Still Being Written

Still Being Written  

Dear Shaggy, Thank you for throwing that volleyball twelve years ago. By a stroke of fate, or perhaps you meant to hit my friend, I'm glad either way. You told me tonight why it was so awkward when we did finally date and why it didn't magically fit how we assumed it would after eight years. I had no idea you suffered from clincal anxiety. And, found it more suprising you didn't either. It just seemed there was unnecessary levels of tension at all times. I appreciate you explaining to me what exactly it was you were going through for so many years. You called our friendship a story and that this "story book will have it's ending..." You said that our break up was just the end of an act, or perhaps a chapter. I couldn't help remembering all those nights as a young teenager dreaming about the boy I met on the boardwalk. But it was tonight, for the first time, I really saw you. You were so honest with me tonight. I could hear your voice and the sincere regret, apologetic tone and longing to turn back time. So, I want to share with you our story from my point of view. The blossoming of our friendship was one of the most innocent, natural, hormonal packed evenings of my life. I remember passing the volleyball net. Your shirts were off and you had on a backwards hat with dark shaggy hair; streaks of blonde from the sun. As the three of us girls tried to keep our composure, we whispered back and forth, "Don't stare! Just wave and keep walking!" As we turned our backs, I felt a ball hit me. My friend nervously, like a young girl who doesn't know what the fuck to do when a smokin' hot, older boy approaches her whispered, "Just hand it back, let's go!" Clearly, I remember you running up to us calling out, "Hey girls! Hey stop, that's my ball. Sorry we hit it a little too hard. Didn't mean to get you." Check-and-mate. "Oh, you mean this ball? Here!" I threw the ball right at you. "Whoa, hey! Ha-ha," with a mischievous smile, "Wanna join in?" After a bit of persuasion and reminding my friends that this is what we went out to do, we continued our "boardwalk empire" playing in the sand. You and I had an instant chemistry. You seemed so effortless as if you had done this for years. And, you had. You reminded us constantly that this was your guys idea of fun during the summer; snagging up cute tourist girls to get your kicks. We squealed with nervous laughter. You told me years later you had no idea the girl big brown eyes would become one of your best friends. Do you remember taking us around the boardwalk and into different shops, all barefoot? We felt so beautiful and accepted by these adorable born and raised beach-bum babes. I was in love. As we parted ways you made a joke. Remember what it was? Because, I actually do. It was a rhyme and a really, really fucking stupid one a that, "You're mama's a llama but she looks like a camel." WHAT? I could have left right there but as fate would have it, I laughed at your dumb joke and we exchanged AOL screen names. Fast forward eight years later. That shaggy haired boy and I never lost touch. All those years we had seen each other through personal heart arches, bad break ups, gave advice to each other about good sex...bad, friends, school and life. Our entire friendship consisted of piles upon piles of internet conversations and pictures sent back and forth. You called me your cyberspace girlfriend and it was so true. Space; there was so much of it. But, through it all we retained an innocence; an innocence of two young people growing up together, asking questions, figuring things out and trying to maintain a boundary chalk full of sexual tension, desires and hope. So, eventually we decided to say, 'what the hell' and dove in feet first. For the first time in eight years (2008), we decided to take a stab at a relationship. It was the most awkward time I can remember. Neither of us knowing how to take the next steps or what to make of this "thing." We visited a few times. About six months later, we broke up. As you know, I have been with another person for three years. And I love him too. It was hard though, hearing that shaggy haired boy I knew talk to me like a man; someone with a career, maturity, honesty, confidence. It made me think. It made me doubt. It made me long for some need that is not being met. As we were saying goodnight like we always do, I felt fourteen again; all those giddy butterflies resurfaced. You said to me something that many girls have heard thousands of times, although this time it struck a sharper chord: "You're every bit the woman I wanted. But, I couldn't handle it. My sister still gives me shit. She thinks I should have "wifed-you-up" and that I was dumb to let you go. This book is still being written after what, 12 years?" In that moment, I felt love, lust, longing and loss all in one, swift punch. Are we holding onto a fantasy home-grown out of teenage angst? Are we feeling a love that many people dream of? Is this the kind of relationship, the epic, that exists in the movies? I don't know what will happen to our friendship. We have always been candid. This time I felt a dedication in your words; a good fight. Who knows, it may abruptly fall to the wayside after finally getting some closure or it made stay strong for years to come. Perhaps it will twindle away slowly and become a gentle memory I share with my kids and you with yours. Whatever it is and whatever happens, life is strangely beautiful. I met you on the beach during a humid east coast night. The chapters we create are not written in stone, but sand. Love, Me.


