Wednesday, July 21, 2010

. . . Plus Sunday Night at the Movie

Kieffer also had the idea to catch Sunday's late show at the theater instead of the evening show, which opened up a time slot we hadn't talked about before.   I figured it would work out okay with my children, so I said yes, I'd like to go.   We went ~~ the show was cool ~~ and we both feel like we had a great weekend together, not at all what it sounded like at first, which was nonexistent.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Easy Peasy Picnic

What an easy way to spend a hot, humid Saturday afternoon.   Kieffer grilled hot dogs and we ate a picnic of leftovers from his fridge out in his shaded rock garden.   Easy conversation, easy vibes.   We had figured on lunching together ~~ an hour, maybe two at most.

Things were going so well that after lunch we headed to the pond.   He swam while I swung in the hammock under the shade trees.   Then another conversation ~~ this one revealing some facets we hadn't talked about before.   And still easy and comfortable.

Mmmmmm, nice.   :)

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photo credit:   prefers to be unnamed at this time ~ ~ contact Jolene for permissions

His Hot Head, My Cold Feet

Truly, I am very happy that Kieffer cooled off and called back.   But I feel so strange ~~ strained is more the right word ~~ and instead of looking forward to seeing him on Sunday morning, I'm dragging my feet ~~ my suddenly cold feet.   Anxiety ... dread ... I finally settle on "apprehensive" to describe my feelings to Kieffer in an email.   I know if I don't, I'll end up being late and adding stress, or I'll cancel at the last minute, again causing regrets.   So I write ....

And he writes back.   Three times.   With lots of new ideas.   And I feel a LOT more cherished and NOT squeezed into a cramped little slot.   Whew!

Then all of a sudden, like some curse has been lifted, my weekend opens up.   A morning-and-afternoon session is rescheduled, a half-afternoon appointment is found to be non-existent (my record-keeping is haphazard), and I must say this feels like the goddess of fortune blessing our weekend with grace.

Around here they call it the support of nature, and it happens when you let go and let god.

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photo credit:   prefers to be unnamed at this time ~ ~ contact Jolene for permissions

He says, "Impatience got to me"

Kieffer calls me the next morning to say, "Sorry about last night.   I had a bunch of stuff to take care of after getting back and I got overheated and too impatient."

"Aw, that's too bad," I say as my brain grinds into gear.   "How are you feeling now?"

"Better! A lot better," he sounds relieved.   "I went for a swim in the pond last night.   It was so beautiful.   I would have called you last night after I cooled down, but I didn't know if you were still up."

"Oh, I'm a night owl," I laugh, remembering that I was up all night blogging about our phone call, but I don't mention that.   High on coffee and too hot to lie down, I felt fine sitting up doing something worthwhile.   Before journaling, I had seen only two layers of our interaction ~ the words and the heat just underneath them.   The heart's layer had been hidden until journaling jogged the memory of his heart's silent conversation with mine.

So because it had enough time to get its charge together, luck strikes again.   I have no resentment or irritation on my side about his earlier impatience.   I feel like Kieffer and his heart deserve a break, not an interrogation.

Kieffer explains his call, "Usually I feel uncomfortable about stuff like that, but I felt easy about calling you to apologize."

I'm happy to hear that!   "Thank you, Kieffer, I'm glad you called."

So we decide to meet Sunday morning, a possibility that had been overlooked in the heat of moment of the night before . . . .

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photo credit:   prefers to be unnamed at this time ~ ~ contact Jolene for permissions

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Busy, Busy

On the surface it's just a conflict of schedules ~ he's busy, I'm busy, and there isn't much free time in the next four days to get together.   Getting together on the phone happened after each had left a message for the other ~ less than an hour of delay in total.   Not so bad, I thought.   But haggling over schedules is starting to feel stressful.

"So maybe we'll get together next week sometime," he says, with a shade of impatience in his voice.   "Since you're so busy with your new classes, call me when you have some free time."

"Sure, I'll do that," I reply.

But I get the impression he doesn't want to wait for my call.   He pushes for faster resolution.    "You know, I'm busy every night of the week," he says, "but I make time for my priorities."

