Craving, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is an intense, urgent or abnormal desire or longing.
As defined by me, a craving is a red herring.
Lust after that so you don’t look too deeply over here, because you may have to do some serious excavation, and you know how laborious that can be! And potentially frightening! Are you sure you don’t want to just [have sex, scarf that bagel, buy those shoes, call in sick and spend another 10 hours watching Game of Thrones, desire that which won’t help you achieve what you really desire]?
You know all about my cravings. As with all that I write here, once it’s down and out, the fog pulls back as if it’s noon on the mesa. And there, for me to look at and smile or wince or shudder or shrug my shoulders, sits the answer to my question. Often times it’s a question I haven’t asked, but need to.
Writing about my distracting level of prepubescent boy-craziness lit the fuse. And today the cannon went bang. As the fuse was burning down I kept ignoring the crackling and sizzling. I wanted to be out, be social. I wanted to get caught up in the early summer celebrations and mingle and let encounters lead where they may.
I wanted to be all girly.
I didn’t have time for looking around to see that I was slowly sliding down the chase of a cannon, my head just above its muzzle. I was having too much fun! Hence, a parade of characters (I mean that in the nicest thespian way) came to deliver the news: You are swinging in the exact opposite direction of where you need to go. We’re sending you back.
Hold on tight!
On the night I met the golf pro, the soccer announcer and the male stripper, I had the most strained encounter yet with Mr. Wildcard. We’ve been awkward with each other for some time, but this night I felt that my presence was making him uncomfortable. Not in a huge way, but enough to make me want to tap into his brain and ask it directly, Why the shift? Why did we go from a budding friendship (not just via text! :-0 How novel!) to cordial but stilted, and only if interaction was absolutely necessary?
I don’t have an answer for you because I haven’t posed the question. One day I’ll know, when the mood is right.
I felt him behind me as I stood at the table of the visiting gents from England, saying goodbye as they finished their dinner. A quick goodnight became an impromptu conversation on honest, open, thoughtful, and compassionate communication, with a married man, a single man and one with a girlfriend, and me, divorced. (In days.)
Why aren’t people more straightforward? Yes, ask for it! (I think the stripper said that.) Just say what’s on your mind.
Or in your heart, I added.
When the conversation veered toward adultery, the married man said he would end his marriage before he would cross that line. If the urge was so strong that he needed to act on it, it would mean his marriage was over, and there was no reason to complicate matters further by engaging in an affair.
As we whipped through a weekend’s worth of Relationships 101 in about 10 minutes, the segue between topics always seemed to end with the same sentiment – You have to be willing to engage in honest, productive communication in the moment, and you both have to be really good at it with each other.
After I asked the stripper for a fifth time, Are you really a stripper?, to which he demurely smiled, popped open his dark chocolate eyes, and laughed, Yes! I bid farewell.
Mr. Wildcard was gone.
Hugging the curves on Highway 1, the Bolinas lagoon at near high tide, I stopped trying to figure out what happened between Mr. Wildcard and me, and just accepted that something did. The way we interact now doesn’t make me feel good. But instead of both of us acknowledging the obvious and feeling comfortable enough with each other to address it, we are pretending to be distant friends.
We’re not good at open, honest, thoughtful, compassionate communication with each other in the moment.
I have to walk away.
In this case not literally – west Marin is a small community, I’d just bump into him again. In all cases not literally…actually. I have to walk away psychically. (I’m not fully sure what I mean by that, but it’s the word seems to fit.)
After I spilled my guts here about my craving for non-marital sex (the horror!), Mr. Jackpot called me. We hadn’t spoken since our fishing trip, when a great day ended with his needs not being met. (I’m not talking about primal needs.) I didn’t find out the reason for the abrupt and testy end to our day until the phone call.
The conversation was like a tennis match between two drunks. Moments of accidental brilliance made even more brilliant by the epic failures.
We’re not good at open, honest, thoughtful, compassionate communication with each other in the moment.
I have to walk away.
Not literally, but psychically.
In the last two weeks I have been inundated by glimpses into relationships with varying degrees of commitment and varying degrees of success. From being witness to a fight between a couple, to listening to a married couple share a tale of a brave and maybe misguided choice that ultimately sent them on a life-changing adventure, to a woman exploring post-divorce encounters and experiencing the highs and lows that we don’t like to admit we miss when we are married. (The bittersweet lows, not the ugly ones.)
