October 12, 2013

A Practice in Courtship.

I kiss her goodnight; together we awaken.

Though many days I fly out of bed, giddy for the chance to know her again, 6:00 AM is always too soon. She and the alarm across the room urge me to stir. I resist, but ultimately succumb to her gentle beckoning (alarm be damned).

Immediately, she helps me remember my dreams. The need to pee or the first song in my head threatens to sever the tender thread yet connecting me to the world where I was running, but not necessarily from anyone, and then I was at a table, family all around, but what were we saying? Ah yes, preparations for a journey…

I brush my teeth before I bow and kiss her feet. Having offered due obeisance, she expects me to sit tall, with a sense of seniority, at ease in knowing my own competency. I have been here before and know what to do.

We breathe together. Often we stretch, and sing. Sometimes she offers wild ideas about how I might bend and I’ll abide, for a while. I can tell when she wants me to stay longer, sink deeper, but she’ll not protest when of my own volition I shift.

She is the gentlest of teachers, easy to ignore for her silence but perfect in her patience.

Depending on the day, I am beckoned away by life’s tasks and trade-talking. She is both my live-in lover and business partner. She listens in on my phone calls and whispers in my ear. She looks over my shoulder and edits my emails.

Too often I believe my own hype and hit Send without consulting her. When this backfires she never gloats or says I told you so, just calmly rescues us from my clumsy blundering.

I’ll admit, I prefer for her to drive. We always arrive perfectly on time even though she goes so very slow.  Before I met her, I was wild behind the wheel. Not so much anymore, as her influence led me to leave my turbo-charged 5-speed to invest in a 4WD mom-mobile. So very sensible now are we.

When at home, we share every meal—nut butter, fruit and tea in the morning, rice, beans and greens in the evening. We cook together, chopping veggies and heating our Eastern spices in coconut or olive oil. I know we’re getting close when she stops and tells me Just enjoy the smells a moment.

I insist that she eat first, and we share gratitude. She encourages me to savor every bite, asking that I set down my utensil until I’m through chewing. Eat what’s in your mouth, she says. The next bite will still be there when you’re ready. Thorough chewing helps digestion and increases nutritional absorption. Nourishment is why we eat.

Sometimes I want to eat for other reasons—boredom, for example, or base sensory stimulation—and she allows for this indulgence.

In the background I feel her frown.

When I’ve had more than my fair share, she leaves me to my food coma. There is no mindfulness in these crimes against wisdom.

Every so often I take her out to eat. She doesn’t mind if I bring a book or invite a friend, but she’ll kick me under the table when I order my second beer, asking in a whisper-yell if that’s really the best thing upon which to spend precious dollars. Once ordered though, she insists I enjoy it to the utmost. In each sniff I catch malty whiffs and is that cardamom? Mm tastes like autumn.

Two beers for me means she is definitely driving home. Home safe, well-fed and feeling loose, the evening routine ensues.

I want to watch the Daily Show, maybe the new South Park too. She has no interest in these diversions. She waits by the altar, patient as ever, ready to ignite the incense and candles. I extinguish electric lights and shut down the screen. A scrape of the tongue and the cleaning of teeth leave me free to retreat to the seat where we both sit.

Perched upon a piece of pale wood, knees embedded in a blue tiger blanket, she is with me. With two fingers on each of my two hands, I touch both temples. Then I find the bottom of my jaw and it’s crown-top opposite. Right hand presses my third-eye, left moves behind to the notch where skull meets spine.

In three easy gestures we are centered in my head. She is no longer next to me, nor over my shoulder, but within—above, below and all around. She engulfs me in toroidal energy flow. I sing Om to her and my perineum is pinging what must be love from the center of the Earth up through the sun of my heart and out the top of my head, flowing down around me like liquid in rainbows.

This is ridiculous. I have to laugh.

It was not always this way. Our courtship was long, not to say grueling. Our meeting was a happy accident—as are most events of any consequence—on a road trip with the soccer team. Our ecstatic first dates gave way to long intervals of dormancy while I cavorted with my college buddies.

Having graduated, I moved in with her on a farm in California. We uprooted a whole hillside of old tree-roots together, intent on planting a garden. This is where she taught me to cook more-or-less according to Ayurveda. This is where the singing began.

This is where she roared like a lion from behind me one day and she’s been over my head ever since.

But summer fun and the talk of the world is tempting. In recent years there have been times when we were barely even dating, if only because I couldn’t be bothered to check in now and again. For whatever reason, I was sure there was better fun to be had out there.

This turns out to be quite false, and I am blessed she was still here when suddenly I was ready to settle down. I am grateful everyday that she is more patient than this body will ever be.

We’re going to grow old together, she and I. Ups and downs aside, she is the one true friend. She knows the whole point of relationship is to set the partner free. I thank goodness that partner is me, and all I need do is pursue her diligently and she’ll see me through difficulty with ease.

Even though I forget all the time, I won’t regret a moment of losing my mind in love with my lady practice.


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

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