My favorite movie of all time is the Princess Bride. At times the movie has paralleled my life from the characters, the relationship I had with my Grandmother, the time I almost married Prince Humperdinck to quest for true love.
The ending scene. The perfect kiss. The boy doesn’t mind as much. We hear “since the invention of the kiss, there have been 5 kisses that have been rated the most passionate, the most pure. This one left them all behind.”
I’ve have three memorable kisses that when I close my eyes that moment still lives. One, healed my heart. One, a stage kiss that people still talk about. One, thrust together every possible emotion.
"You kiss a beautiful mouth, and a key turns in the lock
of your fear." - Rumi.
The great Sufi poet Rumi wrote “you kiss a beautiful mouth, and a key turns in the lock of your fear.” We are tangled up by fear, heart ache, commitments and questions. People who listen with their hearts, speak through actions and intuitively understand. Words only compliment the actions. Words without actions are meaningless. This is why a kiss can change a persons life in a moment in time. A kiss can heal a heart. A kiss can unlock fear. A kiss can make you smile.
The Canadian and I met at a music event when he took my photo with the worse possible flash. My response “are you trying to make me look more pasty white and blind me all at the same time?” One of those moments were words just spill out of my mouth. His friends busted out laughing. He turned red. He admitted that this was the first photo he took that night with a flash that he didn’t know how to use. That brief encounter turned into a 12 hour long conversation complete with a walking tour of the city.
There was plenty of time between bars, parks and odd alleyways to catch a train home. Somewhere around midnight, the topic of love came to the surface. Two heartbroken people managed to find each other. His girlfriend left a three weeks ago. Mine, left a year ago. Disappeared. Reappeared and tonight was finally moving his stuff out of my house. I didn’t want the night to end because I had to face an empty house. We both realized that in the last years of our relationships, even though we were with someone, we were really lonely. Now we are just alone. As the sun was coming up over Lake Michigan, the crisp reality of a new day was at hand. With nothing else to say to each other, he kissed me. I had forgotten what it was like to be kissed. Kissed by someone who connected with you. Humperdinck and I never had that connection. I bit my lip and took a deep breath. The feeling was mutual. Running away to Canada was easy. Staying and cleaning up the mess of my life was hard. Facing the next year alone was better than being lonely in a relationship. The Canadian helped me remember what it was like to be kissed. I will never settle again for another Humperdinck.
The Stage Kiss
The Artist takes the blows on the heart and turns it into art. I wrote Touch, inspired by the poetry of Rumi shortly after the Canadian. Set in graveyard, an elderly man visiting his wife’s grave meets a young woman who just buried her child. The two share stories of there lives, giving each other wisdom and an ear for listening. He told the story of how his daughter met her husband. “If you want love, you need to have a story, ever great romance has a story. Sometimes love is unpredictable and we just have to follow our heart and trust and see what happens.” The couple is reunited at the end of story.
It was one of those nights, were everyone in the cast was on. The audience was engaged, crying, laughing and smiling. Across the stage, we stood there. Two performers ready for the cue to kiss. I think at that moment we both were wondering who was our Farm Boy. Meeting center stage, he grabbed my face and we kissed, melting into each other as the tango music started. Our foreheads never separated. Sweat dripping down our faces and instinctually, undirected, we kissed again. As he lead me off stage, we stopped and looked at each other. “What just happened out there” I asked. He said “I think we had dancing stage sex. Don’t worry I’m still gay.” “Okay, good cuz’ that’d be weird.” During the rehearsal process, he made the comparison of Rumi to Star Wars and we’d discuss. It is true George Lucas was inspired by Rumi. Since then, he has become my Luke. I am his Leia. We even shared a forbidden.
A Kiss That Said Everything
The boy found his was into my heart and then, just like that, vanished. No text messages, no calls, no nothing. I was heart broken. I figured maybe he had someone else all along and he just chose her. It wasn’t meant to be. So I tried to get over but I never really did. I date someone else. We break up. Rinse, repeat.
Days turn into months, which turn into a year. I see him. Text messages are exchanged of well wishes and birthdays. I see him again. I take a risk and tell him I’d like to have drinks again sometime, just to catch up. To me, I was hoping this would be a moment of closure for the great disappearing acting and I could move on.
Walking in front of him, he catches me off guard by grabbing my hand, turning me around and with his two hands, reached for my face and kissed me. My thoughts and breath disappeared. Time stood still. With a simple kiss straight from the heart, every possible emotion poured out. Regret. Vulnerability. Love. Fear. Apprehension. Happiness. Attraction. My whole body became alive with that kiss and for the first time in my life, I was rendered speechless.
A kiss is a powerful action. It can say I’m sorry and I love you all at once. It can bring tears to your face and make you smile. We kiss people sometime just for the sexual rise to distract us from our loneliness or to see if that date is really worth it.