There were three of us; myself, my best friend, her little sister and one boardwalk. Every year I took a beach trip with my friend's family which consisted of her, a sister, her mom and whatever boyfriend her mom had at the time. One night we started getting ready to go out on the town. What normally took me fifteen minutes, turned into an hour. The sister's insisted on doing my make up and hair so we could all "look hot" for the unsuspecting boys we prayed to meet. It was finally the moment we had been waiting for. We weren't fourteen today, oh no, we were "sixteen" and without adult supervision! The boardwalk was our empire. After her mom dropped us off, probably to go drink and smoke herself silly with said boyfriend, we filed out of the car and began our own version of fun; boys, beach and boardwalk.

Gone, Gone, Gone


Gone, Gone, Gone

I love you also, and it is not possible to express in words, I do not have the syntax for it, I am not good enough, not writerly enough, talented enough, wise enough to distil the raw heart into the lace ink or hard print letters. Instead I will express it again and again, in many different words, in different forms hoping to somehow get it all down, get it all across. Eventually a great literature will be built. Many voiced, a chorus, and choir, a contradictory human groan. Already it has begun and there is no telling where it will end. It is like a companion explaining something long and difficult and we ask "can you say that again, can you explain that again, can you simplify that, can you break it down for us again, can you just say that one thing again for us please?", and the speaker does so and there is no telling how it will end except that my heart is broken when you are gone, and recently you have always been gone gone gone just as I was once gone many times. 


This is my Fragile Now


This is my Fragile Now

Sweet Sweet XXX,

There are things I need to say that only a letter can make clear...

I love you dearly, you have become one of a few that I hold in the center of my heart.  You are caring, intelligent, sensual, hilarious and true to the core.

I love you as I love my children, my brother, my parents.

You are my Lover.

I find myself in a space like no other I have ever experienced.

I am getting a divorce from XXX, a woman that I have loved everyday since my 21st Birthday.

She too has loved me everyday since XXX.  She has not done this the same way as I,  but she has simply done the best she could.

Her devotion still remains unparalleled in my universe, regardless of our shared tragedies.... We are beautiful.

I was there, I watched her give birth to our children.  In 15 years we have struggled and loved each other in every conceivable way.

I have broken her heart time and time again as she has mine.

She knows that she turned away from the ideal... of pure love and fidelity.... and that this was my nightmare and thus there is no point of return to my dreams.

She has finally shown me her profound sorrow and devastation, for infidelity and requisite lies and secrecy.

She and I will live with this heartache for the rest of our days.

It is only now, in forgiving her, and myself, that I have found an even truer love.

A love that is my profound gift to give and knows no boundaries.

My devotion is unquestionable period.

And it belongs to both of you.

But most importantly it is my gift to myself.

I will never again experience true love as it is bound by fidelity.

I will only experience it as the profound sharing that it is to be.

Love, is now and forever something so much more for me.

I cannot exist in a box.

My heart belongs to both of you, and the way I feel in this moment is beyond description.....

I am taking responsibility for myself.

I am finally going to rest.

This is my Fragile Now.

