As I stand here washing bug guts off my van and reflecting on the fun road trip that put them there, I am struck by something. A few years ago, I would resist cleaning “fun” off my van for as long as possible. The dust and footprints reminded me of the fun I had, and how fortunate I was to have had those experiences (and the people I had them with). Somewhere down deep, the dirt memories on the outside of my van were salve for the part of me that missed the fun, and was worried that more fun of that caliber would not come again. When I feel that, it also left me in a perpetual state of “holding a door open, when it had clearly closed”. It’s like I wanted to fight the fact that “over is over”. I was holding on.
What is different now?
As I wash the squeaky dirt from my brake pads, I remember sneaking up on Bison for a cool picture—-and I keep washing.
When I wash the dust off the side mirrors, I remember seeing a new mountain range in them as I was trying to wring out the last bit of visual goodness—and I keep washing.
As I find a new scratch that will need filling later, I remember squeezing over into the trees along the road to be kind to those who were filling their pockets with adventures, just like we were—and I keep washing.
So, now the van is returning to its original color, and I notice what I am feeling. I am feeling gratitude and peace. I am not feeling sadness or fear of “fun scarcity”. I am also feeling excitement and possibility for the next thing I will experience, and my slate (van) is clean and ready. I am complete, and I am ready to be fully present in the next experience. How can I not be excited about possibilities?–at my car wash I get to wash my van with happiness and rainbows! Yes, I am ready.
OK, so what does this have to do with intimacy? Beautiful, touching, deep experiences happen to us all the time. We can create them ANYTIME, I assert. Those beautiful, deep experiences are not necessarily LONG ones though. So what happens when you hold on? Do you hold doors open that are actually closed? Do you hold onto the last vestiges of daylight and fight the night? What would be available to you if you were able to let things complete, feel their significance and be available for the future, rather than trying to prolong the now or dissect the past?
I see intimacy like bubbles, and some moments of connection to others are long and enduring, while others, are momentary. As humans we have the ability to be present and participate in moments of connection (intimacy) of various sizes and intensities all the time. I practice this when I am interacting with the people who kindly make my coffee, or mix my paint, or fix my car. I can ask them the same old questions, or I can get present, look that person in the face, and ask them something real—–not because that bubble is supposed to last a long time, but because we have the agility to step in and out of connection with people for the sake of being able to really connect with MANY people. This is how the world becomes a kind, soft place (I believe). This is how WE become kind and soft.
So, while I have been practicing this on an everyday scale, my deeper sense of belief and trust in natural completion has grown–do not worry or be sad, another will come along, as long as you can pay attention to it when it arrives.
Intimacy is like a car wash in that, when we complete something and wash it clean (which is different than forgetting), we honor the importance of it (big or small), and find ourselves at the ready for what can be consciously created next.
Are you holding onto bubbles that have popped? What would happen if you opened your hand, kissed your palm, and started getting excited for what is next?