Yvonne is washing Cass’ hair over the sink in the yard. The dogs are barking at two new young musicians enter the yard. Jordan is back from the hospital, and thank god he’s OK after being stabbed with an ice pick. Ben is on his computer, working on his video with Cass. More of their music is playing outdoors where the people are gathering.
Two of the kids came back last night; the car broke down, and they couldn’t get to their mom’s house up-country. Andreen got to her mom’s though, and today Kaycee and Jello took the bus to their mom’s. A new musician arrived from Japan, someone who has been here before and Cass was so happy to see him. This cute guy brought a picture of himself with Cass in case Cass forgot him (which he didn’t). And another French guy is coming. I moved my stuff out to the kids’ room again, but then Ben said he’s already slept with this French guy, and “it’s always better to sleep with a girl.” So, I’m back in the double bed. (And nothin’ at all is happening there.)
On WWOZ radio, steaming live from New Orleans, Cyril Neville & The Uptown Allstars’ “Just For The Funk of It”: ..she’s too old to be havin’ so much fun (…she’s wise).”
I am learning many things about myself; one thing is that I like having a partner. I function and feel better when there is someone “by my side.” I knew this from going out in public with someone vs. going out alone: when I’m with someone else, I am much more relaxed, friendly, out-going, and happy. Even in bed with Ben (and we don’t even touch all night), I enjoy it more than sleeping alone. It helps that I like and respect Ben; he brings out the best in me because he’s kind, generous, and compassionate. Of course, sometimes, it’s just best to sleep alone.
The dogs are almost ever fed here at Cass’ house. Same with the cat and the bird. The cat can wander and scrounge and hunt, but the others are caged (in the yard and in a home-made birdcage). I’ve been tending to the dogs a little, cooking them eggs and buying them canned fish. yesterday Yvonne tried to find a place downtown that sells dogfood, but for these poor Jamaicans dog food is an almost unheard of luxury item (or just plain ridiculous). So we never found the dog food store, and I wonder if it really exists.
I am staying here at Cass’ until after Christmas. I find it a very congenial environment. Very creative people who like me and leave me alone to do my own thing.
I am learning who I am (generally very happy and contented, funny and like to laugh, like to have fun and socialize, like to be alone, love music and being online and just walking around a new place). I am learning to not push the river, to wait, to sit tight, to expect the best (but be prepared for the worst), to stay positive, and to love others.
I have to focus on my own life and taking good care of myself, making myself happy. That’s first. Then, love others; this brings me joy.
And my work: travel and writing. Yah, Mon.
All kinds of reggae guys are here today (and one woman reggae singer was here last night). It’s a rockin’ scene. I found a little shop on the corner near our house where a nice woman sells stuff; I like her and I buy canned fish and juice (soda) from her. Her house must be there, and the shop is just big enough for me to step in and look at her goods. Nothing fresh there; I have to go further downtown to get that stuff. The woman said, “Thank you for supporting me.”
I just went down to the Downtown market, and it was packed with Christmas shoppers. Bought veggies from street vendors; got a Red Stripe beer (local brew) and drank it as I walked home. Some uptight people seemed to give me the evil eye, but the market women said, “Hey, look at grandma with a Red Stripe. Hey, Mama, you should a’ got me one.”
Fed the dogs some canned tuna. No can opener here (and they don’t want one); Cassafaya (Phillip) or some other guy opens everything for me with a big kitchen knife.
Relationships: A Mature Love
I used to be someone whose emotions were really controlled by others and by outside circumstances. Not so today; I am the captain of my own boat. It’s a little sailing ship with a nice cabin: a kitchen and a few bedrooms. It can be kept warm and dry. I don’t know much about ships.
My happiness can not depend on anyone else. It has to come from and originate with me. It’s an “internal locus of control” (as I learned in psychology class). I and only I control my emotions. Only I control my life. My happiness is not “situation-dependent.” I can be happy when things are going badly or going well. It’s just a matter of interpretation.
