Sitting on a couch and writing. The world seems far away. A stream flows down a short waterfall. I’d like to think I am going to create something. A work of art, a novel, a life worth remembering. The coach tells me I can do anything. Aim for your dreams, aim for the moon and land in the stars. Maybe I could be a good author. Someone who writes in various forms for a living. The coach tells me I can earn a living following my dreams. But the other voice tells me the world is not a place for artists, dreamers, poets or writers to make a living. You can’t live off a dream. This world hasn’t been for dreamers since Van Gogh. It values fast and cheap. It does not value people or the creative process. The little they pay artists for their work couldn’t support anyone. News is a job, but not my dream. I enjoy news. But I do not love news. My coach tells me to write about what I know and what I enjoy writing. And the other voice tells me to write what people want to read. But what do people want to read? It feels like the world is a more and more angry place every day. And I don’t want to write about anger. To dream is to love. My coach tells me the world needs both more love and dreams.
She hides behind an open door. Like a Monet painting. It pushes you away.
In the morning she races into her day. A rush of smiles and hellos. The friend of everyone. The friend no one knows. People think they like her. She speaks to this person. Shares a laugh with another. Always a friendly tone. Always a friendly smile. If you sit down and talk. She’ll talk about the weather. Or she’ll talk about you.
But she won’t talk about herself. Ask her the most direct question and you’ll get the more direct answer. And a broad question will just be dodged. Are you from California? Yes. Where have you lived? Around.
You think you know her because she knows you. She listens to your problems. Gives an understand ear and a kind word. Then she shares a joke. Jokes are the smoke screen of her life. Like everyone she has problems. But no one knows her secrets. No one.
What about the social network profile. A see of information. So many data points a super-computer would be lost. The most superficial facts shine like the sun. And the real details get lost like the other stars. There is no night. Not in her world. Because at night you would see the truth. The fears. The darkness in her soul.
In a world full of people. In a life full of connections. She lives alone. In her own cell.
She isn’t the one writing this, she would never. And I write without a name. Who am I to tell you these things. Can you trust me as a source? But I protect myself from her awareness. Her anger.
What drives her most is fear. It pushes her to be everything – to all people – everywhere. People must love her. They must want her. They must need her. So she won’t be alone. Rejected again in her desert. Like a demon. She has felt the world’s cold shoulder too often.
At night she has herself. During the day she creates friendships which aren’t real. The smile and short exchanges are enough. In fact they are almost too much. She doesn’t know more than small talk. Because small talk bonds enough to pretend. But not enough to share. There isn’t anything she wants to share. Not a single truth about her life.
One truth leads to another. And another. Somewhere down the line the Truth could see the light. All truth must be hidden. Because who knows which one is the Truth. Or could suggest the Truth is out there, or in there. Hiding.
You can talk to her. And joke with her. Even insult her. But never ignore her. And most important of all never touch her. The body is where she lives. She doesn’t like to be disturbed. Why are you touching me? I can touch myself.
She knows truth is like water. Or like light. It finds its way where it wants to go. There is a fear she can’t keep secrets forever. But she must try and try and try. If she must let something out, she will. But the stress and regret are instant. And a growing feeling of relief as no one cares to notice. Because people think they know her, they are easy to fool. They are easy to mislead. No, she is not a liar.
Lies are just another form of truth in disguise. The truth is a better mask than any lie. You can mislead with information more than anything else. Give people too little or too much. But whatever you do, don’t make it clear. Do not put it in context. And never make it about her. Leave her alone.
You know her name, but I can’t speak it here. Because then she will come. All this will be lost. This moment we have had together will be lost. Whatever we may know about each other now will be lost. Even thinking about her name now. I feel her shadow behind me.
(A Room to Write Exercise)
This is Lilith. It has been a exhausting week for Dante. A long trip to see family, and friends. Then an old friend broke his heart. I wanted to kill her, but I know he would say no. I’ll bide my time.
The trip was good. I enjoyed the hike along the river. I don’t enjoy most people. But children I do like for some odd reason. Maybe they aren’t as critical as adults. I’ve learned to hide. And I have learned to fear people’s ideas. He got along well with the family. He does a better job forgetting. You know the fact most of them don’t speak to him. Not for days. Not for weeks. Not for months. They’ve never noticed me at all.
Driving down he met a new friend. I think she and I could become close. And he likes her too. But he is too shy. And recent events don’t help. There was a girl. A friend. I thought I could trust her. And so did he. As much as he tried to be expressive. And I felt it was a dangerous idea. It backfired.