Tobacco-scented Knowledge

Tobacco-scented Knowledge

june 3, 2012

it’s impossible to understand how the dead think of the living and if they do at all
in this case, in the case of my dear friend and guide, maharaji, i feel fairly certain he’s not thinking of us at all
not outright thinking
showering us mortals with grey-haired glitter wisdom and tobacco scented knowledge
of what’s to come later
of what’s available now
this seems most likely…
maharaji is gone from this world
his body resting in dehli
as his soul does who knows what who knows where…
he’s the only person i want to talk about his passing with
so i do
as best i can
he and i have been having conversations in my head for years
so i know i can still muster up his voice as i always have
since the very first day i sat with him in the library that quickly became one of our nooks 
where secret confusions and old stories were shared
since that first meeting
intimidated as i was by his long beard and thoughtful gaze
i could talk to him
he had one of the only sufi gazes i could handle. one of the only gazes i could willing meet
because it pierced right through me with a combined sincerity and absolutely fierceness that i’ve always needed from any teacher
but his was the best
surely with his passing many will describe him as a man of light
this, i know to be true
but that was almost the least of gifts
because the glow of his light was only as strong as it was because he was an angel
not the cherubian kind of angel we like to think of that is soft and fluttery
but the kind of angel who had hidden in his beard swords of truth
and fire so strong and so gentle that no bow drill, even from the most skilled hands could ever form
he was no bull-shit
and that’s what made him an angel in my young life
he always told me the truth
even when i didn’t want to hear
and especially when i couldn’t
one day, he took his index finger and poked me straight in the chest and looked me dead in the eye and said, “cut the shit arianne, then you’ll be fine”
no other person in my life has ever spoken to me like that and had me listen
but i trusted him
because he introduced me to the most profound parts of myself. the parts i ignore on a regular basis. the connected parts that scare me…
the tiny version of me that is nothing but a simple speck, but that part will take a lifetime to know and master
he laughed at me and with me often
and he let my tears of heartache, awe, global sadness and old, old tears fall into to confused piles in his tiny, neat home
he let me ramble on just long enough to get to my point and then remind me why i visited him in the first place
he shared endless stories of his heart, his past, and his travels with me
confirming delighted suspicions and community curiosities along the way
i never saw him more delighted then when i sent him a season of boston legal dvd’s in the mail and when he really liked something, or the idea of something he would say, “far out”
an old time hippie through and through who would call my generation of abode-dwellers real lightweights, not enough free love
and not enough freedom and love in general
he was a true devotee
and not just of one lineage or that
but of his path
the threads of which i always imagined living in his phenomenal ear hairs, like direct lines to voices no one else could hear
he would roll exactly seven cigarettes a day and only smoke those. he would keep them in an old altoids tin and his freezer always had ice cream. he’d often share one of his strong cigarettes with me and i loved smoking in his house as we talked to a backdrop of dozens of neatly stacked mystery novels
he was a no fuss man
he loved the people in his life with greatness, and again, no bull-shit
he somehow understood exactly my joy and strife as a young woman and guided me on the most hilarious and important retreat of my life
the notes of which i still return to often
he knew i would not do what he told me
and only now, as i’m just a little bit older and a lot calmer could i imagine to foster the discipline to actually listen to his sage advice and practice it.
but i did not get to india soon enough
this august i planned on going
but i was too late
so i wear the turquoise and silver necklace he bought me years ago there around my neck like a talisman
in fear i’ll loose it because the chain’s clasp is faulty
but i know too, that if he knew i was afraid of that he tell me to fuck off and get a better chain if i didn’t want to lose it
he wasn’t a precious man, but appreciated my preciousness of certain things: emotions, objects, memories…even if they made him roll his eyes
as i write this ramble on my midnight porch
i ache thinking i won’t get to sit with him again
lost and regretful that i didn’t get to smoke hash with him and the kalendar’s in india
tears falling from my face in quiet grief
mourning is for the living
and i know i can’t mourn for too long
his death is not a tragic one. he went when he wanted to and where he wanted to and i couldn’t have asked for more for my friend than exactly what he wanted
soon my tears will stop
and my chest will release some
and i’ll be able to let him go…so he can really….go
when my dear friend ilias died and i was torn about it, years after his passing even, even still sometimes today, he told me that holding on to those that have passed does nothing for them, it holds them back. in ilias’ case i knew this to be true, but ilias left a lot behind…
i feel fully confident that maharaji didn’t and that thought makes me smile
so, while i can’t know what the dead think of the living
i know i am overwhelmed with gratefulness thinking of how my living has been impacted with the friendship, love, guidance and crystal earthy wisdom of maharaji
so lucky i am to have known you. you gave me so much and i will miss you, more than i already do. travel safely and happily you wonder creature of ninja powers and wizard-like grace…