Ahimsa, Everywhere You Go


Sometimes, my faith in human nature, which, admittedly, is often non-existent, gets (if it’s non-existent it can’t exactly get restored, can it?), well…existent.

First, I did start writing the comedy Me and My Parts VS. You and Your Parts.  I sat at the computer laughing at myself, which is a fairly frequent event since I find myself not only endlessly fascinating, but also endlessly entertaining.

BUT, then I talked my partner into reading the first 16 pages with me a couple times, until we started to get the timing, and even she had to admit that the part about us being slackers in heaven complaining of boredom and pissing off some offstage guy with a voice like James Earl Jones was a little funny.  I can see I have my work cut out for me in getting her to actually perform it, so if anyone out there actually knows my partner, I recommend emailing her and putting a plug in for the show. (The kindness here was in her reading it with me twice.  She was done after the 1st time.)

Then, we went to San Francisco for our 25th anniversary.  We’re about a month early–as of today we have been together 24 years, 11 months and five days.  It’s tempting fate, I know, to take it for granted that we’ll complete the next 26 days, but hell, San Francisco is worth it whether we cross the line or not.  Even if I had to listen to my partner say, ad infinitum, in Boston it’s 3am now.  In Boston it’s 4am now.  You know what time it is in Boston?  No wonder I’m tired.

We stayed at the Hotel Kabuki, and they were painting the exterior of the hotel, so the Japanese garden was closed.  I was disappointed because I used to live in Japan and I had anticipated sitting in the garden and doing nothing, which is my favorite pastime except for my other favorite pastimes.  Anyhow, on the 3rd morning we woke up to paint fumes and men outside our window, on our balcony, painting.  So we went to the front desk to ask to transfer to a different Joie de Vivre hotel, and he lowered the price of our stay, gave us a free night at some future point, and then sent us on to the Waterfront Hotel where they upgraded us to a suite for free and then surprised us with champagne, fruit and cheese as an anniversary present.  We don’t drink, but still.  It’s nice when someone is just kind, with so little reason.  Besides, I’m a sucker for luxury, since I’m a little bit of a princess (get this, I’m a pseudo Buddhist- eclectically spiritual-yoga teacher-artist-princess who likes luxury hotels).

I know it’s all good business for the hotel people, but, well, we are queer, and to have strangers honor our commitment to each other, and then to wake up to our poet president announcing his change of stance on gay marriage…it’s enough to make a skeptic hope.

The world is like this.  The Berlin Wall comes down the same year as the massacre at Tiananmen Square.  We step forward and back, all the time.

The real hope, of course, is in the Me and My Parts VS. You and Your Parts.  It’s waking up, after 24 years, 11 months and 2 days to the same body breathing beside me, and I stir, and she touches me in her sleep.  The way it moves me, that simple shift, the way she is attuned to me.  And so I hold her, and the light pours in from the windows around the bed, and we can hear gulls, and the people learning to do stand up paddling on boards or kayaks or whatever.

Ahimsa–I ask whether she’d like to shower first.  I make her a smoothie.  I start to cry, because mornings are still hard, and I tell her why, so she won’t think it’s her fault.

She packs the car, and since we did Go-Cars in the city, which was her thing, she offers me power-of-choice for the day, and I pick something we both like.

I don’t yet know the name of the yama for kindness, but I know there is such a thing.  And it doesn’t matter what name you call it, or whether it’s good business, or a good political move, or just a way of practicing love in a marriage that sometimes struggles.

It is.  Enough.  Always.

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