Twin Oaks: A Story of Communion, A Story of Love


As I step onto the Twin Oaks property, a fragrant wave of October air fills my lungs. My eyes absorb my surroundings: broad leaves overhead beginning their transition from green to orange to red, cows gently mooing on nearby hills, and serene, smiley-looking people walking down dirt paths. A wonderfully weird sensation washes over me. Have I been here before? What sort of déjà vu is this?

The truth is, I have not been here before. (At least, not in this lifetime!) Nonetheless…it feels so… familiar. Like a home I’ve left but can’t remember leaving. Like chords of a song, beloved in childhood. Or like looking up into a maze of stars on a warm summer night. Twin Oaks is something like that. Coming here is something like poetry, something beyond the logical and the rational. Something beyond the mainstream notions of what life “should” be.


Twin Oaks is an intentional community in rural central Virginia, founded in 1967. It’s the longest-running and most well-known of all the egalitarian communities in the United States. Members of Twin Oaks (approximately one hundred people) live by the values of sharing, cooperation, nonviolence, equality, and ecology. Many members avoid the term “commune,” due to some lingering negative connotations with the word; however, that is exactly what it is. A commune. A communal way of life. Members are like family: they share income, they share their days, they share their dreams.

I’ve been visiting Twin Oaks on a three-week visitor period. I’ve worked and played and lived. I’ve tended the greenhouse, bottle-fed baby calves, worked in their organic tofu factory, harvested peanuts, facilitated Reiki healing sessions, made homemade pizza with wild mushrooms, and gotten lost in the breathtaking river and trees. It’s been incredible.


I’ve been pondering how to summarize my experience, and realized one of the less-popular definitions helps me to describe how I feel here. A “commune” is a mode of communion, a way of communicating in a very personal or spiritual way. Indeed. Twin Oaks is a place of deep, intimate communion: with the land, with the animals, with the plants, with the Earth itself. It’s a place of opening. A place of expansion. It’s a place where one meets and is, finally, met. It’s a space of air. It’s a story of love.


When I leave in a few days, I will leave more humble than I came. Twin Oaks has been a powerful mirror. It has helped me see myself more clearly. And, in that sense, it has much in common with a lover. Twin Oaks has been this beautiful, intense, intimate, and in some ways challenging entity that has helped me perceive some of my more hidden, pernicious character weaknesses (areas for growth!) and has also helped me strengthen the gifts, skills, and passions I naturally possess. It has reflected both the positive and the negative aspects of myself—a dynamic, of course, that hasn’t always been easy!

I came to Twin Oaks with the intention of adventure, and that is what I have done. Along the way, I have shared walks, work, smiles, silence, hugs, songs, and snuggles with dozens of beautiful souls. In short, I have communed with a new kind of lover. And that lover has just begun to be explored.


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Leonard is my Lover

leonard_cohen1The night before my thirtieth birthday, I dreamt of Leonard Cohen. I always dream of him at turning points in my life. He is like an angel; he is like a lover. He is never far away.

In the dream, he is giving a concert at my childhood church: an old wooden Presbyterian building. A mess of pews and cobwebs.

He is taking an intermission, standing off to the side: sweating, smiling, resting. I approach him giddily. I touch his arm, and with a hungry whisper I say, “Can I kiss you on the cheek?”

A moment, barely a pause. Then he gently places his index finger under my chin— lifts it. Our eyes, together. Our eyes, forever. (His eyes are glassy-cloudy, like a crystal ball. They give me much information.) And then, with a sly smile, he moves his index finger out from under my chin and draws it deep into his mouth. Engorges it. Licks. Sucks. As if that finger is a cock he is so happy to devour. My heart is racing. He pulls his wet finger from his mouth and then places it on my lips.

The finger is still for a moment. Frozen. And then he draaaaaaags it across my lips, my slightly open mouth. His saliva and mine, together. Forever, in this space. His eyes, which seem to have never left mine (which I know can’t leave mine), seem to say: Wasn’t that better than a kiss, my darling?

He jumps away to the stage, continues song.

After “Closing Time,” we, his dear audience, his sweet adorable children, run out of the church with him. We rush! Leonard is leading us—he is a god, a saint, a savior. Such speed! We all run, following him to where we don’t know, our fingers open, swinging by our sides, towards the grass and free sun.


If you like this blog, you might also like Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a more intimate encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule your intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

That One Beautiful Year


Young couple holding hands with sun-flare.

There were many miles between us. Oceans. Birds. I met you, and fell in love in an instant. There was nothing else—just your eyes.

And then we parted. A few hours later, we parted. I had to catch a train.

It felt like a trauma.

For a year, there were emails, letters, phone calls, Skype. For a year, there were visits. Plane tickets, savings accounts happily and ecstatically drained. There were moments that cannot be recalled because they will never need recalling—they will forever be at the very center of every waking moment from now on. They are me.

You are me.

For that year, that one beautiful year, I began a habit of singing to you. When I crossed green forests alone or sank deep into a glorious bath, I sang to you. My voice rang out, cancelling in an instant the seeming realness of so many miles. My voice rang out, clear and unburdened by the day. I made up beautiful songs. I never knew I could sing. I even joined a choir.

I learned the meaning of the word “yearn.” I discovered all amounts and measures of pain. Sometimes, before visits, I would say things like: “only a few more weeks, Beloved.” I would cry, oh how I would cry! Bittersweet tears of longing. Bittersweet tears of joy and ecstasy.

