A Moment of Authory* Self-Reflection
Some months back, Iʼm half way through writing the book before I notice almost all of it is internal narrative of the main character.
I had been considering going back to edit it towards more external action, and less dominated by early-adult thought-angst of not fitting in.
But then I realised (and claimed for myself):
“No this is the book I write. This stream of consciousness arises from my world as I knew it. I lived in a very introspective world. Perhaps a self-indulgent world, perhaps a world that was ready for transformation via mindfulness. Either way, this writing perhaps conveys the pain, and the value, of mind that is full of itself, and mind learning to know itself, as experience happens around it. As I write into the fiction of Stuart finding Aleena, I focus on Stuart’s own mind. This is the way that seems inevitable for me to write it. Others can do the other ways.”I mentioned this on Facebook a few days ago, about tending to write from internal narrative, and someone replied simply: “How very Virginia Woolf of you.”
If you Prefer to Read Contiguously, from the Opening Sentence Forward, Here are Links to the Previous Six Deliveries on 2 Rules of Writing:
Delivery 3 : To the Future, Where we Know Ourselves
Delivery 4 : Keep Going, Son
Delivery 5 : Mindfulness
Delivery 6 : Shoulder Energy
But for those ready to jump right (back) in:
Where we began, way back in January 2022
I was young; I was anxious; I was bound to an archaic concept of me.
She smoothed my mind and body with her sunny day thoughts and yoga softened hands.
I agreed to her assumptions and her understated demands.
Where we were at, at the end of Delivery 6, mid June:
The way you are going though will take us 15 days. She laughed again and stroked my chest assuringly. I wanted to ask her if she had experienced that 15 minutes thing and with who, but I backed off, deciding I just did not need to know. Instead I just said “I want to learn how to do that with you”.
“There is no learning, there is only doing” she whispered.
And with that cliché, even I laughed, and I relaxed, and I pulled her towards me,
and felt our energies merge, a few moments before our bodies followed into wild
Where we go now, into Delivery 7:
We never really perfected the 15 minute thing. And I began to feel that Aleena sometimes just mouthed some of her affirmative proclamations for effect. But her effect on me was exhilarating. In the days after our first love-making session we discovered each otherʼs hot spots, searched each otherʼs souls, and jumped in and out of each otherʼs beds like micro-dosed rabbits. The 15 minute timer dissipated. Neither Aleena or I felt the passing of time at all. We lay and romped in the proverbial garden of Eden and we were alone, and complete, and newly born.
The days turned into weeks and then months. We never talked about the future. We somehow silently agreed that we did not want to risk the moment with promises we would not keep, or even intentions that would not come to pass.
Aleena seemed to have a job to go to, but many days she just forgot to go. I asked her about her work, but she just returned, “It is so boring, being a worker in the machine, Iʼd rather snuggle up with you. Donʼt talk about boring things.”
“But wonʼt your boss call you in for a talk?”
“She has tried that many times, and I just forget to go to her office.”
“And they keep you on?”
“Ha! They would have Estreda to answer to if they lift their H.R. hands!”
“My Great Auntie.”
I wanted to find out more. It felt weird that I knew her body and mind from top to bottom but did not quite know what she did for work. But when I persisted she would roll over on her belly, put her hands back over her ears and call out, “I am deaf blind and dumb, Take me!”
So, inevitably I took her. All the time knowing it was she who was taking me.
In between Taking Each Other in Bed, we took each other to our favourite places in the city. Aleena liked to take me to Fringe Theatre events. Like the one where the audience was on the stage and the actors were out in the stalls. They roamed around, in a range of costumes from disparate eras, calling to us:
“Desist from the tired old ways, and come and join us down here.”
But when we laughingly began to climb off the stage another mob of them would be there, ordering us back:
“Go back to where you belong Serfs!”
And in the Dress Circle we could just make out naked feet and arms appearing above the balustrade, as if an orgy were happening that the audience was not being invited to view, and voices calling out:
“Do it to me, do it to me one more time.”
In the interval we were each given copies of Maoʼs Red Book, a CD of Early Medieval Chanting, and a Balloon with our Name on it.
We agreed it was not wise to try to make rational sense of all this. We held hands and whispered love messages to each other.
I took her to the bar where I used to go when I was lonely. I wanted her to understand what she had saved me from.
I knew little about what girls drink in bars. I assumed they liked sweet pink things with bubbles and little sticks or umbrellas coming out. But no. When I asked her what she would like to drink, she whispered, “Double Dark Rum, Neat”. Of course I smiled and said “Dark Rum for 2, it will be.”
And when we sat in the little alcove where I had reviewed the evening papers so many times, alone, I began to explain how much she meant to me. She would hang her head as if she was listening intently, and when I had finished my sentences she would look up, and say, something like:
“I hear you Stu, we are both fortunate, but never forget we do not own each other and never can. People like us are born free, and we come from a long line of interstellar voyagers, and this planet is not our home.”
I never knew how to respond to such. Maybe it was true. I did not want to argue against her ways of understanding, nor did I want to affirm. So I would say something like:
“I love adventuring with you.” The non-committal me, matching the non-committal she.
