Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Sermon (Playing the Whole Tape)

¡Hola! Everybody... I went out with a few friends last night and had a great time. And check this out: I woke up today and I’m not chained to anybody! This is not meant as a knock on relationships, so stop the defense of marriage bullshit. If you’re married and reading this -- good for you! Have a coke and smile and keep it moving. While relationships have their up side (I’m sure ), being single has its great advantages also.

I love being single!

* * *

-=[ Playing the Whole Tape ]=-

“If dogs could talk, perhaps we should find it as hard to get on with them as we do with people.”

-- Karel Capek (1890-1938) Czech journalist

Anyway, last night, as I surveyed singles and attached couples going through the rituals of rutting (we call it “intimacy”), I was reminded of a commercial of some time ago. In it, a young man enters an elevator to find a beautiful woman. As he appreciates her form, he fantasizes about a life with her. Unbeknownst to him the woman is similarly fantasizing about him.

At first the fantasies are all pink could type bullshit. You know the myth: happily ever after, love, love, love. They are both very beautiful... blah blah blah.

But then the fantasies move forward in rapid motion: children, arguing, disappointments move in rapid succession. Then finally, the once beautiful woman is old and wrinkly, hardly recognizable. The young virile man is pot-bellied, bald, and ugly. By the time the elevator reaches the lobby both actors run away from one another as quickly as possible! LOL!

I used to love that commercial because it offered a very important life lesson: that everything is not as it seems and that everything in life changes. The once beautiful woman willfoine woman walking down the street, whose ass is mesmerizing me, will never grow old. Her ass will never fall -- collapsing to the brutal ravages of gravity. In my fantasy, she’s frozen in time. become old a wrinkly. The once virile young man will become old, incontinent, and equally unattractive. More importantly, however, the commercial spoke to a truth of how our loneliness -- this essential feeling as being apart from -- drives unrealistic fantasies. In our fantasies, the

Similarly, when we see a seemingly happy couple walking hand in hand down the street, or through a park, all we see is their assumed happiness. We do this especially if we’re single and feeling inadequate about not being attached to another human life form. And let’s be clear: I don’t give a fuck how much you respond that you feel secure and that it doesn’t affect you, blah blah blah... the fact remains that it’s very easy to feel a certain degree of inadequacy if you’re part of a culture that sees singlehood as an aberration.

I’m sure there will be at least one individual who will either post they don’t feel inadequate, or is thinking it right now.

I say that’s bullshit, but I will never convince anyone otherwise.

But back to my initial tack. I run that commercial in my head all the time. Rather, I use a similar strategy when I look at people, situations of things during my daily life. I see a beautiful woman, and I run my fantasy on fast forward. I see a couple, and I run my projection of that situation in fast forward.

I call it “running the whole tape.”

It saves me from a lot of unnecessary drama. For example, I have three different women I occasionally visit in Boston. All three are certifiable. They are beautiful, loving (in their own way), intelligent women, but they are fuckin nuts. Sometimes, when I’m tempted to revisit that insanity, I “play the whole tape.” I don’t just play the tape to the part of where I come inside psycho no. 1’s ass, but I keep playing the tape past the orgasm to the insanity: the mood swings, the fear of intimacy that makes her shut off huge expanses of her emotional landscape.

It’s the same when I see a situation that a part of me might desire. I might see an attractive woman, or a couple enjoying a walk through Central Park, and immediately it seems that the impulse is to idealize the woman or couple. But that woman, while a raging beauty, may be some other guy’s bane of existence. Similarly, that couple may be on the verge of a divorce or separation. I see only the bucolic or idealized image of a beautiful woman or a “happy” couple. I am also aware that the opposite may be true, respectively speaking. But if I play the whole tape, the illusion that they are in an idealized world and I am not, dissolves.

What becomes obvious is that every idealized moment -- whether actual or hoped for -- is both full with life and empty, often forgotten with a trace.

And here’s my point (and it’s not an intellectual one, so it may be lost): When you’re able to experience these two feelings -- fullness and emptiness -- simultaneously, your life is free and becomes an expression of love. What that means is that you arrive at a state where there is no need for the indulgence of memory or fantasy

What this means is that if you choose momentary great experiences over the surrender to love’s expression, you’ll never “play the whole” and be lost in a world of confusion. You can choose: a routines and dreadful life, sprinkled with a few great moments, or the ever explosive offering of your heart’s deepest love.



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