In the magic hour of 8:08pm last Friday night, I learnt that I have a friendly relationship with the unknown.
In this past month, I gave myself a week off and by invitation of a dear friend, went up to Minjerribah / North Stradbroke Island on Quandamooka country. For the most part, I gazed at the water and the horizon, at sunsets and dolphins, koalas and curlews and whales. For the most part, there was sunshine, saltwater and friendship. And amongst the many rich conversations, my heart was still and my mind quiet. I was at rest.
In the past month, I also recognised I was more than ready to close chapters and leave them behind, though some chapters will take longer than others. For some, administration is yet to be done – such as the signing of divorce papers. For others, a humbling of self to be vulnerable enough to talk about where it hurts – pen to paper and letters sent, when you miss your parents more than you’ve been hurt by them, forgiveness comes much more easily. Slowly, but more easily.
In the past month, I have also, by divine coincidence, been circling back into conversations about my spirituality and faith, notably with a Hindu, a Muslim and a Jewish ascetic – I revisit my refusal of absolute truth, and my search for meaning in context – always in relation to the other. I relish in neither one nor many, but in simply <God>; and in the image and likeness of <God> that we exist – then I will be/see beauty, grace and love in everyone I encounter. And in the stillness of my heart, and the quiet of my mind, I am seen. And I am loved. And I am free.
In my artistic practice, it’s safe to say that I am in the business of ephemeral connections. “How can I facilitate strangers to share an ephemeral hour of intimacy?” is mostly what drives me to make what I make. How can we share breath? How can we be in communitas?
And so it is with people I meet – old and new friends and acquaintances alike. I want genuine connections and intimacy. I want presence. I want openness. I want truth. And there is room for pleasure.
There is no perfection only life.― Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Since navigating this dating territory after an eight-year relationship, and really – considering I was in my early-mid twenties the last time I dated – I am a wholly different person and every bit same old me all at once. As friends (and ex-boyfriends, and ex-what-could-have-beens) would know, pre-24/Melbourne Jamie was daring and impulsive, and often reckless with people’s feelings, in the name of abandon as adventure. Pre-24/Melbourne Jamie also dived deep quick; she was impatient.
But here I am.
With nothing to hide. And no need to rush. And a very friendly relationship with the unknown; I can take my time.
The two really great dates back in April didn’t eventuate to more for various reasons, and whilst I remained open to meeting other people, I realised I missed him. And I continue to miss him for now. But boy am I savouring this state of unfulfilled desires; what joy to feel all the rush that comes with having a crush!
This missing and the longing, just as it was with the grief and the hurt – they are all a part of the beauty, and grace, and love of our complex human selves – so let it be. Because in the stillness of my heart, and the quiet of my mind, I am seen. And I am loved. And I am free.
So here I am. And I surrender.