I would like a partner who has a really good heart, a sense of humor, is an optimistic, positive thinker, is not jealous (he has faith in me) and tells the truth. I would like to be the same way.
I want to be kind and compassionate. I need a better sense of myself as an independent, free agent in the world. I am someone who is able to function alone out in the world and not get lonely; at the same time, I absolutely adore the idea of having a loving partner. I have been in partner relationships (all short-lived), and I was very happy. I got so into the relationship and my “Other” that I neglected myself. This doesn’t have to happen.
I picture my partner and I as being free of each other (eg., travelling) part of the time, and being together part of the time. We can have other lovers, but we are a couple, and we can accept the truth about each other’s private lives because we want each other to be loved and be happy.
The key is to find things (including people) you love and love to do. (If you find people you love to “do,” that’s good, too. Ha ha.) That’s what makes my life worthwhile, and that’s what keeps me sane and free (as in, autonomous and independent). It’s crucial for me to never force my values, beliefs, and standards on other people and never to let others put their values, beliefs, and standards on me.
Realistically, in order to keep my Self intact, take care of myself, and be able to focus on my favorite areas, I need to make my “practice” detachment from my partner. I don’t mean a cynical refusal to commit or feel or care; passion is the essence of relationship. This is a truthful approach because while, in my heart and soul I am totally committed to my ONE LOVE, that kind of love will eat me up if I let it. My mind must remain free.
I think self-preservation is the essence of Buddhist detachment (letting go, emptying out). I am working on myself everyday. When I stop doing this, I go crazy and my life turns to shit.
I have reactions I have learned and are not me. And I have reactions which are honestly me. My life seems to be a continuous parade of adjustments and arrangements to replace the former with the latter.
For once in my life, I’d like to let a man love me for who I am without falling all over him, falling at his feet, and putting him above me. I can be true to myself and not fear losing his love. Why did I ever think that being real would drive off someone who truly loves me? It’s just the opposite! The ONLY thing someone who truly loves me wants is the real me. This is the truth, and I’m getting ready because I know my true love is gonna find me. And when he does, I’m gonna let that man worship and adore me. I’m gonna fuckin’ love it.
I’ll let him know I love him, but I’ll keep my head; I’ll keep my freedom; I’ll keep being real; I’ll honor myself. I won’t fear losing him. If he really loves me, he will stay. I don’t have to be his slave, and he doesn’t have to be mine. It’s like te song ONE says, ‘We’re ONE, but we’re not the same. We have to carry each other, carry each other.” It’s about taking care of each other, not giving up who we each are as individuals.
I used to get lost in men and in my”relationships” with them. But these were never real relationships; they were sex fests, self-indulgences, ego trips, exercises in masochism and self-sacrifice, and always completely soulless encounters. They always had deep karmic overtones for me, like I was paying some ancient debt or fulfilling a promise or embarking on a mission.
“Have respect for others so you can respect yourself.” ~~from a Ben Hompaya (Hansen) and Cassafaya song
Letting go is the only way to preserve love. If you love someone, you let them go. Only I can stay so close to myself and not get burned by the flame. Not everything can be shared. Everyone has their private side which no one else will ever penetrate. That’s just the way it is, and that’s part of the divine mystery of life.
The Divine Marriage is the union of the two that are one. But my own private universe is just that: private. And it will always be so.
I ask myself, “What do I need?” And “How can I get these needs met?” Focus on that.
I don’t question my needs or my emotions. They are mine. They are inviolate.
Stay cool, like jazz (not hot, like rock n’ roll). And ENJOY.
- unaltered: not subject to change, damage, or destruction
- kept pure: kept pure, untouched, or unblemished
RECIPE FOR A BROKEN HEART
1.) Do not seek revenge.
2.) Sit tight. Wait. Have faith.
3.) Laugh… somehow.
4.) Life, love and the blues. It’s what’s for supper.