So much is emoted out when we are engaged in a relationship, regardless of the level of commitment. When human emotions are stoked, even briefly, magical things happen. Experiences that empty us, in good and taxing ways, both beneficial. But I was beginning to feel drained by the effort needed to engage in heavy dialogue that was spoken and that which has been left unsaid.
On the heels of my conversation with Mr. Jackpot, I caught up with a kitten with whom I’ve become friends after he helped me out in the most profound way. Based on past experience with his sense of humor, I knew I’d take a few hits for my most recent post. I thought perhaps he’d offer to find the antidote to Lybrido or send me links to YouTube videos of puppies frolicking through a picnic strewn meadow populated by nuns, all in an effort to settle my urges.
I was a tad off base.
He went above and beyond the call of duty, even by kitten standards, and offered to have sex with me.
That is taking one for the team.
We shared a fantastic laugh while I sat under a dark Bolinas sky filled with black and grey clumps of fast moving fog. I didn’t have much in the way of witty replies, but relied on short bursts of laughter to take the place of words.
I mean, what do you say?
My Mom is shouting, Say No, but thank you for offering! right now.
I didn’t take him up on his most generous extension of support. Which, in all honesty, was made as a joke.
Maybe, kind of. I think.
That night I slid into fresh sheets (love) and battled for the pillow with my ever present, domineering man, High Maintenance Kitty, wondering why I didn’t throw caution to the wind and ask Mr. Wildcard about the sudden temperature dip in our friendship when it first occurred, or why I didn’t ask Mr. Jackpot, in a way that made him feel safe to reply, the reason for the chill after a day of fun in the sun right in the moment. I even wondered why I didn’t say, Yes, please! to the offer of a roll in catnip (Bad puns – sometimes they’re irresistable.) from a kitten. Even if it was said in jest, there was a message hidden in the poke and wink. Not from the kitten, from the Universe.
I found it all exhausting and fell asleep. Something I’ve been quite good at lately. Staying asleep, however, is impossible when small, furry paws with claws that don’t retract are constantly petting my face, and a gritty tongue is licking my hair. The fact that I have even one amorous thought is remarkable to me. I feel mauled in my own bed, and I’m spent.
With just a smidge of cord left on a fuse that’s been burning for near two weeks, I met Mr. Viking for lunch on a day when he was in town. With his travel we’d only seen each other once since the wedding and had barely talked, for no other reason (Uh-huh, says the Universe) than busy lives. When the date was set I was excited, but as it approached I was feeling uneasy. On the drive to the restaurant I felt like I was going meet my boyfriend.
So we could break up.
I smugly discarded the concrete sensation as waste from an overactive, and therefor delirious, emotional body.
We went from hug, hello!, kiss, kiss to talking in circles of barbed wire about someone neither of us knew. The subject is only important in the sense that it highlighted that We’re not good at open, honest, thoughtful, compassionate communication with each other in the moment.
So I walked away. Psychically and physically. I had to. I was shot out of a cannon.
With ancient Bruce Springsteen just a little too loud and an open road leading me into the west Marin hills, my feisty self thought, This is all good, man. All these encounters that sizzle, burn, flame up or out are opportunities to learn!
And then my Observer Self hauled off and smacked me right when I was singing, The screen door slams…
You are engaging in encounters that aren’t moving you along your path to avoid sitting still and taking care of yourself, tending to what you need (not want) so that you aren’t craving, but creating. Organically, with fulfilling results.
The cravings have distracted me from what I’m meant to be doing right now. By design. I don’t want to be doing it.
As I pulled into The Calmmune tonight, a Stag stood outside my door. He bounced over a hedge and stopped, turning to make eye contact. The fuzz on his antlers blurred their edges, making the bone seem soft, pliable. His eyes were liquid and calm. I wondered if he was the same deer that the dudes and I watched walk, then swim, then walk across the lagoon as we drove home last night. Quite a shortcut to take to Bolinas, but with the lack of road signs and his unique abilities, he can’t be faulted for an evening stroll through calm waters.
We stopped the car to watch his journey in silence as twilight descended. I sensed his determination, quiet and gentle, and his peace at being alone. I thought of the Hind and her fawn who darted out in front of our car a few days ago, requiring me to test the brakes. According to the seat belt marks on the dudes’ shoulders and the lack of what looked to be a certain collision, they work well.
These encounters weren’t the typical, Oh, look! A deer! experiences. The totem cards beckoned.
