My Lover is a Priest

11863343_10204816779874795_48011293211071879_nYou’ve probably figured out by now that I’m not what you’d call a normal woman. Black swaying robes and lifelong spiritual vows are, to me, quite more alluring than millions of dollars or mountains of bicep. I am pulled to those who give away their lives. I am drawn to those who, gently, put their ego on the shelf. I am drawn to the courage of those who simply be. I am drawn to those who know: it’s not always so. It’s maybe.

In the summer of my thirty-second year, the year that began with a conversation with God, I went to Ireland, the holy land of Ireland, to the place where my Zen man lives. I went to Dublin, land of my ancestors on my mother’s side.

I lived with him for three and a half weeks. I became intimately near. We made juice together, ate chocolate, did laundry. I lived in his home, for three and a half weeks.

When I came back to America, we kept in touch, and then for a while we didn’t. I focused on other lovers. The priest had other lovers too. We both travelled. We drifted.

But now I’ve got the Zen bug again. I’m waking up earlier and earlier. I’m doing more sitting these days than my ego (and neck and back!) wants. I’m scheduling more nothings than somethings. Less doing; more being. And the Zen man and I…we’ve reconnected. In him, I’m finding a friend again: finding a calm center, in the warm gaze of my computer screen.

And these past few weeks, I’ve been reminiscing. What is it about him? What did I learn in Ireland last year? What keeps me? I look in my journal. Maybe the answers are there. I look at the words I wrote, two summers ago, as I flew back to America…

I’m in a plane, traveling back to a place I can no longer quite call home. I seem to, suddenly, have nothing: no home, no possessions, no special nook or place, no special tree, no lovers, no husbands, no wives or anything familiar or mine. There are no clocks, now, to keep task. I’m in the clouds. I’m free. I’m fullness itself. I’m being and non-being: this tiny airplane seat. To my left, a young Irish man holding a baby. To my right, an old American woman holding her head in her hands, drunk on bitterness, boredom, and wine.

 What has the Zen man given me? What might the priest know that I do not? That last morning in Dublin, the morning after the rainbows—our swirling limbs and hearts growing new as trees—I had wanted tears from him. I had wanted him to moan and cry and say “Don’t go, Anya! I cannot live without you!” But there had been none of that. No drama. There had been, rather, a warm coolness in his kisses. Sweet eye contact, but with no longing. No reaching. Instead, there had been holding my hand in the car, on the way to the airport, and there had been the word “maybe,” so many times, in response to my questions.

 Every time he had said “maybe,” something vanished. I don’t know what it was, but it certainly feels better now.

 I’m free.  


 

If you enjoy this blog, you might also enjoy Anya’s book, Opening Love. Or, for a closer encounter, please contact Anya today to schedule a spiritual guidance session via phone or Skype.

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The Voyage Home

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Him and I, we are lovers again. We make love; we bring our bodies together. We whisper and smile and kiss on pillows.

We are lovers. The word rolls off my tongue and I blink in surprise.

It is endlessly awesome, this game of life! So many twists in the path, so many unforeseen ways and happenings. Leaving, then returning home again.

At this time, in this particular moment, I am surprised. By the indescribable beauty and simplicity of this love. This relationship. I am grateful for the calm beauty, for the reassuring presence. For the safe haven and the space to learn and grow.

I am surprised. By the man I said goodbye to but now am saying hello to, again. I’m beginning to lose track of how many times we’ve said goodbye and hello. I’m finally starting to come to terms with it. We follow our hearts, and that is all. This coming and going, this returning and leaving, it seems to be our dynamic. (Maybe part of the suffering, in this lifetime and others, has been our not recognizing that, not embracing that.) Sometimes, I have to go. Sometimes we say goodbye; sometimes we say hello. Sometimes it’s chaos and tears, and sometimes it’s utter perfection and peace. Sometimes we forget about the reality of impermanence and we (ignorantly) create labels and plans. Sometimes we remember that we remember and we chuckle together.

I feel there may be another leaving in my future, another adventure away, but I’m not sure when. I tell him this. I am as honest as I can be about the future I’m not sure about.

Right now, though, I want to be home with him again. I have voyaged home, and I want to be here. I want to wake on Saturdays and say: “Let’s play!” I want making love on Monday mornings before work. I want it all. I want the slow afternoon strolls out in nature and the long evenings of surrender and touch. I want gatherings and meal-makings and hosting our friends; I want flirtations and laughter. I want my knees rubbed and mouth kissed. I want to scratch his back and hear him moan in my ear.

At this time in my life, in this moment, I am surprised by love. And I love that I am surprised! I didn’t foresee this chapter.

Love. Wow, love. It never is what I think it is—it keeps changing. I am learning big lessons. I am learning that sometimes I have to venture out, into the darkness, without a map. I am learning how to stop comparing him to the One of that one beautiful year. I am learning it’s okay, truly okay, that love feels different with different people. (I thought I learned that before, but the learning is going deeper this time.)

I feel big changes coming. Not too far, on the horizon. But for now, I settle, I sigh. The soft glorious blanket of this love. I rest. His arms. I thank the Universe for this love. It is teaching me so much.

Three cheers, my dear. Here’s to another chapter.


 

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.

One Past Life (notes from the Puerto Rico journals)

jungle

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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