I will be completely, embarrassingly honest:
I frame my entire day different in my mind because tonight I am going to BigCity, NC for meditation. Keller will be back from vacation and in attendance, no doubt. I wear my silk tank top under my shirt, for myself more than anything else, but there is the added benefit that at just the right angle, some of the lace is visible around the collar of my over-shirt.
With gas prices still up at $2.68 per gallon (what’s it like where you are?), that’s $11 in gas just to get to the city and back so I resolve to make the best of it. I work diligently at the public library for three hours, researching publications and interview notes for what could be the most important query letter of my career. I don’t start the letter, but I can feel it steeping like gingerroot tea and by tomorrow afternoon it will pour out as if it were always fully brewed. This is the kind of writing that takes a lot of time before anything actually gets down on the page, but in the end it is worth it.
By the time sitting rolls around I have eaten dinner that I packed from home and run a few small errands. The gong rings to start the meditation and there is no sign of Keller. I notice myself in all of this – the disappointment, the confusion, the ups and downs, everything. While I have been experiencing more and more I’m-happy-I’m-single moments, I still experience plenty of But-I-wanna and Why-can’t-he-just moments as well. Sitting in the shrine room, my mind is a wild horse and I am the spectator watching from behind the fence. For the most part, this is a safe place to be, but sometimes I lean a little too far into the ring and get burned.
Thirty minutes into the session we begin walking meditation and I exit the shrine room to get my fleece vest out of the closet. If he’s not even showing up, I think to myself, there’s no point in the shirt, the tank top, the whole damn thing. I put the baggy vest on and turn around to head back into the shrine room. Just then, Keller walks through the front door wearing his rusty-orange fleece (as usual) and a soft smile. We stand face to face, then quickly hug and I return to meditation.
The profound difference between my meditation before he arrived and after he arrived is undeniable. I watch all of this and try not to scold or praise myself. It just is – yes, my mind is all over the place, yes this is what human beings do, yes my heart is beating fast, yes I was totally dependant on his arrival for my temporary enjoyment of the evening. I have to accept all of this and look at it for what it is. It is hard not to feel the fool who has orchestrated her own mini-disaster; self-sabotage.
Before I head home (for $5.50), Keller and I sit in the two front bucket seats of his VW Vanagon and catch up. He tells me about his vacation. I tell him about the Our State acceptance (now firmed up, by the way!) and the ultra query letter I have to write. We make plans for a concert in a few weeks. It is agreed that we will both be at meditation Friday and Sunday as well, for the special weekend program.
Admittedly, there is nothing particularly special about the encounter. Keller is sick and overtired from travel, having just gotten back a few days ago and been swamped at work. In the course of forty-five minutes he rolls down the window three time to huck a loogie out into the street. I am tired from the full moon (always interrupts my sleep – I must be half warewolf) and the schedule change of this week. The scales are tipped but then slightly re-balanced by the opening of the car door, the hug goodbye, the apology for being antisocial, and the promise for the concert (which he writes down in his calendar, I notice).
I walk away wondering what is that I want anyway? There is physical attraction in the instant, no doubt. But why is it that I am so eternally wanting? And what do I make of the moments when I say I’m glad to be alone? Where is the balance? Oh I long for non-attachment. The irony is at once pathetic and so utterly real I can hardly stand it.