For three long years, from the age of nine until eleven, I was totally and utterly in love. In romantic agony, I cried at night, and watched her beauty swirl around me during the day. I had swallowed her love potion and I loved her more than life itself. On our last day at school she played Spanish guitar and my heart left me to dance away into another land where my passions would never be equalled. My long sulken walk home after school was heart wrenching as I would never see her again. I arrived home to find a letter from her, which spoke of the same love for me. She had felt the same as me all this time! It was at that moment that I bolted like a stallion and ran, never to lay eyes on her again.
Since then I have slowly developed a tendency of isolating myself from women, especially powerful women who scare me. Do I not feel ripened as a man, or am I a perpetual adolescent, what the Jungians would call an eternal boy. Like Don Juan, occasionally flitting like a bee from flower to flower. Will I ripen as a man by being with other men, like my therapist. Through this on going committed relationship will the ‘flying boy’ or Peter Pan be able to find a relationship with a woman that is rooted to the earth. “When a man stands up to the domineering witch in a woman, he frees the Princess from her spell, and she can then become his Queen.”
In tribal cultures men would take the boy from his mother at the time of puberty. They would tell him stories, they would engage the boy in trials until his masculine wisdom was excepted. I have the overwhelming sense that I should be living more with my heart than my head, but feel unable to tap into that region. Past conditioning has distorted my free spirit where male and female energies would dance together for the sake of the dance, blissfully unaware of their sexes.
6 responses to “Where is my Heart?”
Thank you for this, I think I’ll be mulling it all day. The strength of your vulnerability is quite stunning. Thinking of awareness, of sex and sexuality, of conditioning. Anthropologic thoughts on dancing and roles.
I can think of very, very few times in my life where the dancing was for the dance, unaware of the sexuality. Unaware of the other, that sounds like.
When I do think of dancing for the dance, the peak experience, the dawnings of joy, I don’t think the sexuality is lost. The joy IS for the dance, yet awareness of the other (and of self regarding the other) contributes to the dancing. It becomes a moment of biggerness: when the selves become more themselves, and the dance more the dance.
But for that conditioning. There is so much grief in seeing how far we are from whole.
Been looking at, thinking of, writing on sexuality as transformation. I haven’t a single revelation to share. Only a bit of awe and reverence for how real the subject is.
You are welcome! I would like to return comment, especially on your piece today which was very brave, raw and insightful. What came as a surprise to me was the 2 year mark, I had no idea.
I was inspired by the book ‘Journey of the Heart’ by John Welwood. A must read on the roles of female and male.
Would enjoy reading ‘sexuality as transformation’ if you ever pen that.
In your first paragraph I was reminded of how my eldest son (10 years old) explained to a lady visitor, who for all intensive purposes is a stranger to him, how there are two occasions where he gets butterflies in his stomach. The one is the excitement he feels over birthdays or holidays and the other is when he likes a girl. I was stunned that my technologically minded boy, who wants to become a robotic engineer, could experience such feelings in the first place and that he was able to talk about it like that in the second place.
The remainder of your beautifully written piece reminds me again of how dangerous it is to fall in love, because to fall in love, one surrenders oneself so completely, exposing one’s tender underbelly and abdicating control. And to be hurt whilst in this vulnerable position is the most brutal kind of pain–like hara-kiri, disembowelment of the soul.
Children are so tender at that age I am pleased he gets butterflies as his heart starts to move outwards : )
‘Falling’ in love can certainly leave us feeling helpless and tortured, we lose control of our universality and just follow the person and their every breath. I believe Freud called it ‘a form of madness’.
Freud had such pithy ones. I like the madness.
I think this is what I was trying to say: absolutely yes. Yes, there are few things so vulnerable. Yes, as Quirina beautifully stated, the disembowlment of the soul. There is no greater risk. And usually, hurt. But as much as it is losing ourselves to the universe, to the other, I think it is also the fullest expression of self.
Your post, Will, is utterly beautiful.
I felt the first stirrings of something like love when I was probably only 5. I know many people think that being that young you can’t possibly feel love, but it is a human emotion and while the meanings may grow and change, recognising another soul and their recognition of yours is a wondrous aspect of being human.
He moved within a few months and it was many years until I felt that reciprocated feeling again. In fact I’m trying to identify when I last had that, properly. I’m questioning it all. What does love mean, do I have to be completely healthy and whole to experience it? What about all the other damaged people in the world who have found love? Why should I be different to them?
This may not help you much but I am am glad for your words and friendship.