And then, one day, something inside me awoke. It was my heart—my own beating heart! And I realized I’d been singing to it this whole time.

This whole time…singing to my own heart. Coaxing it out of hiding.

My love, my dear love without end, through that year, through our love, I found my way.

Thank you.

Thank you.


If you like this blog, you might also like Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a more intimate encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule your intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

Leonard Cohen on Repeat

leonard cohen

Leonard Cohen, man of the blues

And so it was that I was pulled to him, this lover. Pulled and pulled: moments on a bed; moments under trees and on beaches; moments on my porch: green plastic lawn chairs, rolling tobacco, and our knees converging in the utter spaciousness of cosmos.

We moved in together. I saw him as a mentor. A teacher. He helped me to health. The first lover, in fact, who brought me meals in bed. Made homemade chicken noodle soup and kept the kleenex boxes plentiful. Those things. Back then, during those dark days of illness, we’d put Leonard Cohen on repeat. Albums of melancholic holiness. Albums of blues and death and redemption: moments of vision. Albums beyond description.

Today, early Autumn, three years later, I’m planning to move out. I love my friend, I love the man who was my lover, but it’s getting close to leaving time.

Today, three years later, I look back, and see the path we took. It was a beautiful path.

How he taught me. How I taught him. The lack of linearity to the whole thing. The multi-dimensional flow of it. The rustle and churn. All those crazy notes and tunes.

Looking back, I see how messy it’s been. How incredibly lovely. How imperfect. How perfect.

I’m sad to go. But if I stay, it will just be on repeat: over and over and over again. Leonard Cohen, again and again. Truth be told, I’m pretty tired of Leonard.

So, I go. I move. I love. And I wish him well. Both of them.

If you like this blog, you might also like Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a more intimate encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule your intuitive guidance or relationship coaching session.

The Ocean is My Lover

beachThe ocean is my lover.

She knows and lifts me up!


There is a white, slim bird,

softly cradled

            in the back of the breeze,

bringing our waves to shore.


The ocean is my lover,

and I’m just a girl:   

I put my hands together and pray for peace.

In my pocket

are two half-coins,

taken from

my father’s house. (Which they say

are not mine.)


I watch for the moment.

I pray for peace.


Like this post? If yes, you might like Anya’s book, Opening Love.   You can also contact Anya today to schedule your spiritual guidance or relationship coaching session.

One Past Life (notes from the Puerto Rico journals)


To say I am happy here is not quite accurate. There is, still, the thought of a hand that flashes. (Will always be?) A mouth unkissed. And, yet, this is my home now. This is my place. Where I chose.

To say I am happy here is not quite accurate. I have found my path, a certain measure of contentment. I miss my human lovers, true, but I have found dignity through a choice. I have sought independence. I am now not a lover of a person but a place. This place. Most days, there is patience. Most days, there is peace. And each gorgeous morning cannot be denied. Nearly four months now, and there is not a morning where I fail to remember to stop, stock-still, and offer a prayer. This morning, it is the same. Before I begin my breakfast, I pause, breathe in a deep deep breath (very down, down into my belly) and whisper, aloud: “Thank you.”

This morning, it’s the same. Always the appreciation of the view. (Technically, it’s not “my” view, but a kindly neighbor’s view, with only a one-minute walk.) Always the slight peripheral awareness of the precariousness, the impermanence and slightly comical tininess of this body and life. This view never fails to do it. It’s a view to die for. (I’m sure some have.)

This cliff. Stretching half a mile down (with no clear path) through thick, spider-filled jungle—a dark tangle of fern, vine, flower, and tree—at an angle as vertical as it is possible to walk upright, and then another half mile walk across the open, scorched earth towards the Atlantic. And when you get there, it is a beach of rotting bamboo, half-eaten coconut, dead fish. Boulders so big and unforgiving that swimming is out of the question. Neighbors call it Playa Sobreviviente, Survivor Beach. No one much goes there. They say sometimes rapists do.

So it is a thing (mostly) to look at, then, this ocean. This non-human lover. This Atlantic in my backyard. A thing to see and hear and smell. So much. When I sold most of my earthly belongings, packing the remainder into two purple suitcases, the image of this view was on my mind. During those two years of transition, before getting the guts to leave Bowling Green, I could already feel my life over here. My new life brewing. I could feel the movement of it; roots were coming up. A strange sensation. Uncanny and, sometimes, undesirable…for I wanted to be where I was until I was there no more. But, no, at that time, for those years, I was in two places at once. Half here; half there. Not fully solid in both. Shamans have names for this, I think. Ways of describing.

Now, I am here…and, as it turns out, it never was a question of happiness. It wasn’t what I thought it was.

To love Puerto Rico, really love it, is to pretend not to see ahead. One must say: I don’t know—and mean it.


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As if it were New


I came into this body to love you.

…Do you remember?

The mirror was blank,

so we could not see our face.

We did not like this.

Our fingers: they were of air,

so we could not touch.

We did not like this.

And so,



The perfect incantation

came; the perfect song.

It was a way forward for us,    into limb

and bone.

We began by singing it together—

and then, by the end, you were the one singing,

and I was humming along.

We came into these bodies. Separate countries.

We came into these lives.

We thought it would be sweet,

So sweet, to meet:

To say Hello, again,

As if it were new.

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