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February 6, 2006



Spring paid me a visit yesterday. She came into the bathroom and caressed me with a cool breeze filled with late afternoon sunlight. She promised me a good summer and reminded me of summers past. England in the summer is the best place on earth.

I remembered the summer before it all seemed to go so wrong. I was five years old. I was at the village fete in the grounds of the manor. The cut grass was becoming hay under foot. The excitement of late spring and summer warmed even the darkness of the night. I remembered the country dancing class at school. I remembered taking part in the maypole dance [1]. It was as if I was being prepared for a sixteenth-century life.

I remembered summer on Wimbledon Common. We sat at wooden tables in the sun drinking lager with no responsibilities and no problems.

And then I went right back to when I was four years old. I was sitting in front of the television. Some pop stars were singing and wiggling their bottoms. They were coming up to the camera and kissing the lens with their ruby lips, leaving prints on the screen. I called to my mum, "Mummy, I love those women."

I was six years old and we were in the playground at school. We started to kiss. I wondered what would happen if I put my tongue into her mouth; we french-kissed. I remember thinking that I'd invented it. I fantasized about getting inside her. My mum had explained sex to me but it was more than that: I wanted to merge into her.

I am a serial-lover. I was recently remembering a series of loves that I had from the age of nine to the age of nineteen. There were six girls during that ten year period. With each one, I felt a different flavor of spring inside of me. I never told any of them; I was too shy, too unconfident, and too scared of rejection. How sad it is that summer never came. I didn't know that I deserved to feel the warm breeze, to smell the grass, and to merge into nature.

I was going through puberty but these girls were more than just external focal points for my hormonal changes, as my mum hypothesizes. These girls were really special to me. And each one brought a slightly different and exquisitely beautiful set of internal sensations.

When I was eleven years old one of these girls actually asked me out; so we were officially dating. It seemed like a miracle. But I was scared to call her and arrange a time to see her. I wanted her to call me because as time went on I didn't know if she was still interested. I felt really confused and upset.

I told my step-dad about this and I started to cry. He told me that girls aren't worth crying about. He told me to use his technique: ask ten girls out at once and then at least one would be sure to say yes. I realized then that he didn't understand me. I realized that though he thought that he was a great lover, he didn't know love. I have a fuller and more compassionate understanding of him now than I did then.

In the spring of 2004, I was in Hawaii at a workshop [2]. I remember being in that room with twenty people and feeling love so thick that it could be cut with a knife. I have pictures of myself there; when my heart opens like that my eyes turn bright green.

That night we sat in a circle on the black sand of the Kalapana lava-beds with the waves lapping the beach on one side, the volcano glowing on the other, and the full moon above. Charley strummed his guitar and we sang a song called Moon Is Rising about Pele, the goddess of fire [3]. That workshop is happening right now and maybe that's why these memories keep coming to me.

I've had fifty-two hours of individual psychotherapy and another seventy-five hours with my wife. I think I might be done with that now. Perhaps I'm just taking a break. Some way into that therapy process, I was listening to Green Eyes by Coldplay and I realized that the song was from me to myself [4]. It was about my inner boy; that sweet little lover.


Wild Rhododendrons in Kashmir by E. Molyneux. Painted prior to 1908.

And now I stand at a crossroads in my life. I have more choices than ever. I almost know who I am. I know what I want. It is springtime, the bees are buzzing, and the rhododendrons, my favorite plant, are in blossom.

Before spring visited me yesterday and whispered into my ear, I was feeling a great sadness; something was missing; I needed partnership so much; I needed someone. And so I sat down and felt deeply about that. I realized that I have an old habit of wanting to own someone. It's the idea that someone can be there for me. It's the idea that somehow I have a right to them; that there can be some promise for the future. So the need for love was being warped by that habit into a craving for person-ownership.

I think that most people are looking for this kind of security. The engaged wife might look to her future husband as some kind of solution for her lack of happiness. The husband might feel that he owns his wife for sex and for support. It sounds really crass but I think that there is usually some concept of a promised future and this represents a sense of ownership. It's a kind of worthless promise based on external things. She cannot guarantee that she won't leave me. She cannot guarantee that she won't die. She cannot guarantee that I'll still want to be with her. The money cannot guarantee to stick around. It's only that little boy who can't leave me.

I don't want to believe anymore that I have a right to any aspect of anyone else, or of any thing for that matter. I know where that leads now: only to suffering. And yet sometimes I yearn for something outside of me. Sometimes my stomach calls out for food. And at other times my mind seeks stimulation. But my heart: My heart wants to love. Big tears are welling up in my eyes right now. My heart wants to love everything, but also my heart wants to love another.

You see I can feel hungry and I can enjoy my dinner but I don't have to believe that somehow that dinner is going to ultimately fulfill me. And I don't have to worry about not having food in the future. If I'm hungry, I know that it's because there is some food that the universe is going to move into my stomach. The story is the same with my heart. If I feel the need to love, it is for now. Just love. I do not know what tomorrow brings.

And now I am mature enough to understand what love really is. I choose not to warp love. I choose not to get caught up in attachment. Today my heart wants to love. Tomorrow I may be dead. And so I feel this great need. It's a need to totally give myself in the moment and a need to totally receive in the moment. It's not a need to give myself in marriage. It's not a need to be promised that I will always be loved. It's a need to dissolve myself totally and utterly into the soul of another, right in the moment.

People say, "Find fulfillment within you." But it's no good, I'm hungry. I tell you this: go find your dinner inside yourself and I will find my partner inside myself. Even the Buddha eats. Even the trees in their stillness draw water through their roots.

The universe is unfolding. It is spring. The bees are lazily buzzing. I'm going for a walk amongst the rhododendrons.


[1] The maypole is a tall poll to the top of which colored ribbons are attached. An equal number of boys and girls stand alternately around the base, each holding a ribbon. The boys and girls then travel in opposite directions around the pole weaving in-and-out of each other until they meet at the base.

[2] The workshop in Hawaii was the annual Barry & Joyce Vissell workshop at Kalani Honua, near Pahoa. 2004 was the last year when individuals could go to that workshop. I went on my own. Now it is only for couples.

[3] Moon Is Rising by Charley Thweat from his album entitled Knowing Myself:

Moon is rising over me
out Kalapana way.
Light is trickling down the shore;
leading me to find my way.

'Cause I believe in her.
Moon is rising;
moon is falling.
I believe in her.
I believe,
believe in your love.

Lava flowing under me
out Kalapana way.
Fire cleansing me inside;
helping me to find my way.

[4] Green Eyes by Coldplay from their album entitled A Rush of Blood to the Head:

Honey you are a rock
upon which I stand.
And I come here to talk:
I hope you understand
that green eyes
yeah the spotlight shines upon you;
and how could anybody deny you.
I came here with a load
and it feels so much lighter
now I met you.
And honey you should know
that I could never go on without you.
Honey you are the sea
upon which I float.
And I came here to talk:
I think that you should know
that green eyes
you're the one that I wanted to find;
and anyone who tried to deny you
must be out of their mind.


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