"Well, yeah, that makes sense," I return, "I do the same thing."

He explains, "I'm busy because there's nothing else to do.   It fills the time when I'm not dating anyone."



Now it's clear.   The impatience isn't about scheduling.    It's about expectations for two people who are dating.

We're dating?   *I* hadn't seen the memo.   Oh, wait a minute ~ he did say (I had thought it was a joke) that "our first official date" was a family movie night with my children.   Hmm.   I was explicit about NOT dating, pointing out that, besides the fact that I DON'T DATE FOR COURTSHIP, some of his up-front minimal requirements excluded dating me.   Sure we spent some pleasant time together ~ mostly with other people, once on our own, and we had two late night conversations about our worldviews.   Oh, and the last time we saw each other we shared a most amazing hug.   His heart told mine of his passionate nature and of his alarm about opening to vulnerability again.

Then he left for a week.   Now he's back in town calling to arrange a get-together.

Not just a hey-great-to-see-you-again-let's-find-more-time kind of a get-together, which could be tucked into any of several points of almost any day.   Nope.   It has to be an entire evening or a whole afternoon, something significant.   Signifying, probably, some kind of commitment so he can justify opening his heart and his passion to me.

So it's a lucky thing that our schedules are so conflicted ~ lucky that he doesn't want to give up any of his nothing-else-to-do activities ~ lucky that he expects me to give up my enjoyable-new-stuff activities because he liked it better when I didn't have as much to do and scheduling was easier for him.

I say it's lucky because I have no desire to cast away my pursuits ~ my energy is limited and by the time I actually decide to pursue an interest, it's because I'm really turned on about it during that time slot.   I still have plenty of free time in my days, but my free times don't match up with his free times.   In four-hour blocks.   During the coming four to seven days.  


And it's lucky because he really is not ready to open his heart and his passion to me.   Part of him hopes he's ready, but part of him knows he's not.

"So maybe we can try in the fall after your classes wind down," he says, now with an edge to his voice.

"Um, yeah, looks that way," I say, glad, like the Roadrunner, that the warning signs of impending doom were so easy to see.

No need to dig any deeper here ~ less said is less regretted.

With a wish goodnight, we ended our call.

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photo credit: Love Noose created by icrush

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cherries For Me

This is another little piece of evidence that in a past life, I was an artist of sensuality in Japan.

Although I eat more apples than any other fruit, I have always preferred cherries, whether blossom, fruit, or wood.   During hours of searching to find the right photo to illustrate "My Apple Orchard Goddess", that preference became obvious.   My favorite illustration shows a cherry orchard in Japan.   Panning up and down gives me the feeling of being in the orchard, peeking from behind a branch of blossoms, trying to spy the goddess in the mist among the trees.

My literary inspiration specifies apples and Western symbols, but my inner landscape specifies cherries and Japan.   So far this lifetime has been spent in midwestern America, where I befriended an old apple tree in my childhood backyard.   When I moved on to other places, they just didn't feel like home until an apple tree was rooted in the ground.

My mind's eye sees the Apple Orchard Goddess playing hide and seek in the warm, wet, early summer drizzle among fuzzy new green leaves and pretty five-petal blossoms, and later, a round, firm fruit to fill your hand.   Comfortable, familiar images give the Apple Orchard Goddess the playfulness of the goddess-next-door ~ someone to laugh and giggle with, to push on a rope swing, to chase to the pond and splash and tease.

But cherry blossoms in Japan give a different sense ~ more refined, subtle, exotic.

You hold a cherry between your thumb and finger, like a gem.   Cherries are softer, sweeter, and juicier than apples.   In North America, cherry trees are rarer and more tender than apple trees, but cherries love the climate of Japan.   Cherry juice is red as blood.   There are more symbols ... but maybe that says enough about cherry blossoms illustrating my apple orchard.

Born and bred in the midwest, I might seem as wholesome and familiar as a sweet, crisp apple.   But as the everlasting native of my earthly temple, I'm like nothing you've ever known ~~ at least, that's what everyone says who gets to know me beyond hello.

