“I’ve been up, I’ve been down, I’ve been so damn lost since you’re not around.” The Train lyrics cycle through my head as I wait in line for my rental car in San Francisco. They are too significant. I try not to think about this being my first trip without a companion in a decade. Or how easily I get lost driving. Or how sad it is to be someplace so beautiful without someone with whom to share it.
“GPS. That will save me,” I think, as I head on to the freeway. Except the last user set it to Cantonese and no one reset it. Nor am I sure how, especially not while I’m driving. Hysterical giggles start. The semi-automatic feature on my car rental is messing me up too. I keep flipping between the automatic drive and the shifting feature which means I can’t accelerate.
“Deep breath. Choose to be happy. This is all a reflection of consciousness. Its all good,” and with that I pull over, work it all out and arrive at my hotel. I feel the energy of this place, and even the exploding toothpaste in my suitcase is not enough to make me feel bad.
The next morning I am on foot on Fishermans Wharf. The view, energy, and things to see and do turns me into an excited child. One moment I’m bouncing over spotting sourdough shaped like a bear. The next I’m crying because I so want to share this wonderful experience. And I can’t. I raise my camera so people are less likely to notice the tears rolling down my face.
I knew the Magus so well. I can hear the jokes he would make about the teddy bear sourdough. I can see his face as he compares the taste to the bread we had in Hawaii. I know his souvenir shopping list, and I still have to stop myself from seeing items and suggesting it for his younger brother or sister. I see the kite store, and know he would admire the selection. And I see the Gift – the thing I would pick up for him knowing he would love it. I quickly leave the store and breathe some more. Outside, Pier 39 has become as crowded as a beehive, so I decide it is time to go for a boat ride and feel the healing water move me. I was right – it helped. And on the recommendation of the Captain, I head to Pier 41 more or less and find a restaurant for dinner.
As I sit gazing out over the water, tucking in to a bowl of clam chowder, I realize the contrast between the morning, when I was in the flow of exploring and being joyful, versus the afternoon of blocking thoughts and emotions about the Magus. I note that it is the block that is the pain, not the thoughts themselves. What if I get him a gift? Does it matter if I ever give it to him? The thought of seeing him doesn’t feel good. But the thought of buying the gift does. Curious. I remember the idea from tantra: use inquiry to release blockages of energy.
So, I buy the gift, and it feels good. Good to be in the flow of my own self expression. Good to be who I am – a person who shares, who wants to make other people happy, and who has a real enjoyment of shopping for other people. Ah…it is good to be in that flow. It is the flow of energy that my divine consciousness loves. It is how that flow is uniquely Me in my individualized expression of personality that is the joy of consciousness. Yesssssss.
That night, I meet with Christopher Wallis. I have been waiting in a crowded park for him, people watching. I am still processing the culture shock of seeing two nude men strolling around when he walks up to me with a tentative smile as he confirms it is me. We go to a high end tea shop, with sophisticated pairings and blendings. We talk for a few hours, and one of my questions to him is about the purpose and meaning of relationships from a tantric teaching view. I think of all I have believed about relationship, and I feel some grief and relief as he confirms what I suspected this summer: there is no purpose or meaning in relationship. There is no One True Love. There is no love more unique or valuable than another. There is no connection to the divine through relationship. There is no reason for a relationship at all. (Another day I will talk about non-dualism on this.)
He can see my face. “How does that feel for you?” he asks me with loving compassion. We talk some more and peace returns to me. I intuitively connect with the idea of relationship being about Like more than Love. In fact, I love many people with whom I am no longer in relationship. But how much I like them has changed. If you consider the word, it means “to be like someone”, whether it is things you have in common or aspire to. As we shift in consciousness, we may no longer be like someone we once shared our lives with, and awakening to the awareness of that difference can be painful. It feels like separation from Source. Ouch.
He hugs me with a completeness I have not felt from a hug for a very long time. You cannot believe in separateness in a hug like that. And I am grateful for that reminder. What I remember is the feeling of flow. I see consciousness being reflected to me. I recognize even more places I am holding back a fuller expression of consciousness, of Self. I see the places where I am efforting, trying. I laugh as a I hear Bhikku in my head tell me to Know the Flow.
I think of how I spent the summer affirming that I did not want a relationship, that I do not belong in relationship. Am I surprised to manifest Goodbye with the Magus? Not really. The contrast of energetic experience is not “Life with the Magus” and “Life Without the Magus”. The learning, the way that San Francisco added to my wholeness is in seeing who I am more clearly. Not as an escape from pain – as a weekend where the only person I needed to be happy was Me. As I bounced down the street the next day, I was alive and free and fully in the knowledge that my spiritual evolution is getting deeper, faster, more fully. I do want someone I like very much to share it with. But for now, that is pretty much everyone I meet.