Deer has entered your life to help you walk the path of life with full consciousness and awareness, to know that love sometimes requires caring and protection, not only in how we love others, but also in how we love ourselves. The Stag is linked to the sacredness of the magical forest. He represents independence, purification and pride. And the Hind tempts us to release the material trappings of so-called ‘civilization’ to go deep into the forest of magic. She urges us to explore our own magical and spiritual nature. To enter the realm of the wild things in the spirit of love and communion. (Taken in part from Shamanic Journey)
I’ve been trying to commune with man, not nature. (I refuse to use a magic forest pun here. Out of respect for you.) Even though the idea of spending time in a magical forest is thrilling to me, I’ve been choosing to spend my alone-time not wanting to be alone.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made solitude a priority.
All the signs are saying, The time is now.
And so are the Two Witches.
Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and feeling with me through your blog. We are both going through similar experiences and to know somebody shares my perspective is beyond comforting. Sometimes I am certain we were married to the same man.
Your last post isn’t sitting well with me. I don’t k ow whether it is because it is too close to my experiences or you are oversimplifying your male relationships. Do you think that we aren’t communicating openly because we aren’t ready? Or maybe it’s just something that takes time ? I do think that many men take our lead on when and how to communicate feelings and thoughts. They don’t seem to feel the need to put everything out there like we do.
I think you should reconsider walking away from these men without putting in some effort yourself to find out what’s on their mind. I Know that I avoid communicating with men I’m dating when I really enjoy their company. I’m quite open with the ones I’m on the fence about.
Thank you for helping me through my own struggles. You have set me straight on so many occasions!
Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your kind words and your honesty.
The oversimplifying you accurately pick up was for the sake of space – white space. The post would have been a book had I delved into the details of the interactions (or, in the case of Mr. WC the lack of interaction) in 3D detail. Your questions are ones to ponder, and I will as I drive through the hills today. I’m grateful for them!
I have to walk away psychically. And in the case of the lunch with Mr. Viking I had to walk away physically. (I didn’t clutch my bag and run from the restaurant, but as the conversation continued outside, going round and round, I looked into his twinkling eyes and with a hug said, I have to go.) But it was for sure a walk-away. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to remain friends with both Mr. JP and Mr. V, but I need to have better discernment with how I spend my time.
The epiphany was in the realization that my cravings are not my needs. The time I have spent lately indulging them has been a choice to avoid exploring within. I have a few issues that need to be tended to that are in direct opposition to that which I crave.
I’m not sure if these words shed light or only serve to muck up my original thoughts. Clearly, a trip deep into the forest is needed to help me to tie it all together, but I know deep inside that I have to spend more time alone in another round of excavation to deal with some issues that need attention – confidence, self-esteem and what to do now that I am flying through the air. Stay close, K. I very well may need some straightening out myself!
Lisa L says
Would love to hear more on this topic! Especially if you choose to have a conversation with these men and get inside their heads. I’ve been having the same challenges. Dating men where everything seems to be going great, then they pull back. I did have to walk away from one of these men a few months ago and be the protector of my own heart. Recently, I felt strong enough and detached enough to have an honest conversation with him to find out what went on for him. Surprisingly he admitted he was scared and it was too soon for him after his separation but says he’s really into me and wants to resume our “relationship”. At this point I’ve detached enough that I’m not that interested anymore and I see that we are (were) lacking clear, honest communication. The lack of communication isn’t unusual and like Kathleen said, the men I date that I’m on the fence about or feel our relationship is purely physical, I have no problem communicating with in a direct and open fashion. The men I have a real connection with, not so much. Do I contact him, do I wait for him to contact me etc, etc. All the same high school bullshit and games. It all comes down to vulnerability. I am currently reading Brene Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”. Vulnerabilty is a bitch but teaches us some wonderful lessons. Asking the questions to those that we have an attachment to leaves us wide open to vulnerability. Ugh! Pretty sure these men are feeling it too on some level (along with Shame). I agree with you in that the craving for male company (and sex) can be used as a distraction from our real work but I also agree with your original thought that these interactions are all lessons. Especially if we get up the courage to have honest discussions with these guys to find out what’s going on for them. “We are all just walking each other home”. I try to remember this quote and to be grateful for each person that walks with me no matter how briefly. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts with us. Somehow whatever your write always seems to be exactly where I am on this journey as well. Thanks for walking me home. xoxo L
Apologies for the delay in responding to this comment. It’s been good crazy, and you’ve been so delightfully patient. Thank you.