There was a plan to take her to Amma’s. Because she does yoga. And is exploring spirituality. It was something he looked forward to on the trip. Me, I just love any travel. But she cancel. Without any reason. When we got back he asked her about her feeling upset. She told him she was concerned about his feelings. Said she didn’t share those feelings. Which first of all makes her an idiot in my book. What a great guy. And he likes you.
So we are okay with her feelings. People should be accepted for how they feel he said. I guess he is right. But then I pointed out how she had not treated him right. First of all by not being open and honest with her concerns. Which he pointed out isn’t easy. But secondly, she later told him she had a date and a meeting.
Sure, a good friend comes to town. One you haven’t seen in years. But, you want to go on a date instead. It shows someone who doesn’t value their friend. And I told him so. He didn’t want to see it. But then he did and it hurt. So, he unfriended her on Facebook. The right choice to say the least. I am not sure he is okay with the choice yet though. I pointed out it might blow over. Like with Leigh and Cristina.
And the friend he went to see in Rogue River. He had to rethink some things about the situation. I don’t trust her. But he still wants to be friends with her. He values her as a person who works hard. A person who tries and fails like the rest of us. I don’t have time for failure. But, I’ll let him have his friendship. I’ll keep on eye on her.
The new friend is cool. I like her spirit, and so does he. There is something about her which reminds him of younger days. Time on the road. The open air and fresh skies. I loved travel myself. Only stopped in the end for him. He wants to be more settled. Wants to make money. I am okay with money. But I want my free time more than anything else. I think we agree this new friend is a special person.
Okay, time for bed. Thanks for listening to me. Don’t tell him what I said okay. This is our little secret.
This isn’t me. Or rather it isn’t who you think. I’m Lilith. The unseen twin of our author.
Growing up we used to spend a lot of time together. It was him and I. On long walks we got to know each other. No one else ever knew me. No one at all. The rest of the family didn’t understand.
Going to school was hard. It tore us apart. He was often mocked by other kids. And it hurt me to see. All I wanted was to get back at those kids. But I couldn’t. And he wouldn’t. So I had to watch. Knowing it hurt him, made it worse. Did anyone pay attention to him like me.
In the sixth grade he was dying for attention. I saw him do things he shouldn’t have for others. I wanted to stop him. Tell him to love himself. But I didn’t love myself. I did love him. And I felt like he loved me. We always would have each other. And I always stayed with him.
In high school we would eat together. Just the two of us. His other sister has her own friends. So we had each other. And it was all we needed.
And I went to college with him. At first it was like he didn’t need me anymore. Though we were always together. But then we got closer and closer. I know the tart Harmony broke his heart. And I know it was his fault. And yes it still hurt to watch. I wish I could have told him it was coming. But would he have listened. He listens to me more now.
On the streets we kept each other warm. Closer than ever. When M came around, I was still there. She was someone who was good for him. And I loved her as much as he loved her. She made him happy. And this made me happy. We weren’t as close. But I preferred it to his being so sad all the time. Sad and alone.
But M also broke his heart. And mine to be honest. I trusted her with my best friend. He took it hard. It was hard to comfort him. Over time he healed. He met Heather, and I never trusted her. But, she made his life a little better. Until she didn’t.
We had moved to Portland. He had a job he enjoyed. And was making a decent enough income to support us. His first place was a dump. I hate dogs, so I hated the house. Dogs in and out and messing on the floor. In the next house his roommate was crazy. I liked him, but never trusted him. Soon we moved again. Then we traveled.
Rainbow Gatherings are my favorite. And the one in Pennsylvania was grand. We played. We read. We ate and slept. It was an adventure. An adventure which lead to another adventure. Meeting Laura, Pam and Shaylyn. Then a couple months later moving in with Shaylyn and Pam in Upstate New York. There was something I liked about Ogdensburg.
Problems caused us to move again. And again. Then to live alone. It was just him and I again. We still had each other. We would always have each other. He had some friends for a while. But they drifted away and we spent our time together.
We moved back to California. Went to another great gathering. And fell in love with Boulder. I think I loved it even more then he. It was my idea to name the kissing bridge. Maybe someday we can kiss someone on the bridge. He started talking to M again. And fell in love again.
His plans were to move back to Portland. There was another girl he liked and was moving with to Portland. But they didn’t work out and he fell for M hard. Even harder than last time. I accepted her. But I couldn’t love her again. And I couldn’t trust her again. They broke up. She told him on the answering machine she was pregnant. And I feared for him. There was no baby in the end. He never shared much about his feelings.
