71. When Were You Last In Love?

BLOG 71: (present reflections tied to July 2000 journal entries about my healing and novel-writing journey)—“When’s the last time you were in love?” an Argentinean man asked me at a party I attended about three months ago after returning from his country. “Yesterday,” I said, half in jest.

Far from satisfied with my response, this man who, shortly afterwards, would become my new love, asked again.

“You mean, when was the last time I was in a relationship?” I inquired.

“No,” he said. “I really mean . . . when were you last in love?”

I never answered him that night, and when I think about it now, it was for two reasons. First of all, I wasn’t ready to divulge my life’s love story to a complete stranger. More importantly, though, there was a kernel of truth in my answer. Had I not been in love with friends, with this sacred journey of life of the past years, especially since publishing my novel, and sharing my passion with others?

Hadn’t I also experienced this place of “in-loveness” on and off throughout my life, and especially as I really began healing from my hip pain at the New England farmhouse during the summer of 2000?

Back then, I had worked so hard to let go of immense pain, so many unconscious layers of emotional and spiritual weight, that, when I was able to surrender to spirit, to an essence that connected me to the larger life around me, something amazing occurred. I fell in love—in love with life’s aliveness inside and out.   

418c1d9322c7fba52aff69e81ee6e681“I feel last night was the beginning of surrendering to a feminine energy within me that had no fear,” I wrote in my journal in July of 2000. “I began letting the universe take it from here.”

In surrendering, in letting go of knowing where I was going or where I had been, and finally  trusting a force within me and greater than me, I was able to fall in love. “I felt a smile and wholeness within all of me, like being in love,” I wrote back then. “I felt a real grounded, solid fullness that replenished itself.”

That feeling of in-loveness followed me for days. I could feel the earth moving up my legs, sensed how she fed me, and helped me center and expand far beyond the limited places I had lived. During those days, I found myself looking up at the sky a lot, at the billowing clouds, breathing an immense love deep into my heart. The flame within me also reached out, fed the world around me, as I received the holy of life.

During one of those mornings, I heeded a call to go to the ocean. There, I lay in the sun and sand, listening to the waters expand their waves toward me. “It felt so sensual. Everything filled my heart, my solar plexus, with love,” I wrote in my journal. “And when I went into the ocean, it was ama2b6d6e6a01abe2aaf6d4f1f233de3ac6.jpgzing. I was in love with the water as I swam freely, floating and watching the big sky. The people on the beach were also so magical, especially the older couples watching the children from their chairs. Everything connected me to a feeling of love, of light, of fullness and fluidity with life.”

As I look back at this time in 2000, when I had worked so hard to feel life again, to be in love as I had once been as a child (as we all are at some point), I can say that that time may have been my first adult encounter, at age 31, with really being in love. Sure, I had experienced in-loveness before that, but this was at a much deeper level.

As I reflect on the past, I think, maybe then, three months ago, when I met my Argentinean man, it was honest for me to have answered “yesterday” about when I had last been in love. And maybe it’s also accurate to say that, if asked the same question again, I would give the same answer today.

After all, after more than three months of being in relationship, I can honestly say that the love and in-loveness I’ve felt has only grown. And what I’ve learned from that summer many moons ago, and from my most recent relationship, is this: love will ONLY grow if we can let go of layers of fear, of false selves we have become, and surrender to spirit, to life offering her gifts in magnificent ways.

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is about awakening this love within. It’s available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. It can be ordered at a local bookstore as well. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

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62. Unchartered Pilgrimage of the Heart

BLOG 62: June, 2000—I arrived with my friends Carl and Molly at the colonial farmhouse that would be my summer home—my three months with God, the earth, and my broken body and spirit. The old, dark brown house stood only inches away from the cracked, New England road that epitomized what I loved about this part of the country. And on either side of the house were open fields, high wheat grasses on one end, and a large lawn and soon-to-be-tilled garden on the other.

Jean, the owner of this summer house, appeared by the driveway to greet us. Almost 80 years old with formal blazer, short grey hair, and cigarette in hand, she reminded me of the great novelist and friend of Pablo Picasso, Gertrude Stein. Only thing was that Jean, a poet herself and one of the first women to establish a publishing house for women poets, carried an unusual combination of Boston formality and an unusual earthy “I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about me” look.

My eyes were drawn to her cigarette as she led my friends and I into the old farmhouse that seemed rather dark despite two floors of rooms with ample windows. Who was this woman I would live with and help out during my summer of healing? I asked myself.

jeanp
Jean Pedrick (A photo I took long ago. Beauty!) 

After all, we had never met—only spoke by phone before her son and I met in New York City to scope each other out and make sure his mother and I would be a good fit. I had never thought about there being cigarette smoke wafting up along dark walls filled with ghost-like photographs of times gone by until it reached the room I’d live in or the ancient bed made of actual horse hair I’d sleep on!

I remember looking out the window, toward the road it faced, where my friends drove away after helping me unpack the few items I had. It felt as if my parents had just dropped me off at camp (not that I had experienced this before in my life!) and I was alone in a dark house with a stranger who smoked and seemed rather aloof as Bostonians could be.

