Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

My Childhood Friend

My best friend was the boy next door. He was two years older than the three year old me when we first met. He taught me to draw on white walls, climb up trees, and read tiny little philosophy books. We lived in our own world and had our own language just through our glances. His family introduced me to black coffee, steak tartare and sushi while my parents could barely afford enough rice.

I’ve always loved him.

Years later when I moved to the United States I had forgotten about him. In my 30s I went to visit my hometown and ran into his dad. With deteriorating eyes, the old professor was still able to spot me at a distance. He put his arm around me as we walked and told me that I was the daughter-in-law he wished he had. He then waved to his new wife to greet us. I remember her well, and I remember wondering how at 20 years younger she became his third wife. She was well known in the community as the loud-mouth, and whenever she was speaking, I felt as if she were screaming angrily yet with joyful excitement. Such contradictions, that creature.   

They invited me for tea in their home. She then showed me photos of her soon to be daughter-in-law and protested the upcoming union.

“She is just pretty, white skin and long black hair. But there’s nothing inside!” The third wife screamed at me, waving the photos. “When she comes over to stay with us her long black hair sheds everywhere – on the floor, clogging up my shower, and it even lands in our sacred art studio!”

I looked down, into my teacup, and noticed the floating leaves. Fresh, light, and fragrant. I didn’t say anything.

“We saw your art exhibition! It’s interesting how your style is completely unrelated to your exposure at this Art Institute you grew up in! Forgetting your roots. Must be all that Western influence you received. Still, we wish you were our daughter-in-law!” She noticed my quietness against her own intensity, “I see your Chinese communication is subpar. Anyway, I know the press is coming tomorrow with TV stations and newspaper reporters so I’ve asked my son to prepare you for the interviews. He’s coming to pick you up.”

NO!

My heart was pounding…

I haven’t seen him since I was 12 and I have scars he has never seen. I would rather go on – never having him see me – for the rest of my life.

I’ve aged. I’ve gotten damaged. I’ve never found a deep personal love who was willing to marry me. I’m what the Chinese people call a disappointing “Leftover Woman”.

But now it has just become too late, the door opened and there he was…

“Ba, Ma, Maple.” He called out to my childhood name like no time had passed since we were together. He walked toward me and sat beside me, “sorry I was late, I went by your art exhibition first before coming here. Very unique, like you.”

I smiled. He smiled. That gaze, the lingering glance, our separate worlds reunited.

We walked in the misty rain along the cobblestone road lined with green, yellow, and orange leafed maple trees. “I love when the cold breeze and the rain combine forces, I can feel it in my bones,” he smiled. He’s always so calming, gentle, and mysterious. We walked and walked like time never existed. I felt myself floating yet miraculously grounded. I too felt the rain and the breeze as an invitation to feel the forces of pure existence. Most people never open that invitation and just toss the gift aside. Likewise, I’ve lived closed off from existence for way too long… 

We walked up 6 flights of stairs as the rain began to darken. His apartment was well-lit but small – kitchen, dinning room, bedroom, and another room used as an art studio. I stood in the doorway of his art studio as he pulled down the dusty white coversheet to unveil his new work. I can smell the oil painting still fresh in the air.

Nude, pure rosy white skin, long black hair flowing in the wind. Expressionless. A bit cold, yet mysteriously alluring.

“This is my wife, we marry next month.” He stared off into the corner of the room, “my dad couldn’t comprehend why I fell in love. I guess I’ve always chased the inexplicable.”

I didn’t say anything and walked back to the dinning room and sat down. “So what type of work do you do now?” I was curious why he didn’t live on campus at the Art Institute as most of the children of the elite professors such as his dad also pursued professorships within the institution.

“I teach oil painting and philosophy at City College.” He sat across the small table, “of course my dad does not approve. He has always chased fame, money, and status. For me, I just want freedom.” 

I nodded. Remembering that steak tartare and fancy sushi were never my choice of lunch as a child.

We went on to discuss fractals and how it became became a profound expression of art for me. The chaos, the order, the intricacies, the universal patterns, the self resemblance. I’ve told him each of the pieces came to me as a divine gift – not of my own creation – each distinctively poignantly dictated by a higher intelligence. I’ve used it as a guidance system for my personal evolution.

“Yes, you are beginning to tap into the big ME and letting go of the little ME.” He lowered his voice and sounded so much like his dad lecturing. “Most people live their entire life or lives in the little ME and never expect or let alone imagine a way out. That’s the chaos in the fractal. Order only emerges when you zoom out into the big ME space. Fractals are a mirror into the infinite boundless zoomed-out space where only the big ME exists and the little ME is only a tiny approximation of the whole.”

Without the need to understand his wistful philosophy, I saw the excitement in his eyes, and from there I was momentarily transported into that unlimited existence.

“Just like you and me. We grew up together as little MEs. You believed you were you and I was me. When you moved away I was mourning and later realized you still remain a part of me. Like I was always a part of you. No time or distance can ever erase the you in me, and the me in you. Now that’s the expansion into the big ME.” I was lost in his words and instead reached into the feelings, “In all of the world’s philosophy and religion there’s a unified goal of explaining the obscure, the thing you may call Love, God, or big ME that’s always there, somewhat felt but unseen. Your fractal art is a doorway leading us into the big ME by zapping you instantaneously with the shapes and colors and beauty so you have no choice but to forget the little ME – even if just for an instant.”

Four hours passed like a single eternity. Just for an instant, I realized that he had given me more than just interview preparation, he had given me himself, that self which has always been a part of me…

September 13, 2020 - Posted by | Self Realization

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