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space for potential illustration (permission pending) ~ see it now
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Original source of apple orchard illustration by Emily Grandin

Friday, July 09, 2010

Goddess of the Forest

As the goddess dances among shadows and trees, you see a flutter, you hear a whisper, but was it she?   Or the leaves?   Or the sigh of the wind?

The mystery lures you one step and another, and as you reach out to touch, it floats away, evaporating in a mist.

She flirts like Aphrodite, she shines like Venus, she laughs like a lover and plays like child.   Running the river and riding the wind, the goddess draws you nearer the One.   When you become one to run with the River and flow with the Wind, when you learn to laugh and play and dance, then you wonder why you ever thought she was heartless and mocking.   The goddess was calling your yearning soul, singing songs of ages to draw you toward primordial grace, because the darkness of the depth would not have drawn you without her charms to delight your way.

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Image credit: "Track near Breakfast Point Lookout" posted by Joan Elizabeth (edited by me)

My Apple Orchard Goddess

The goddess is in the garden now.   She is dancing in the rain, singing songs of the ages, peeking out from behind the bud-filled branches as if to remind you that the fruit of knowledge is growing just beyond your reach.

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Excerpt tweaked from Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code", page 550.

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photo of a cherry orchard in Japan by Emily Grandin (c) 2009 ~ originally published here on her blog

see the larger-than-screen full size to get more immersed in the scene ~ ~ ~ panning up and down gives me the feeling of looking for the goddess behind the blossoms among the trees

Why cherries instead of apples?

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Our Highest Calling

I found this proverb floating around the web.   The original wording was attributed to the Cherokee nation and then I changed it just a bit.   These words resonate with me ~ ~ ~

A woman's highest calling
is to lead a man to his soul,
so as to unite him with Source;
her lowest calling is to seduce,
to separate man from soul,
to leave him aimlessly wandering.

A man's highest calling
is to protect woman,
so she is free to walk the earth unharmed.
His lowest calling is to ambush,
to block her path,
to force her way to his.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Bubble Up Kisses

"Your kisses aren't what they used to be," he told me.

I had been slipping aside or pulling away, reluctant to engage a full-on kiss, and he wanted to know what was going on.

"I like to give you kisses," I said.   There were other people around ~ we were going to get interrupted ~ and I didn't know exactly what words would carry my meaning ....

The next time we met, we had a few moments alone.

"You still don't want to kiss?" he asked as we stood cheek to cheek.

"I like our kisses," I said, "but I don't like them taken for granted."

"That's why I waited this time."

"I noticed."

With his arms around me, we were nose to nose, and I breathed his essence, felt his ease with the moment and his delight to be sharing it with me ~ o sweetness!   His delight sparks my delight and fires up a mutual delight spiral.   I felt the energy between us mingle, and my lips tilted into his.   Swirling, breath-taking, this was like our first kiss, with fireworks popping off and making me dizzy.

He was turned on, too.

I call them bubble up kisses, because they bubble up to the top when they are ready, like bubbles from the bottom of a pot of water warming on the stove.   If you stir the pot when the bubbles on the bottom are tiny, you get tiny little pops at the top.   But if you wait and let the heat build, let it take the time it needs, the bubbles on the bottom get bigger and bigger until their buoyancy makes them bubble up by themselves.

Or you could say they ripen.   After you pick the first ripe mulberries of the season, you have to wait for the next ones.   Impatience gets you pale, sour mulberries that aren't what they used to be.   But if you wait, they become dark and sweet and soft and juicy ~ they melt in your mouth and you feel the buzz of the sun soak into your tongue.   Birds aren't the only ones who get drunk on really ripe berries.

If you try to pick a mulberry that isn't ready yet, you need to pull it ~ it resists ~ but a fully ripe mulberry drops into your hand with just a touch, a suggestion.

And if you try to take a kiss that isn't ready, you need to hunt it and chase it and pull it from her lips ~ but a fully ripe kiss drops right into your mouth like it was always meant to be there.

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Image credit: Bubbles wallpaper 4787