I feared I had made a mistake in trusting divine grace to bring me here, yet I eventually fell asleep to the sweet sound of cicadas surrounding the house and trees. mondaysatskimilk3-940x467.jpgThe weeks to follow were the beginning of magic, though, of discovering what’s possible when we show up with clear prayer and intention, and leave the rest up to God. Jean, who died several years later, would become one of numerous angels offering me retreat from the chains of pain I had carried for far too long.

Since those days with Jean and her family, I’ve learned that the grace of God shows her face when we finally surrender and hand over the reins of our limited longing—and when we’re truly ready to receive the gift that awaits us. The form it comes in can be deceiving—as Jean did with cigarette in hand and serious disposition—but it comes, ready to give of itself to the unchartered pilgrimage of our soul.

20170720_191044About a month ago from today, after arriving back to New Mexico from Buenos Aires and our family’s honoring of my recently-deceased father’s life, I met another angel of sorts in man’s clothing. I met an Argentinean man who appeared to me without cigarette in hand :), but with an embracing heart, passion, and laughter. Together we exchanged mystical love poems; shared—with my father’s spirit, it seemed—Argentinean songs he and I both loved; held communion on a moon-filled mesa that whispered of the infinite until early morning; and danced and laughed inside the light-filled rhythm of our newly-discovered bubble.

It’s not every day that life’s holy orchestra offers a song like this one. But it did. It came quickly, weaving these otherworldly energies with mundane realities that soon introduced their challenges to this budding relationship. It forced me to ask myself how to navigate this place where the divine and physical intersect…where tension and beauty lie and give us choice on how to proceed?

This past week, during which time I wrote less, and struggled with overwhelm and 20170720_190824poor health, I battled this reality of receiving divine grace within the limitations of this earth journey. And while I tried to contemplate, analyze, feel, reflect, and be with the tension that built knots inside my heart and that of this relationship (quite a different energy from the heart-opening magic of weeks prior), it seemed to only create more tension, more struggle.

But today, as a double rainbow spread across the sky, and stayed with me long enough to expand my heart’s awe, I felt what I needed to do. As with Jean and her cigarette, dark house, and initial formal and cold demeanor, there was more to this gift than I could see. Much more. What if, when we’ve given up trying to figure things out, and we’ve given up our limited, frightened expectations, we actually hand it over to God, to spirit—this place from which the gift originated? What if, in this case, as in the past, I give my heart much needed space and peace of mind to listen, feel, and be with what this beloved gift is here to offer—and what I am here to receive—on my unchartered pilgrimage of the soul?

My Novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, is also about an unchartered pilgrimage of the heart. It is available on Amazon at Amazon Page  or at www.michelleadam.net. Also, watch a brief video on “duende”, “the spirit of the earth”: YouTube Video

 

 

 

       

39. My Wings Circle Around Me in Love

WHEN WAS YOUR LAST SURREAL MOMENT? 

BLOG 39: August, 1998—Four months had passed since living with my parents in a small house in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, a community far away from Oakland, California, and New Mexico, where I had been for several years.  Two years ago, I had left New Jersey, from my parents’ earlier house, to go out west, to discover my wings, only to injure myself and return to this place of family.

Suburban life had always been a challenge for my free spirit, but it had become even more so since   traveling out west and experiencing the openness of the land and sky there. But now, Stefan, a friend I had fallen in love with and had danced with before traveling out west, was visiting. My parents were out of town, and being with him again was like being drunk.

Stefan and I had choreographed and performed a dance together at Omega Institute, a holistic studies center in Rhinebeck, New York State, and while we had gotten very close physically, we had never become full lovers or been in a relationship. He had come to New York from his hometown of Montreal (his parents were Haitian), and although we had become intimate through dance, he had chosen to maintain an element of tension between us that had pulled at me painfully, even when I was out west.

Now as he visited, we went into Brooklyn to see his Caribbean relatives, who were so warm in their touch and way, that I wished I could stay with them longer. But then we went to the ocean, where the piercing grey, blue sky that covered the sand and ocean merged with the orange ball of sun detumblr_mocdvsd18d1rub0hvo1_500scending in the sky. It seemed everyone just sat watching the blue crystal waters of infinity melting inside the sunset.

Nature wrapped herself around Stefan and me for these brief moments that erased time, with even the most hurried stopping to observe. “It’s not surreal, it’s very real,” said Stefan as I mentioned to him how surreal it felt. I agreed with his words, yet there was something surreal in that this moment didn’t belong to us alone. It was a collective experience that moved through us inside a dimension that made no distinctions, had no direction to go, no beginning, no end. It was a kind of “now” that erased even presence itself.

As I sat with Stefan in this magical place, I realized that my love for him, or my feelings of in-loveness that I had held onto for so long, had no future, no life beyond these moments. Together we shared a spark that lit up the space between us. But, it was time for me to take that fire and openness I had experienced in the west, and cool those aching parts of myself—the hunger and fear—inside the clear blue skies of the East Coast, and come home to magic within.

So grateful I was for these days with Stefan, for I was able to close an old chapter, and feel my wings circling around me in love for a more mature life of reciprocal joy.      

WHEN WAS YOUR LAST SURREAL MOMENT? 

*My recently-published novel, Child of Duende: A Journey of the Spirit, shares a story of coming home. Check it out on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Child-Duende-Journey-Michelle-Adam/dp/099724710X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1474233011&sr=8-1&keywords=child+of+duende  or at www.michelleadam.net