But here’s the news: everybody leaves. Everybody dies. Everybody forgets, and everyone is forgotten. Time is fleeting and opportunity is lost. Opportunity isn’t in some theoretical futureâ€”opportunity is alive in this very moment, in all its deeply flawed perfection. Do not squander your life! Snatch that moment, hold it in your hand like a butterfly and thenâ€”set it free.
Intimacy is full presence. It is wholehearted engagement. It is release.
The mission is to to distill the essence of every relationship, no matter how casual or brief. To make the transaction as complete and self-contained as it can be. We can be intimate with the planets and the stars, with the dust and the bugs and the grass and the concrete. Intimate with the moon as it waxes and wanes. Intimate with our friends, intimate with the bus driver, intimate with the dinnertime telemarketer. Intimate with the work we do. Intimate with ourselves. And of course, in the most fraught and concentrated of relationshipsâ€”intimate with our Intimates, intimate with our lovers.
My last lover was a guy I had met several years ago at Intention. A beautiful man, compact and strong. The night we met we simply kissed. We kissed for hours. It was perfect, and that was all. I didn’t ask his name.
He lived in Seattle, and after that, now and again, he would pass through Vancouver. If the situation allowed we would get together, and a couple of times we went to bedâ€”but it was never as perfect as that one long night of kisses. I grasped for more. I told myself some stories, that cast a tinge of disappointment on the relationship. Our contact tailed off. Years went by without contact. And then, one day, he sent a message that he was coming to town. He came to visit. And I recognized then that something in me has radically changed.
Call it experience, seasoning, or age. Time on the cushion or time in the world. It all comes down to this: practice.
In our relating there was no longer a need for words. We danced, and our bodies conversed. We kissed long, deep, and silly. Pure tenderness, pure presence, slow heat. I let him stand in for the whole world and I shone on him all the love I could give, and I opened up so wide to receive all the light he reflected back on me. We fucked like playful tigers. In full caring and with absolute respect, I have never been so present, or so fully alive.
There is nothing to be lost by loving to the max. Damn the risk, screw the investment. The sun does not care where its rays fall. It is not diminished by shining. For a lifetime or a microsecond, love never goes to waste.
My friend if you are reading this post, wherever you are: hello! and sweet dreams. I don’t know if I will ever see you again but it really doesn’t mattter. Our time together was perfect, without future or past. Intimate, and profound.
<with thanks to Michael Stone for the title and the teachings>