Tag Archives: bunny

Do You Want Sprinkles With That?

27 Sep

skylightGiven the opportunity to speak, yesterday, after many years of ill translation, deaf ears, and plenty of dampening, my heart had two things to say. The first was an inquiry that appeared sweetly beneath heaving chest: “Why don’t you give me things?” And through my head, of all things, ran images of the corner deli near my apartment, and a pint of my favorite ice cream, which I absolute forbid myself to buy on any occasion. Somewhere along the line, after a lifetime of wistful sensitivity around seeing people eating ice cream alone (an affliction I share with my brother, and probably 35 percent of the people to whom I try to explain this sensation), I determined that purchasing and eating ice cream alone is absolutely the most abominable of all possible manifestations of self-pity.

But do you know what it is? It’s self-care. Yadda, yadda moderation, etc. But let me explain. Yesterday, I saw the look of supreme pleasure and engagement on the face of a father as he watched his daughter eat her cute, little after-school snack on a table outside a grocer on Classon Avenue. In the split second of my glance while I passed, I sensed how enamored he was of her, and how much he thrilled in her every joy. She was telling him a story, and mostly oblivious to how he was doting on her, the way kids are (except they aren’t, they really are absorbing this sensation, and its absence would be keenly felt), and he had this placid smile on his face while she divided her attention between her snack and her narrative. He was, and is, so in love with her. And hopefully she will be able to carry the safety and comfort of that feeling with her throughout her life.

In that split second of recognition, I remembered how it felt to sit with my mother and brother when we had something to eat after school or one of the countless extra-curricular activities which she selflessly researched and shuttled us to and from. She would actually, completely, and utterly fawn over us while we ate. And I didn’t remember how that felt until I saw that man doting on his daughter yesterday.

In the last few years of my mother’s life, I had grown to resent her, experiencing her love as that of a greedy and demanding soul who was never sated. But now that she is gone, and now I have put myself through the paces of helplessly feeling deeply for people who are unavailable to me, and more so, now that I am past the age she was when she left my father and took my brother and I somewhere safe, I suddenly see parents everywhere much differently. The way they look at their children is positively, absolutely, gorgeous. When no one is looking, and it’s just another average moment, their eyes are filled with pure love.

So my heart, given the opportunity to speak during my craniosacral massage session (hope for chronic headache cure #2,728), kinda said, “Hey, remember how when you used to ask for things, need things, and there was that nice lady who brought them to you, no questions asked? Can you do a little bit of that for yourself?”

Gotcha, heart. For sure. Let’s grocery shop for the actual human inside me instead of the checklist, and hey, when you want to stay cozy under a blanket and watch a movie, I’m not going to yell at you to do the dishes, practice piano, or work on your resume. How about you lie on the sofa and I’ll take care of you like your mom used to, and I’ll give you some huge amount of sympathy for how awful it must feel to have lost that this summer. No one ever tells you that grief is physical. No one ever tells you.

Anyway, so that request delivered, and my heart wary of how much time I’d give it to speak, it blurted out, “I miss people.” I immediately dismissed it. Yeah, yeah, you miss people. Come on, you’re never alone! You’re never alone. You have a million friends and you life in New York City, where the guy at the deli will banter with you in a fix.

But then my craniosacral massage therapist genius practitioner (seriously, people, I will have to link to her page, because she saves lives) provided some translation. “So your heart wants some intimacy.”

Ohhhhhhh, yeah, that. That that. And my mind flipped through a series of index cards pertaining to this matter:
• You’ve been dating emotionally unavailable men ever since your mom was diagnosed four years ago
• Your soulmate in Salt Lake City reminded you recently that you formed an intimate relationship (however complex it was) with your mother while you were living in Texas for her final year, and now that intimate relationship is gone
• Last week, your craniosacral massage genius pointed out that your heart has been protected throughout this long and painful process, and it will open very gradually if you take care of it and let it know it’s safe (I actually told her that I picture my heart surround by orange safety cones that form a safe perimeter around it)

No wonder my head hurts. All the time.

My heart is more broken than it has ever been, or will ever be. I have lost the person who brought me into this world, and who prized my every movement and thought within it. While I doubted the quality of her affection, and told myself she didn’t understand me at all, it never mattered. It doesn’t matter. She had a picture of me that was so beautiful, and her feelings for me were founded in something I will only ever see in the countenance of other parents.

