December 22, 2013

On Kissing Strangers.

I kissed a stranger in my dream the other night.

One of those messy complicated fumbling kisses that are better left in our dreams; ones that we don’t want to play out in real life.

We stumbled, laughing I asked the stranger, “Who are you?”

I awoke blushing, wondering about kisses.

Italians have the best name for kisses: bacios. They say, “Me lo dai un bacio?”

I’d never do that—kiss a stranger—I thought while brushing my teeth and looking at my reflection in the mirror. Wait a minute, I told my sleepy image, “I did do that.”

Back in the day, I learned how to hog-tie (and no, it’s not that kind—I didn’t tackle a pig).

Hog-tying is one of those side dishes of attending Renaissance Faires—reenactments of the Elizabethan era. I had the good fortune to have an older sister who loved taking me to the Faires. She designed and crafted historically correct Lady’s Maid dresses for my younger sister and I to wear to the festivals during my teenage years.

My little sister, our friends, and I acted like perfect ladies, until we dressed down into the wenches costumes (my sister made those ones, too).

We’d sprint around the Faires filled with teenage energy. The perfect playground for young women testing our womanly ways. We’d swear in Elizabethan tongue, “Thou be an errant beef-witted coxcomb.”

We were brazen. Anything, but bashful, as we hog-tied guys.

A group of us of girls would circle a handsome guy dressed as a knight or gentleman, then we told him that he couldn’t leave the circle (similar to a fairy circle) until he kissed each one of us to our satisfaction. Sometimes, we made him go around more than once.

Embarrassing, but fun as I reminisced with my dear friend about our wild days when I ran into her at the store yesterday. We chatted about those moments—yes, my face turned a crimson the color of the Christmas stockings hanging on the shelf.

Bacios. Kisses. I certainly have had many more since those teenage years.

A quick touch of lips against my bare shoulder. Slow devouring ones—so slow we feel the energy rising from our bellies to the tip of our lips.

Kisses are soulful experiences.

Sure, even the absentminded quick—I gotta go—peck on the cheek ones.

Or those sudden ones—that no holding back completely lost in the moment—captured under the spell of connecting beyond words, beyond fingertips in which a kiss becomes a bridge between two souls.


Could I ever kiss a stranger at this point in my life? I thought about that awkward dream as I hurried about on the day before Solstice, reflecting upon this turbulent year.

On New Year’s Day of 2013, I did an Osho Tarot Card spread and drew the Lovers card as my final outcome/resolution.

Osho explained that “Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle.” I’ve moved toward compassion over this year (that’s another story for another time, but…for now, kissing a stranger still seemed uncomfortable).

Looking up the interpretation of my dream, I learned that to kiss a stranger in our dreams means recognizing a part within ourselves. Perhaps that part is finding compassion for myself regardless of the parameters of love.

Allowing myself to go beyond the cultural construction of “hallmark love,” I see that giving love is compassion—joy for those who come-and-go in my journey. Being open-hearted while letting go is the lesson we learn as parents, partners and friends.

As for kissing a stranger, I’m past that hog-tying stage in my life, but if I’m standing under mistletoe, well…um, maybe one on my cheek, as we all know that mistletoe kisses are sometimes the most playful ones to get!


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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo Credit: Diana Levan/Pixoto

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