Another Era

kiss

 

I may have been imparted with a soul from another era. The deepest parts of me do not regularly find life or adventure or romance in the things of this age, but desperately long to cling to something . . . more, something grand and extraordinary, something that un-blinds my eyes and awakens truth, inspires dreams and plants heart-roots. Something magical.

Around a dining room table just a couple of months ago a friend shared stories of her grandfather’s pursuit of her grandmother. In his youthful exuberance, he drove until he ran out of gas following her family as they went on vacation. In order to return home after puttering out on the side of the highway he had to sell his spare tire. As my friend shared I wondered at what it would be to feel “wanted without hesitation” and wondered more at the decisions we have made that have steadily walked us away from the flamboyant gestures, commitment and dedication of pursuit.

This train of thought diverges through society and the ambivalence and apathy commonly seen today; through relationships as I think about the many great men and women that long for the freedom to pursue and be pursued; through culture as we continue to rush and progress exponentially at the cost of art and music and literature; and through expression as we forsake our own contributions of explaining, expanding and defining our culture for auto-fed one-liners and insta-success.

But, if I am honest, my concern and the sadness rests on the matters of the heart.  I long to see the strengthening of relationships and of communities that only comes with flamboyant gestures that break paradigms and lies, commitment that intensifies beauty and dedication that creates security.

Does it exist? Not in storybooks or accounts of years gone by, but does it exist today that boldness, courage, gumption and adventure would win out over fear, insecurity, doubt and caution? If you are starring potential in the face and have the choice to choose between a grand (potentially heartbreaking) story-line or a safe (potentially lacking) 140 character existence, which do you chose?

I met a couple this year that has been married for 50 years. Shortly after they met he had to go abroad and for an entire year they wrote letters to each other nearly every day. They grew to know each other and fall in love through pen and paper. They told their dreams and their secrets and sent them slowly through the post not knowing what the outcome would be or what story would unfold.

It is a shameful comparison to read through my recent text messages.

I would think I was strange if I were the only one wondering about the lives we are cultivating, but the more conversations I have the more I wonder if it is not the society we are creating that is strange, and more microscopically, the definition of loving relationships that has become skewed. The complaint is common: That the men do not show the testosterone, risk and adventure that sweeps a woman off her feet and the women do not let them if they try.

Help me, here, dear reader: How do we deepen our levels of commitment to ourselves and to each other? How do we cure this strangeness and learn to fall head over heels in love, despite the cost, to “man-up” and act chivalrous, to believe in the power of strong relationships, to let go and take life as an offering of beauty? To replace fear with the knowledge that we are made to thrive in this era and must not sit idly while all our stories are reduced to limited characters in small text boxes? How do we learn to love again?

 

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5 thoughts on “Another Era

    • These are good thoughts…while reflecting on these things I have realized that patience is not one of my strongest virtues and that I am grateful to have learned a bit about the power of risk. 🙂

  1. Your post is timely. I just met a man last month through mutual friends. He lives 2 hours away. We hit it off instantly. By the end of the night, we became friends on Facebook. I sent him the link to my blog. He read through them. We had wonderful “conversations” through our messages. They were like love letters from the bygone era. Then, he dropped off for 3 weeks. I tentatively wrote him back, hoping to “get him back”. He came back. Then, last week, he contacted me and asked me out.

    We went on the best date ever. He was gentlemanly and pulled out my chair, opened doors, paid for the meal (so chivalrous that when he noticed my discomfort on the food prices he offered to order for me and take off the pressure of thinking I was costing him too much money). We laughed and talked and went to a bar down the street and laughed, talked and flirted for another 3 hours. He passionately kissed me by the end of the night and became concerned that I had to drive home late at night and told me he expected a text message to let him know I was safe. I was on the moon! I got to act like a beautiful, desirable woman. He got to act like a chivalrous, take charge man. And best of all, we acted like ourselves and got to show our beautiful personalities to one another. I’ve been asking for a man like him for a long time now.

    But, reality set it and he dropped off the grid. Again. No texts, no messages, no phone calls. I emailed him. I called him. He did not even bother to return either one of these. Now, he has fallen into a pattern: show up, leave, show up, leave. And, if I stand idly by and let him show up again, I have contributed to the pattern. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that he is just not that into me. Sure, we had an amazing connection and sure there was passion. I let him be a man. He let me be a woman. But, for whatever reasons (though they are his reasons, and not justifiable excuses), he has decided that this connection is not worth pursuing. He doesn’t want to take any type of a risk or work for a possible dream come true.

    Although I am worried I have not done the right thing by today’s social media standards, I have deleted his contact information from my phone. I have deleted him from Facebook. This sounds harsh, but if he wants me, he can come get me. He can chase me down and make a romantic gesture and act like a fool. In fact, if he does all of this, I will let him play that part as well; and if he blows a tire on his way to come get me, or if he runs out of gas, or if some other obstacle pops up along the way that he has to overcome, then he will feel satisfied knowing he had the thrill of the pursuit on his side. He also knows that a possible reward awaits him at the end of this quest. That’s what pursuers want. And the pursued will set up the quest. Nothing is guaranteed. He could lose me for good. I could lose him for good. I could get someone better, or I could be left alone and not be pursued for a very long time. But, I want love in my life. I want the chance to feel my full self as a woman and as one who knows someone is out there looking for her and excited, scared and vulnerable, but still willing to show up and do what it takes to attain something great. And, love (both self-love and mutual love) is the ultimate greatness. So, I’ll risk it. Because, the answer to “How do we love again?” is by taking the risk. And part of the risk is opening our hearts up to the thrill of it all and the endless possibilities that await us if we just are willing to go get them or have them come and find us. 😉

  2. Megan, I am so incredibly glad you posted this story in response. It is the illustration of what I am asking here, and also comparable to the events in my life that created the tension and questioning. I stand in a similar place as you do – if he wants me, he can come get me, over any mountain and hurdle on the adventure. Because, both as a woman and as myself, I am worth that and I want him to know he is capable of that.

    I agree, risk is the biggest factor here. Being willing to risk, face the outcomes, face the hard days, face whatever, is what I feel we are missing. I hope that I learn more about the risk of opening my heart and don’t get closed inside myself. I hope that I am able to admit when I am sad or disappointed and not turn jaded or hard. I hope.

    Thank you, again. I am very grateful for your story, both as a companion on this strange journey and as a picture of the disconnect I am trying to express and navigate.

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