which magically deepens our understanding of ourselves. Each of us joyfully satisfied with life while also inexhaustibly curious and excited to explore more and better.
I drop him off at his car, we unload, laughing and chatting our last remarks for our earth-shattering insights on money and abundance and hold each other for an eternal moment before turning to other parts of our lives with work and kids and partners and friends.
I sit in my prius for a moment, alone, noticing a sensation rise from my depths. My mind tries to make it longing, attachment, loneliness. Activating old patterns of fear and drama right there, missing him, feeling sadness.
I see you, silly mind! I quickly recognize this instead as SADisfaction. A lovely grieving as I transition from one moment of bliss to the next. And I am instantly full, heart bursting with Shakti as I ritualize this transition and prepare myself to be greeted by the cheerful faces of the ones waiting at home.
In the end, the home-popped popcorn and keto bars were his. I ate them, but that did not make them or him mine. And the water bottle and yogurt were mine. He ate them, but that did not make them or me his.
And so we carry on in love and freedom, fully accepting and celebrating that next time we create a hatchback charcuterie, each of us will have something entirely new to bring to the cuisine.
From the other perspective:
By: Stevan Barfuss I think the gods only half Listen to prayers, and pray-ers, And leave the rest to mystery And to the wide open Becoming. You could not be divine, And get these full messages Yet allow for the beautiful Madness and ecstatic Celebration of the Ordinary, otherwise. The gods are not crazy Or even lazy, but they Leave these messages half Read, and half ready. The rest is up to our Own burgeoning divinity. So we blunder into belonging, Swerve into sovereignty And move careless onto the Chessboard of Yogic Union, Plans, see, are not the way To work the wonders and get At the gifts of gods they Long to shower down. Show up empty handed And bread will fall from the sky, Water from rocks Fishes and loaves will Multiply. Solomon in All his glory, was not arrayed like One who is ready to celebrate Whatever wonder will appear. We simply arrived, without A good plan or understanding But with such good will And such open hearts That everything was there For us. Worship and laughter Are the same, if it comes From the place where life energy Begets love. You simply smile and I simply hum in contentment At this feast– This not needing Any kind of answer– Simply letting the best Of us emerge Like the random Bliss and Harmony Of Hatchback Charcuterie