A season kisser knows the difference between a frog, a prince and a farm boy. A kiss from the heart lasts a lifetime permanently etched into your memory.
First stage kiss during the play 1984, his ears turned red every time we kissed.
The last time the photographer kissed me, he said he was sorry for cheating on me. He knew he lost me forever but somewhere in Barcelona, there is a beautiful photo of my back hanging in a bar he gave to the owner, who listened to him cry over me.
#rumi #truelove #kiss #barcelona #canada
I have a new family waiting for me. One that sees me for who I am now and who I can become in the future, and regardless, loves me, for no other reason than me.
I was born into a family where I was invisible. I learned very early on how to escape into the imagination; it was my way of preserving myself. Being an invisible baby meant never receiving the love that you needed, just the care that was done out of obligation because you were biologically related. Being an invisible kid meant playing alone in a closet to escape the chaos and noise. Being an invisible teenager meant making yourself invisible by not eating.
Somehow you know that you are not meant to be invisible as you quietly move from room to room in the house where you live but which you long to escape. Maybe I escaped into my imagination because only I could see who I was suppose to be. Maybe I escaped into my imagination because I was invisible to the family I was born into.
Being invisible led me down a long path of eating disorders, partying way too much, and seeking love from others to fill my inner void that longed to be loved.
I used to think that I just needed to clean house, throw out everything and everyone who caused any problems. At first, my house was cluttered. I slowly cleaned house, and the people who caused chaos through my choices and theirs slowly left. Everyone landed in the backyard, screen door locked. Door locked. Occasionally looking out the back window, I was reminded where I had come from.
Back door locked, front door open, even when I was sleeping. I was dreaming of a new life, in my house, which is why I wasn't fully aware of the people entering my dreams. Even though I was ready, it didn't mean that everyone was—they were ready to play happily ever after until the happiness ran out.
Somehow my house got cluttered again. Nothing was in order. And even though I owned the house, I was invisible again. The foundation of the house began to crumble, the roof was falling off, and when the wind blew, it came through the cracks in the windowpanes. Everything was falling, I was falling, and the people who were supposed to help me not to fall fell further away from me. The only thing that remained once the dust settled was knowing my own self and knowing that I was worth more than all of this crap!
So I asked everyone to leave—again—and to join those out in the backyard. And this time, take all their personal possessions along with them that are taking up my space.
New people were wanting to enter but were happier outside, across the street in the field climbing trees. They used their imagination to tell stories that created happiness for others. They smiled and boosted you up into the tree because they wanted you to enjoy the same happiness that they received from climbing trees. I joined them for a while picking apples and watching the sky but realized I had to go back and clean house again. Eventually, I cleaned so much that the house was empty. I got lonely. Old was out in the back, and new was in the field.
Knowing I needed to make a choice, knowing the house I was living in wasn't the house I really wanted, I decided to leave and asked everyone in the backyard to come to the house because they were happy living there, it was familiar to them, and they couldn't deal with change.
When I told them that I was leaving and that they needed to stay, they couldn't understand why I would want to leave, and wasn't I afraid about failing?
Fear of failure is hell. Other people are hell. I didn't want to live there any more. I want heaven.
So in the middle of the night, in a single backpack, I packed up my few meaningful belongings and changed the locks so that they could not follow me down my new path, not exactly sure where I was going.
I have a new family waiting for me. A new sense of self.
I have finally learned the missing part of my story. Loving myself. Knowing myself.
Hope is love. Love is essential to humanity’s core. Love and hope transcend through time and generations. Love is vital to humanity. It is what keeps humanity going, but it has to start with an honest love of yourself. We have to be able to say, "I am worth more than this present moment, and I will find a way out of this. I will surround myself with those who love me for me. I am not ashamed of my past, for I use it to help me grow into a better person with more love and compassion for others. I will love everyone but give my love unconditionally to only those who deserve it, who understand the gift of the moment. That gift is a smile, laughter over the phone, a true understanding of what makes you unique. I will stop waiting and make my life happen for me."
When all else falls away, what we can truly grasp for is only knowledge of ourselves. Some people will choose comfort and security, the knowledge that comes from others’ superimposed ideals. But for those of us whose quest for knowledge is a lifelong journey, our path is a little fearful, a little circling back around, a full circle, a perfect circle, a path less taken but one with pure fulfillment. An idealism that is strange to many. This is our personal story that allows us to hold on to hope, love, and endless compassion.
I have a new family waiting for me. I’m not sure where this new family and path in life will take me, but I know for the first time in my life, everything is going to be okay. I know this because I am no longer invisible. I will someday build my home out of bricks and mortar that will never crack, and when the howling wind shakes the windowpane, my house will not break because my foundation is built on love.