I could have packed the car myself, all neat and nice, but what good would that have done?
In the end, my father has to unpack the car and pack it again, so he is the one who has to understand it. Just like my sister’s basement, packed for the b-dry folks to come in and put some drainage under the slab, has to be the way she understands it.
The limits of their understanding are the limits of what I can do that will be of any value to them.
This truth is frustrating to me. I am boxed in by their expectations. I go to put a wire in a suitcase zipper, take a tag off a shoe, stow a Christmas tree and I have instant reviews of my attempt, the expectation of how my attempt will fail. They don’t understand my process and yet want to control it.
I spent the night they departed in the front lounge of a elegant old club, sitting with four enlightened straight guys and a tantric yoga instructor. They guys were cool with me, except the young Indian guy who was freaked. So it goes.
The guys were talking about passion and the challenges they had to find partners who could share their passion. The instructor said she gets 80% men and only about 20% of women in her sessions, attributing this to the pressure women are under in this society to not engage their passion, but rather to be one of the gang. Passion in men gets women hot, why they love musicians & cooks, but when focused on them, it can freak them out.
(Incidentally, Bull Durham is on while I write this, one of my favourite movies, an essay on passion that I quoted from last week. I am Annie Savoy in many ways. Costner never understood how much more attractive he is when his character is seen through the eyes of a sexy woman, which killed Tin Cup, no matter how wonderful Rene Russo was.)
It was a bit odd to be the second woman in this space, but it worked fine.
TantraGal and I are lunching together on Monday. And I am using some techniques that I learned around those men.
My history is one of disclosure. God, look at this blog; huge quantities of words attempting to expose myself; my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs, my vision, my heart. It’s masterful and moving, but not every engaging — how can you find space for yourself in this ocean of words?
My future, though, has to be one of vulnerability. I need to be open to others, and that means leaving spaces for them in my life. I need to allow myself to be acted upon, not just to act.
So, to this point I haven’t disclosed anything to TantraGal. I suspect that’s why she wants lunch; she wants to discover what she couldn’t ask in mixed company or on the phone.
I have avoided offering the boy stuff, which I understood to be a block in that group of men. They were there to be the men. I just had to be a woman, leaving space for me to be present that way, leaving space for them to be men, leaving space for TantraGal & I to connect as gals.
On the phone this morning, TantraGal was talking about the challenges of marketing in this area. On one hand, she wants to reach a broader range of clients, but on the other she is resisting being surfaced with pictures or videos.
I understood. The challenge of becoming product, of oversimplifying yourself to attract a wider audience, is something I struggle with, needing to do it and hating the very idea.
“You have to trust that your content will trump the form,” I told her. “Otherwise we are all screwed.”
“Yeah, I guess,” TantraGal said. “But as a Virgo I want control and perfection, and it is hard to let that go.”
We have much to teach each other, I think, but we will see.
I just need to trust in my own mysterious depths, in opening spaces for people to be connected with me. That’s not easy if you don’t trust your own content, if, say, you don’t yet know yourself as a woman, but want to be treated as one.
Opening spaces for connection is the way others can enter my level of understanding, rather than me being frustrated by the limits of their understanding.
I need to trust that my content will trump the form, which is the only way I can be open enough to be vulnerable.
Which is the only way I can be open enough to feel the connection I need as a human.