In addition to your spot on realizations, I have also discovered the idea of vibrations. I know, I’m a late bloomer. On the surface this disconnect we feel is due to not being able to naturally communicate in an open and honest fashion. But what causes that?
We are vibrating on a different level. As we shift and grow and morph our vibrational energy changes. Or, perhaps, our vibrational energy is what has us shifting and growing and morphing on different planes. One vibrational energy is not better or smarter or grander than another, just different. Different based on our soul’s commitment to our journey here and what it needs to be.
I can’t resist: We are vibrators. Ha!
I’m grateful to be walking with you home. And look at us! No slept in mascara, no shame, no rumpled clothes. Just beautiful spirits being honest with ourselves. Honesty. So beautiful. Thank you for being here with me.
Communicate in the moment, it is something that during my dating, engaged and marriage to my Genius, i always struggled to find yet never able to attain, My struggles no matter how hard i tried where never fully achieved. As in words Yoda style(yes i am a sci fi geek at heart) exhausting endeaver it was. I thought every relationship struggled this way. Yet in all the years together, i never really realized i actually worked for communication or perhaps i thought it was routine work, regardless i thought it was just one of those things you had to do to keep a relationshio going. , Until i divorced and now in a new relationship i didn’t have to. Say what? Yep, i don’t have to work at communicating, It just does, If relationship communication were judged like a dance competition, mine and the genius’s would have come in last place, Awkward, full of incoordination, sometimes he would move better sometimes me, but never together did we move all that beautifully, it didn’t mean we didn’t like it or didn’t practice, just mismatched.
This one, my current one with who i call on here J, we would be bringing home the trophy. It is very, very hard to explain in words, it just happens and does, We flow well together across the dance floor, him always knowing where i am going, and me always knowing him, We are both atuned to each other, but not in a way we have to work for, there is almost a natural vibe there, Like it was always this way, or in another life even maybe, or meant to be. I don’t know, i just know that there is no work, no work to communicate or keep the other happy, or fulfill needs,
Now there is a level of great love and respect there for each other as not being joined as one in a relationship, being only the relationship but 2 individual human beings that are different seperate yet have the same goal of love and happiness for the other. A level of respect that is never broken. Put the other’s need about our own, it seems to be in balance, and of course it probably helps that we are both libras, lol!!!! If i am unhappy, we work to solve it, and if he is not happy, we work the same. no blaming, finger pointing or judgement, the fear of offending or angering is gone with J, not the case as it was with the genius. Tip toe across the dance floor i guess, scared to hurt Genius’s very fragile self esteem. There is no waiting either, in the moment communication,
here is a recent conversation involving weight, happiness does that lol!: Me: “J i have gained weight recently!” a statement not a question lol, J: ” you have put on some weight recently, just know i will love you at any size, but yes u r right you have” J: “do you want to do something about it or are you ok with it?” Me: ” No, i don’t like it it is too hard to exercise at night and my eating is horrible, it puts stress on my back” J: Ok, well, lets see what kind of programs you can start and enjoy doing” J: “How about something early in the morning? I can takeover the morning routine with the kids so you can get that in.” etc, and so he would continue and give me ideas on how to handle it and perhaps look into a few places for me.
now with my marriage to The Genius, that same conversation would have turned to finances, money, time he doesn’t have, that i don’t have,what i am not doing with the time i already have, better use of time, how i need to not eat as much and that would solve the problem, how he is already overwhelmed with his mornings, what i need to stop doing, what i need to start doing and of course the ever cop out of, i don’t see that you have gained weight, you are fine to me, there is no problem.
just 2 different relatioship styles dealing with the same question/problem.
we don’t clunkily hop on the dance floor more like flow. Perhaps it will always stay that way maybe it won’t and we lose our footing and fall but one thing i am glad i don’t have to struggle with anymore is working to have it that way now in the present.
I believe if u struggle in the beginning of a relationship with communication you will always struggle. The flow is either there or it is not. You can’t create it. The only thing you should work on is keeping your communcation in a relationship open and neutral without hositility, not the other persons. That is for them to work on themselves, i can’t do it for them.
You are a goddess. Thank you for getting right to the heart of the difference between those who communicate well together and those who don’t. If a relationship fails because of communication, it doesn’t mean that both people can’t communicate well. They just may not do so with each other. Synergy! Maturity. You both share these traits. I would also venture to guess that you are a good match intellectually and emotionally.
