There the scales of life never hurt when they tilted one way or the other and love was true regardless of breadth or duration. It stays pure, my little garden, a still retreat for a harrowed soul during times for instance, when I knew alone was what I had to be. That was a lot more often than I'd prefer but I'd begun to use it the way runners focus intently, blasting through the last walls of pain into loping freedom. It was my version of the Surfer's Green Room, the rare sweet spot you simply could not have every day.
Some people might call it indulgent, I'd say it was necessary. It's there for when I'm tempted to tear my skin off simply because I loathe being at work, and self-immolation on my desk sounds seriously appealing. It's there for when the ache of missing love and loving starts to seep through my skin, and I have to wait patiently for the blessed relief of my muscles relaxing. Bravery can be a tense endeavor.
But quite unlike most dream destinations, my little garden is beautifully open ended and allowing, made solely of peace, contentment and unquestioned love.
I think if I died, this would be what heaven might be like. Boundless, timeless yet sharp, vague and acute at the same time. It could be a moment that feels like a lifetime.
I store many special things in this place. Unicorns aren't one of them, but it may as well be for some of it's contents. Flowers that would never wilt. My ideal weight. Zero debt. A healthy bank account. A house that never gathers dust. A house period. Lots and lots of light. An easy yogic headstand. Staying incredulously pert till 80. A reasonable Lotto prize, not too small or it'd be disappointing. Too huge would be overwhelming, so I win whatever is Just Right. A lightning fast metabolism.
Usually when people think of a place of faith, they think of church. Of a solemn, somber space that echoes with silence. But I like to fill my garden with real things, like bird song and mist or sometimes the voice of my mother calling out my name and adding "baby" at the end of it. Because then in my wide open-eyed hours I would still feel it in small touches of the divine, and in those tiny measures, it would be real. Every slumber I've slipped into has been predicated by a visit to the garden, I shoot through a tunnel of green and I am there standing alongside everything and everyone I love.
By contrast, I wouldn't easily be associated with all these tender things in my daytime life. I'm kind as I can be, but I don't like my own softness, the things that make me weak-kneed to be so - obvious. Loved ones know of course, but I flip the switch to Strong pretty quickly. We all to some degree kind of have to.
The WHU had tried with wistful reminiscing, "Do you remember when we went to that Japanese place and you taught me to eat sushi? And I wasn't used to it but now I really love it." I raised an eyebrow wondering if sushi was a euphemism, but decided to boot my mind out of the gutter.
"We never went again because on the next date you stood me up. Remember, in 06?," I reminded him nonchalantly.
He gritted his teeth at this, "No, I don't remember but you're missing the point. You've always shown me something new, that was life changing." Really? Sushi? Wow. Memory is indeed a tricky little bastard.
It was lovely to be thought of that way, of course but could I really take credit? No, I don't think I could - not as much as anyone facing such a prospect should be able to.
Hence by the time May rolled around I'd taken an afternoon off to indulge in a deep tissue massage after which I would just about make it to the evening Yin Yoga class, a practice so relaxing I've literally caught myself in mid-snore. I called the instructor Hands-On Matt as he had the initially startling habit of coming up on you mid-pose and giving you minutes long massages. Not adjustments - massages. I used to freeze when suddenly he'd be right behind me, working my lower back or the tight muscles of my waist. Or even how he'd move my hair aside to ply my neck with his fingers.
He must have noticed it one day when he'd announced to the class that prior his incarnation as a yoga instructor, he'd gone to massage school. At that point, I'd decided I didn't really care if he was publicly molesting me - considering I was in a room full of people, how far could he go? Anyway, daily massages was amongst the treasure wishes of the secret garden.
I'd arrived at my therapy appointment flustered and late, it was a place I'd never used before so I found it a little upsetting to have got lost on the way. The office was tucked above a tiny strip mall, with no signage. I figured the ten minutes I'd lost driving confoundedly around, I'd make up for at Hands-On Matt's class - if I made it in time to that as well.
I filled out my forms as quickly as I could, did the light patter with the receptionist who never bothered to ask me if I preferred a male or female therapist - I suppose because there was only one and there wasn't really a choice. She announced the therapist just as the door opened, and a man whose face I can't clearly remember but somehow knew stood there looking at me in shocked silence. As did I.
Given how I was about to get pretty naked, this was going to be a problem. What would a Unicorn do?