Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Find Me

On the plane to New York, I read Rosie O'Donnell's book Find Me. I'm still watching The View because of her, and am addicted to reading her blog. How'd she get to be so wise? I had to know.

In this book, Rosie talks about believing things happen for a reason, and how sometimes she just knows things. Other times, not as deep, but profound, she has spingles. Spine tingles. When she recognizes those significant times, she feels compelled to follow up. In Find Me she tells of an obsessive quest to help a young woman. She recognizes a certain narcissism in wanting to be a superhero, sometimes to the detriment of her own family.

All the while reading this, I found myself thinking, but of course you're a bodhisattva! I found myself composing the short emails to her blog, thinking if it was meant to be, she would find me among the thousands of other messages. How I would tell her a bodhisattva is an enlightened codependent. She says several times in the book that she is not easy to love, with this obsessive superhero complex. I have to wonder though, if that has changed, or really, what her love Kelli would say to that.

Here I was travelling to New York on the basis of one of those spingle moments, thinking that if this man and I met for a reason, I was going to find out. I couldn't turn away, I had to investigate, and here I was reading about someone else's ability to obsess, turn it over into greater understanding, and come through it with a meaningful friendship. I hoped I would too.

Last Sunday I met two of my best friends for lunch. We'd all missed each other this summer, since my work on Sundays kept me away from our rendezvous. My homie asked me how my New York trip was. "A mixed bag." I managed to say it without a quaver. I wasn't quite ready to talk about it I thought.

But my homie wasn't going to let me get away with that. I told her about the confusion and hurt when he said he'd meet me, but wouldn't show up. About the constipation when the toilet wouldn't work and I had to put the brakes on my emotions. My other friend advised kindness for myself. I told them about reaching the understanding that if I chose to be angry and bitter it would make me a smaller person, stunted, but that if I chose to keep my heart open to love I could continue to expand my self, embrace love, love all. All three of us teared up in the noisy restaurant, a small bubble of intimacy among strangers. I was glad my friends could understand that was my kindness to myself. We laughed over my starting out wanting to tell them of the 'good things' like the musical "Wicked" and the erotica reading and the Museum of Natural History, but that the 'bad things' turned out actually to be the 'good things' of the trip.

Yesterday I talked to my homie again about a dream I had. I confessed that as I do with strong feelings, I'd been requesting my dreams to tell me what's up with this. Why did I persist? Why the strong connection? All that time, I could not remember my dreams. I haven't been sleeping well due to back pain and allergy issues. That night, I didn't ask that I could remember, but yesterday morning I had a long dream that I knew was significant. My friend is going through a profound transformation of her own right now, and I asked for her help with her wide open state of mind. Together we realized that

1. I put myself out there in the world as my real self, knowingly. Even if I felt like covering up, cleaning up that messy self, that way is closed to me. [I was walking in the mall in my bathrobe. I knew and didn't care. But then it occurred to me that I might be smelly and my robe dirty and I didn't want to bother others with that so I decided to buy some clothes to wear home. Too late the gates were pulled down on the stores, the mall was closing.]

2. I am making a practice of this love of all, seeing where it leads even with someone far away, but I didn't do that with my family. I got out of Wisconsin, away from my birth family. I had to. I'm sure I knew on some level that it might be easier to chase love far away than to chase love on my own childhood's doorstep, but I confessed to her I probably didn't want to know that. [In the dream I went from the mall in a giant pickup truck that is my brother's, and he is with me when I get to the hilly neighborhood with winding curvy streets. We come across a time traveller (I am a time traveller too) in the body of a dog, too late I realize my nephew Zac was time traveling too and the dog was trying to warn him. My brother and I turned to the dog, too late. Something happened to my nephew and he is dead, injury irreversible in time travel.]

My friend commented it was too bad I couldn't extend this practice of love closer to this home. I said I am, but that in this man's case the love found me and I couldn't turn away, that I have managed to walk that fine edge of remaining open to love but not falling head over heels into love. I was glad that made sense to her, and that she accepts that I am capable of both and many kinds of love.

I could and I do need to make greater effort to reach out to my nephews. That is a long distance love it has been too easy to take for granted, and I need to take care, at least as good a care as I do for this stranger in New York. I have not come out to my birth family as polyamorous and bisexual. In some ways, many ways, they are strangers to me. That was another lifetime, and my nephews grew up without me. It has been vital to me to be honest with a stranger who I would be sexual with, but it has not been vital to me to reveal this truth to my family. No need to shock my grandma, and probably not my mom. If I knew my nephews better, perhaps they need to know me better...something for me to think about.

Incidentally, in Find Me, Rosie transforms some deep scars regarding her mother's death through her obsessive superheroish love. Today on The View her best friend from the age of 3 said that what people might not know about Rosie is how generous Rosie is. When cohost Joy said, "The world does know," Jackie said, "No, you don't." Rosie shushed her. She doesn't want the world to know what a tremendous superhero giver she is. Another bodhisattva clue, I would say. She sees the selfishness in her love, as I do mine, but she keeps turning it over for the benefit of the world, as I try to do mine. She doesn't want the accolades for giving, she doesn't do it to feed her narcissist self.

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