If you struggle in a friendship with communication then for sure a relationship would require a fulltime interpreter/referee!
I look forward to the time in my life when I’m ready to attract that fit for me.
But I still won’t be his girlfriend.
Thanks so much for sharing this post! Its been a while since I’ve hopped back here to read – and damn, I’m sure grateful I did today.
Currently I’m going through a similar struggle – trying to sort through the healing process and balance meeting my needs and sometimes wants (though under a different set of circumstances). Today I had to accept that my needs and wants may be very different, but my needs are non-negotiable, wheras the wants, they come and go. and then came a very very similar epiphany that I need to be alone right now (i have a lovely and patient Guy who I’ve slowly embarked on something with) – and space (for both me and him) is so so so essential. Especially for me – because even though we need connection and are loved, I’m still healing, and need to give myself to grow into my new self, and perhaps this relationship.
Anyhow, I found your post very comforting. It reminded me that nothing is black / white and this grey area we all reside in to figure stuff out isn’t so bad, but also necessary.
Thank you again – have a wonderful wonderful trip.
While reading your words I felt comforted! You are at peace with this journey. That’s inspiring. I am so glad you took the time to comment, J. Thank you.
“…nothing is black / white and this grey area we all reside in to figure stuff out isn’t so bad, but also necessary.” Like the fog, this grey area is magical. If we knew, if everything was black and white, we’d be bored, pissy, and without purpose. To figure this all out, some of us need huge blocks of alone time. That need motivated my decision to psychically walk in a different direction. I need to be alone. That said, stay close!
a bruja says
Took me a bit to figure out the stag was actually indeed a deer. It’s Bobo, a stag could mean a lot of things.
But indeed the stag it was delivering his message accurately. Well done.
peaceout cleo. Loving this.
Thank you, L. Yes, here a Stag could be interpreted many ways. Next time I’d like to walk alongside him and get his thoughts on life. Stay close, L.
Hela (Goddess of the Damned) aka MLP says
Good grief woman! I was exhausted reading this and getting more and more concerned right up until your Observer self kicked butt!!! I am extremely partial to that side of you by the way…she’s a full on warrior and I am grateful she tends to be at the fore of your consciousness these days.
My dear friend, I understand the need to have companionship and the odd tussle in the catnip. It’s natural and very normal. Yet, you seem to be reaching for more than this. I could be wrong and believe it or not…I love to be corrected, so feel free.
You are trying so hard to establish balanced communication outside of yourself…you are not communicating inward. Right now, this path that you are on…is all about you. You learning who YOU really are. You have spent so many years being a wife and mother, do you know who Cleo is? Who is she really??
My two cents worth (I would offer more but I am hellishly frugal) your communication with those around you will fall into place when you are in tune with you and you communicate honestly and openly with yourself. You know all this already, your Observer self acknowledged it.
That psychically walking away thing…I would consider an act of non-resistance, a perfect way to handle it. However, you are then churning it over and wondering why this pattern keeps cropping up. Get in touch with you more. Let the rest of it go.
Every now and then you are going to bounce off the walls, we all do…and it will always happen. Human and fallible remember the good news is your self awareness seems to be stronger than ever, otherwise you wouldn’t have recognised the kick up the arse revelation from Observer self.
You are absolutely right, a little solitude is needed…go out there and commune with you. The creativity that results from this will be amazing.
I write this as my gorgeous Norwegian Forest cat called Merlin curls up next to me for his evening cuddle. So there you have it, a magical forest.
You’re doing brilliantly C, no doubt about it from this end. Just breathe.
As always, MLP, you’ve landed spot on.
Just as I concluded a read through of your comment I heard the word ‘diluted’. Don’t dilute your time here with encounters or habits or unconscious moves that don’t challenge you, fulfill you, delight you. Make good choices about how time is spent.
“You are trying so hard to establish balanced communication outside of yourself…you are not communicating inward. Right now, this path that you are on…is all about you. You learning who YOU really are. You have spent so many years being a wife and mother, do you know who Cleo is? Who is she really??” All that time spent desiring adult playtime was absolutely a red herring. Look over here so you don’t see what’s over there.
I’m so happy and centered and peaceful with just the realization that the need wasn’t really a need, but part of the strategy of this game. Letting go of wanting to couple up has been liberating like no other experience.
I’m getting back to me, MLP. Thank you for your extraordinary insight and delightful humor. And for caring.
(Merlin – a NF cat named Merlin. So very perfect.)