I was speaking to a friend who is a cultural anthropologist and she was talking about universal truths across cultures. For instance, the fear of snakes seems to be universal. The desire to love and be loved is also universal. I left visiting her to see another friend who recently made a move with her family to better their situation but right now that means living without water and gas until it can all get straight. She runs a nonprofit and right now nonprofits are not getting funding because their funding pipeline – people like me – are not in a position to give.
Instead of dwelling on how this area of our life (read: $) seems to be trapped in some sort of redlined groundhog’s day, we talked about what we are thankful for – they will own their house when this is all over. The American Dream. There is something to be said about being able to tap into this ubiquitous dream even if the reality is very different from what its founders had in mind.
The first friend I visited had a dozen long stem roses laying on her kitchen table, which seemed incongruent with the kids’ plates and crayons that were on the table too. What’s this? I said. A muddle, she said. It seems a universal truth that yearning for a lover and the appearance of one can seem to have the same deficient reality as the American Dream. The Big Love. Put it up there on your vision board and try to figure that one out.
A friend in Boston who always seems to be on the same vibe sent me an interesting article today on love and on Fortuna’s Wheel – written by Lauren Slater, a novelist and psychologist. Trying to understand love is like trying to predict your next up cycle. (read: impossible)
Last night, two of my friends discussed love, monogamy, marriage, desire and delusion. I sat between them at my kitchen counter nursing a cup of hot tea since I was feeling peaked. They, on the other hand, were well into their vodka tonics and I found the cold, sober, listening to be like almost tuning into some continuous loop of tape that I seem to have heard my whole life. I told her this, but she turned away. I bared my soul to her and she was not listening. I’m just so sad. All I want is for her to talk to me.
When I shoo’ed them out the door and curled up in my bed with my heating pad and extra quilt, I thought about what we want, what we expect, and what we get. I know it’s gratitude that makes everything tolerable, but I also wonder about these huge cycles of abundance and lack and how when there is abundance there is lack of awareness and when there is lack there is an abundance of awareness. So are we half asleep when all the good stuff is pouring down? Dream like state of bliss? And then when Fortuna’s Wheel spins round to the bottom, we see reality in harsh, glaring, truths.
You can keep it – if that is truth. Humbling as it has been to walk through fire – even ones I’ve set – I have to say the best part about curling up in my bed with my heating pad was embracing the boredom that has become so familiar in my going to bed routine, and it makes the craziness and survival mode my friends are in right now seem like some past life I don’t want to revisit.
Has it come to this? I know I’m coming out of the bad luck cycle that Slater describes, and I know that falling in love is not an if, it is a when, but right now, maybe because it is grey outside, and it’s warm inside, I’m convinced that another universal truth is to know when to hold them, and know when to fold them.