It did not matter, what she said, what I said, at the end of the evening we would whisper to each other, something like, “Whose turn to be Master, this night?” On the nights she was master, I submitted and abandoned my power to her. On the nights I was master she did what I commanded, and yet… I felt and knew where the power was held, and it was not in me.
Mindfulness Fades into the Background
We only returned to the mindfulness evening once. As we walked into the room, hand in hand, the facilitator welcomed us with a smile, then a wry look, like “Aha! I knew it.”
We took our places, deliberately on opposite sides of the room.
Part way through the introductory closed-eyes mindfulness meditation I opened my eyes, as I was curious about the other people in the room. Aleena was sitting like a guru, perfectly composed, eyes closed, seemingly in a trance. I moved my eyes around the room, curious about the others. A young woman caught my eyes at the moment she turned her head towards me. She smiled briefly, before closing her eyes again. I recalled the earlier sessions when, as a single man I had checked out the women, and none seemed to even notice my existence. Now it seemed this woman was checking me out. I grasped the irony of it, that now I was in energy connection with a woman I was felt as desirable by other women. Or this is how I constructed it all in my own mind.
I felt complete in the moment, and could allow myself to return to inner contemplation.
After the session Aleena and I left the building quite quickly. It seemed neither of us wanted to connect with the other people.
At times in her room or mine we sat silently, each in our own space, but we did not discuss mindfulness again.
In all this we began to know each other deeply. And the connection between us became tighter and tighter.
And yet, was it so simple and clear? I sometimes looked in her eyes and she turned her gaze away and I thought, “what did I just see, that she did not want me to see, and why was it so dark”?
The Darkness Sometimes Crept Between Us
In the third month of us being together an incident brought up much concern in me.
We were in the park walking, holding hands. A tall well-dressed middle-aged man came from behind and passed us in a fast stride. When he was about 5 metres ahead of us, suddenly Aleena let go of my hand and ran towards him, grabbing his waist and calling out, “Hector where have you been?”
I saw him turn his head towards her and I clearly heard him say, “I donʼt know you, Maʼam. You seem to mistake me for someone else”. But just as clearly I saw him reach into his trouser pocket and hand something small, like perhaps a business card, to Aleena. She put the item into the pocket of her own jeans. She whispered something to him, that I could not make out. He shook his head as if to say, “no”. He gently pushed her arm away, and walked on at a fast pace. Aleena stared after him, and then slowly came back to me.
I said, “Who was that?”
She replied, “I was mistaken, I thought he was an old friend.”
“What did he give you?”
“Nothing. He gave me nothing. What are you so worried about? He was just a guy, and nothing to do with me, and now he has gone.”
But as she was speaking, she was still looking down the path, towards where he was disappearing around a bend.
I took her head in my hand and gently turned her eyes towards me. She looked at me for a few seconds. Inside myself I cringed.
The darkness I had seen a little of previously, on occasion, was now indelibly scratched into my soul. She turned away and let out a soft groan.
“Forget it, forget it, I am not really like that. It has gone.”
She took my hand and pulled me forward into her arms. “See? Feel me, I am of the light, and we are joined in the higher realms. Letʼs go home. Who is the master tonight?”
I felt I could not press her anymore. I felt concerned, or even quite afraid. We walked home in silence, and in the bed also, we made love without speaking, and fell asleep immediately afterwards. The weeks went by again, and we never mentioned the incident. I began to think she was right, she was of the light, and I had seen in her eyes merely a reflection of my own long journey of darkness. But, the undertone of concern it raised in me, sat inside me, from then on. I loved her so much though, that I felt I could live with that concern, and even with the darkness, whether it was in her, or in me.
We Move into Speaking of the Future.
Something changed in her though after that strange incident in the park. She began to speak dreamily, of a future together, where we would have children and a little house by the sea. I encouraged the possibility, but whenever I would attempt to make it more tangible, with a suggestion of a marriage in the spring, or a joke about getting old together, she would back off and say something like, “Not now,
Stu, we need to wait until we are sure.”
I did not feel she was leading me on, just that she could not quite commit. I found in myself the patience to wait on her timing. I myself, was ready.
We were still very happy together. The concerns seemed like minor ripples in a stream of timeless delight. We did not need to worry about money, I still had the handsome payout from my employment, and she seemed to get paid whether or not she turned up to work. We sometimes ate at expensive restaurants, and whenever we did, I would invariably think of my Uncle, 6 months previously, raising
his glass of Chardonnay and toasting me, “To the future – where we know ourselves”.
So much had changed in me in those 6 months. I almost could believe I was on the verge of knowing myself.
Where we go next time (mid August):
The mutual proposal:
We walked along the wharf hand in hand. On Tuesday afternoon it was quiet. The few tourists took photos with their smart phones and cameras. We did not say much. The million dollar yachts tied up at the little jetties seemed to reinforce the notion that abundance and good living would be with us wherever we went. They did not need to belong to us, they just complimented our own ownership of things that make our life interesting. We stopped to look in a souvenir shop. Aleena wanted to buy me a Droverʼs hat with corks hanging off the rim but I said “No, please donʼt. I would just look like a silly duffer in that” She scrumpled up her eyes in that irresistible way and laughed “You ARE just a silly duffer, Stu Baby love.” But she put the hat back on the shelf and we moved on to look at the stuffed koalas.
We spied a home-made gelati kiosk…