About Me

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Yilan, Taiwan
I'm a Social Studies teacher and single mom from Colorado and have lived here for 9 years. Taiwan is an excellent base for us explore Asia, while living in relative (gun free) safety, while benefiting from a cheap and efficient national health care system. The people are amazing too. I have friendships that are 14 years old and I'm always making new ones.

Friday, February 13, 2015

My Valentine Delusion

Dorking out on his 40 something birthday, Nov, 2014

By the time you read this I will be flying to Chiang Mai on Valentine's Day early morning with the most important people in  my life. We will probably have checked in and hit the pool by the time you my dear reader have finished your cup of coffee. 

Saint Paul's timeless words

I have been having a stellar year with my good friend Andrew.  
The bitter truth is despite his constant kindness, it was not enough for me take that leap and have me call him my boyfriend. I just couldn't shake the feeling that despite his companionship, support and devotion I could not match him, something was not "right".

 He is definitely the one in whose kindness I constantly basked. Taking a chance on letting myself trust, letting my daughter trust was a priceless dance. The only conclusion is that the risk of close friendship was worth it, we are dear friends foremost. Learning to trust is a lesson worth learning and any other man would of given up on me and my formidable wall were it not for his sledgehammer of constant forbearance and patience. I certainly have not made pursuing me easy, even moving to Yilan 6 months ago, he made regular treks here, driving 5 hours in the night and crashing on my sofa, just to be with us because he says my daughter and I are worth it. There is some inner fortitude in him, some dark stubbornness rooted in benevolence that kept him from never giving up on me. I think basking in his constant unselfishness has made me finally open a window into a possibility I thought impracticable. After all that, the dejected truth is I prefer just his friendship and nothing more.

My 40th birthday weekend, January 2015

   I've grown accustomed to being alone so long, the pessimist in me wonders if its possible to even be part of coupledom. Then the optimist in me says, of course its possible with the right person. So now I'm back to square one. 
Below are excerpts from Rob Bresney's writings on Valentine's Day that I find thought provoking-perhaps elusive for me: 

"Everyone carries with them at least one piece to someone else's puzzle." So wrote Lawrence Kushner in his book, Honey from the Rock.
In other words, you have in your possession certain clues to your loved  ones' destinies -- secrets they haven't discovered themselves. Wouldn't you love to hand over those clues -- to make a gift of the puzzle  pieces that are most needed by the people you care about?  Search your depths for insights you've never communicated. Tell truths  haven't found a way to express before now. More than you know, you have the power to mobilize your companions' dreams."

Gertrude Stein defined love as "the skillful audacity required to share an  inner life." It suggests that expressing the truth about who you are is not  something that amateurs do very well. Practice and ingenuity are  required.  It also implies that courage is an essential element of successful intimacy.  You've got to be adventurous if you want to weave your life together with another's. I am most definitely am an adventurer, perhaps I am too mercurial for the stability required. Most definitely I over analyze all of this when truthfully we were never meant to be more than playmates.

Moon Festival 2014

The excerpt used by Bresney that best describes what I think of Andrew, is the one about basking in kindness:

First Day of 2015 post hike, Taipinhshan.

Anais Nin wrote the following passage in her novel, A spy in the House of Love

"As other girls prayed for handsomeness in a lover, or for wealth, or for power, or for poetry, she  had prayed fervently: let him be kind." Although I wasn't looking for it, I was happily surprised that kindness was exactly what I needed.  Bresney tells his readers, "A quest for tender, compassionate attention doesn't always have to be at the top of your list of needs, but I think it should be for now. You will derive a surprisingly potent alchemical boost from basking in kindness." 

If kindness is what I needed, now what I need most is restful respite. Yilan is then the perfect place for breathing space.

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