When I practice heart meditation, I always see a very pure white light, and when I first experienced that years ago, I started weeping, because Soul Mate in SLC once told me that my heart emanates a brilliant white light of goodness, and he reminds me of this fact constantly. Yesterday, with the aid of my craniosacral guide, I finally saw that brilliant white light again, and that’s how this whole conversation with my heart began. She had just said, “Okay, little heart, you have center stage, what do you want to say?” And then when I saw the light, she said, “Oh, not such a little heart. Big heart.”

That’s me. That’s me. I have a huge, huge heart and I constantly crunch it down and give myself headaches when I sense that it’s knocking someone over with the power of its enthusiasm. So, dear heart, I will buy you ice cream, and I will give you intimacy with the people who are capable of sharing that with me now, but maybe the dearest form of intimacy will take a while to find, because ohhhhh my heart needs some healing from the loss of the source of constant affection in my life. But, like CranioGenius said, “If people are afraid of your huge heart, it says something about their own approach to life. The right man will not be afraid of your huge heart.”

There’s Gold in My Heart

15 Jun

signLike most humans in the Western hemisphere, I have a love for Ryan Gosling as vast as the sea of stars which envelopes our planet. As I explained to my car service driver last night, we love Ryan not only for his perfectly toned physique, but also the tiny hint of vulnerability in his countenance. We want to investigate his complexity and be the first person who ever truly understood and comforted him. We want to be the one individual upon whom he can rely for total comfort.

Ah, the eternal paradox. We want a man, strong and able to lift things and use power tools. But we also want him to whimper and confess his inner feelings so we can smooth his hair and make cooing noises into his ear. And particularly for we overly independent girls, we wish that Ryan Gosling was like us, putting up a brave front to the world, always appearing ever capable, but secretly crumpling into a ball and sleeping with a cuddly plush bunny at night.

Well, maybe the strong-yet-sensitive male will remain elusive as ever. But Ryan is singing to me now via the excellent album Dead Man’s Bones, and he is telling me to embrace my own vulnerability if I ever want to find love. Maybe I can’t make a man inhabit his softness, and maybe I can’t poke and prod him until he is willing to reveal his inner need for understanding, but I sure as hell can recognize my own craving for comfort and move it closer to the surface so someone might actually see it when they meet me. And then deem me needy, and never speak to me again… oh wait. That’s just my recurring real-life nightmare.

Laying here on my sofa, recuperating after a week-long business trip where legions of men fawned over me for personal and professional gain (ah, how lovely it is to be a magazine editor, a position which attracts real admiration mixed with manipulative and greedy worship)… pause for breath… laying here on my sofa, shades drawn, “Werewolf Heart” on repeat-one, iced americano close at hand, I try to feel my heart. I know it’s there, and that my feelings are quite close to the surface, because when some nitwit piece-of-shit director of marketing asked me how my mother was doing the other night at dinner, I began to sob uncontrollably… but still I can’t feel so much of a tremor of my life force thudding beneath my sternum. I’m stuffed with cotton.

Ryan sings:
“There’s gold in my heart
But the winds took my sails in the dark
And if you wait too long,
then you’ll never see the dawn again.”

What if I deleted every single one of the men presently orbiting around me in a holding pattern. What if I just snipped the strings and released every disconnected member of my heart’s coterie and cleared the air space for the approach of just one who might initiate descent and land here next to me. It’s possible he’s circling around, awaiting entrance anyway. But I’ve been playing Ryan Gosling too long, too strong, too resistant, too afraid to reveal my interest for fear he’ll bat it away. Or at the other end of the spectrum, I’ve been manipulating and controlling it too hard. Tugging on all those strings, trying to cultivate interest.

Another paradox: Some men tell me that they need clear instructions on how I feel. Don’t be subtle, be clear about your interest. But if I express interest through continued contact, then I’m just pulling strings and not letting men naturally find their way back to me.

Oh! The solution may lie in something my Writer Hero told me this morning. I am too subtle with my string pulling. I need to not just throw out a witticism here, a book recommendation there. I need to say, “I want to see you soon. I like you.”

But I did that with the Unaloof Percussionist and he withered at the prospect of a life with me.

There is clearly no answer. I will just stay on the sofa and let Ryan wash all my worries away. He who is brave enough to navigate the complex paths to my heart can show up any time now.

☽ Of Wildest Heart

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