We moved back to California. Went to a gathering. Found a great job working in the High Sierras. I loved it up there in those mountains. And I could live up there forever. If only he would allow us to leave the city. The next stop was Yosemite. Which I also loved, but not as much. He was happy in Yosemite too. But then he felt like it was too small. After saving money he got us out of there, to Stockton. I hated Stockton.
And I never saw him. Work, work and school. All the time. No time for himself and no time for me.
Things slowed down when he moved to Arcata. I loved hiking in the forest. And he enjoyed it too. The college wasn’t hard for him. Working still took a lot of time. The first year it was a job he loved. Until they fired him. And he hasn’t ever loved a job in the same way since. Well, until Walmart. The next job he worked was at CVS.
Then we moved away to Wyoming. What an amazing place to live. Snow and cold. Mountains and open plains. Take me home to Wyoming. This is where I would choose for us to live. But the job let him go. We wondered around for a while. Not lost, but seeking. And landed back in Arcata.
There he fell again. He doesn’t fall often. But when he does it is hard. I liked this girl. And I thought we could be friends. But it isn’t as easy for me as it is for him. And it really isn’t easy for him. They were close. Seemed like there was so much they had in common. And I started to believe she loved and cared about him. Maybe I could lose him to her, but then she tore his heart in two. This was a dark moment for him.
But we still had each other. We still held on to each other. In those days he hung on to me closer than ever. We only had each other. His friends didn’t really know his feelings like me.
We moved to Colorado. And Nebraska. Then Texas. Those states were hard for both of us. We were both alone. And only had each other. It was worse than high school.
But now we live in Vancouver. He has a job he loves. Working at Walmart. The sad part is the pay is not enough. I want him to do better for himself. I encourage him to seek another job. And he does, but you can tell his heart isn’t in finding something new. He wants to get promoted. But I don’t trust his managers to see him for the asset his is to them.
We shall see.
Who was Adam anyway? The only man on Earth? Ok, maybe he was at the time. But still?
She was still a person. God created her equal didn’t he? Why should he be on top? Why should he call the shots?
Their bodies were different. But the differences didn’t appear to make him any better. She could have babies and he could not. He seemed to be stronger. But she was softer. There was no reason he should dominate.
Adam walked around all day naming things. But he didn’t know the other animals. She had a real connection with their friends. She didn’t need to give them names to understand them.
Adam always called God a “he.” But she saw God too, and didn’t see anything “he” about God. Who could tell if God was male or female. But Adam said he was the head of the family. Because God was a man too.
Sure someday she wanted children. But wanting children was all the more reason to be strong. She wouldn’t submit to a man. She wouldn’t want her daughter to submit to a man. Or her son to force a woman to submit.
God made them equal. Adam was trying to change the rules. If he wanted something just to have sex with, there were the sheep. But she had a brain.
They both had interesting minds. His focused on different things than her mind. But they were both incredible in their own way. And they were both important. And they were equal.
She just believed God gave them an equal body, and equal mind and an equal soul. So why should Adam change the rules and want to be on top now.
She had never had sex with Adam. But she imagined it should be a joyful experience. An experience of equal passion. One of equal souls dancing. If he didn’t want to try to make love with an equal, he should try his luck with a goat.
And Adam was sulking. He clearly wanted to posses her, but couldn’t swallow his pride. She thinks Adam may have took it up with God. Adam may have asked for a new woman. Well, God should tell him to learn to be a real man or learn to please himself.
Oh here comes Adam now. Look at how he walks like he owns the earth. She knows they are all guests of the animals. But he doesn’t think of the animals as being equal. Like he doesn’t think of her as being equal. Nothing in his mind is equal to himself.
Well, he threatened her. Submit to his will and be under him, or leave the garden. The garden is such a magical place. But she is a strong independent woman and she can survive outside the garden. Maybe even better than Adam.
She did have a mind every bit as good as his mind. Her thoughts just as valid. Why didn’t he want to listen to her? Adam said he would get God to make him another woman. Well maybe she will submit to him. And she can flee to the desert to live in a cave.
It would be better to live in a cave. Her name wasn’t Adam. She wasn’t going to be Adams slave. Her name was Lilith and she intended to be strong and to be equal.
Here comes a new woman. Adam did ask God for a new wife. And God did give it to her. Well, it is time for her to flee. To run to the desert like a demon. But she isn’t a demon. She is human. As human as Adam.
(This was written as a Room to Write exercise)