I didn’t really know it the first time we met, but for the first time in my life I saw double rainbows that day. I figure my spirit guides were up to something. They have a way of bending light when they need me to pay attention.
At that juncture in my young adulthood, I was dating a handful of men, and was recently on the rebound from a failed love life at Kerista Community, a hippie tribe native to San Francisco in the 1980s. Keristans invented the words “Compersion” (the opposite of jealousy) and “Polyfidelity” (a good reason for compersion). What I left behind was an attempted group marriage, where men and women tried to cultivate a non-monogamous family life with a whole tribe of their lovers and friends. Embracing a “scientific utopian lifestyle,” and a different lover each night, the women and men in each family took turns sleeping together as couples on a rotating sleeping schedule. Imagine dating all your boyfriends or girlfriends at once instead of one at a time, and you all move in and do a silicon valley start up together. Talk about a leap of faith, idealism, gullibility… call it what you like. Young adults are very daring as they define themselves and their values while rejecting the idea of becoming their parents.
On a fateful camping trip with most of my partners, I find out one day that I am not a good fit for the group. After five and a half tumultuous years, I was out. While tearfully consulting my spirit guides about my failure to achieve true love in my life, their silence left me wondering. Did I make a big mistake when I made my big leap into the sexy alternative San Francisco scene…
Yet, despite the emotional setbacks from a ton of surprising – to me at least – rejections, I am still optimistic. I tell myself, “Right lifestyle, wrong people.” I pat myself on the back for my innocent trusting nature, and my commitment to ideals. After all, I learned many valuable lessons. No, a person cannot just force themselves to love another person by getting to know them and having total compassion. Compatible chemistry is mandatory for love that can last a lifetime. I have to Know what I want – but that can change over time. Affirmations, thats the secret… I Follow my queues and trust the loving universe. I am wisdom as it grows. I say no to the options that are not my heart’s desire.
When I graduate from Utopian Kerista with a PhD in complex relationships, I know there must be some real soul mates somewhere just for me. And I am ready to find them. I call it window shopping for new relationships… I am open and enthusiastic to try them on to see which ones are worth keeping.
Based on my Kerista experience, I have three rules for partners. 1) We must be totally honest and transparent about who we are dating and what we want in the relationship(s), just like monogamy but with more people. 2) Only Primary relationships allowed, meaning multiple primaries yes, but no secondary or open lifestyle relationships. And third, we want Love that Lasts A Lifetime, not hookups, seductions, scores and breakups. My guidance for interested applicants: Get to know me slowly. Stay for the long now. It should always feel like the best is yet to come. My bumper sticker for this reads: It’s a honeymoon or it’s over.
Then I met my husband. One of my six boyfriends took me to the premiere opening of a movie called SNEAKERS, hosted at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco by a cool art tech magazine called MONDO 2000. While schmoozing with a new acquaintance, this guy with a video camera comes up to me as I am getting to know someone who turns out to be his tantra teacher. He videotapes my new business card, FEM ENERGY, as I show it to our mutual friend. She introduces me to Mondo’s staff writer and techno shamanic editor, Allan Lundell. I find out that the two of them are planning to host a tantra workshop in a neighborhood that is walking distance from my house on Lake Merritt in Oakland. He then disappears to do more mingling at the party his magazine is hosting.
I walk up to him later and say “what are you going to do with that video?” Al has heard that question about a million times in his life. In the decades before I met him, and pretty much every day ever since, he is always videotaping important or interesting moments of his life, I assume for the benefit his future memory bot. At the time, his friends speculated that he was making the worlds longest autobiographical documentary video. Remember, this was in the era before cell phones, and long before camera’s were added to smart phones. Little did anyone suspect back then that our world would become a Selfie Surveillance State, where everyone videotapes everything all the time and hope to get social media ratings on YouTube. No, I was not the first person to ask him “what are you planning to do with that video?” But it was the first time for me to ask a man that question. I was curious about this handsome stranger. He answered “you must mean my brother.” I thought he was kidding, but no, I found out later it really was his brother. They look a lot alike.
Next time I saw Allan and his video camera, I was attending that tantra workshop on Lake Merritt. My first brush with the bay area “Tantra Scene” was a bit challenging for me. They want everyone to pass a giant strawberry around the circle using only their mouths. Yuck. I decline, and pass the strawberry with my hands to the next person. The night was not all bad, however, and I meet for the first time a bunch of new friends that become a very big part of my life. Playing music are some artisan instrument makers playing ocarina and flute as we close our eyes and listen to our German Tantrika guide our visualization into a pleasant meditation. Two circles are formed, women in the middle, men on the perimeter. We pair up with a partner for eye gazing. Two minutes later, change partners. Oh, I see. Tantra is like speed dating without the awkward conversation. After gazing into each person’s eyes around the circle, our next exercise is YAB YUM. That means sitting in each other’s laps. I don’t remember if this was a rotation around the ring, or if I just got lucky because Allan was my partner for this.
Its possible that this is the first moment that Al actually remembers meeting me. He often tells the tale of my first words to him, as he recalls, were something like “I don’t have time for any new boyfriends.” I guess he thought this meant I was thinking about when he and I could make a date. I remember seeing him, sitting on the white carpet with his legs crossed, I believe I saw a glamour of light in the auric field around him. I suspect my spirit guides were at it again, I can tell you, I was absolutely magnetized to his energy, and felt amazingly comfortable on his tantric lap. What I did not know until he told the story much later is that he had a discreet hardening of his boner the minute I Yabbed on his Yum.
Its been more than twenty seven years since we met, and Al has pretty much not left my side since then. He outlasted all of the other six boyfriends. At first, he gave lip service to the idea that we could create a non monogamous family together, but he always acted miserable when I dated another guy.
After the other boyfriends fell away, and other prospects opted to find their own soulmates (no us) instead, we let go of the idea of making it a group thing. We figured out that nobody could love us equally to the way we love each other,
After 14 years of practicing “Its a Honeymoon or Its Over” we bought a house and got married in Santa Cruz. Of course, many of you were there, as we invited everybody we knew via email on Thanksgiving, and got married on New Years Day, 2007. That email invite got us noticed in the newspaper, as people had not yet adopted email as an alternative to formal snail mail wedding invitations. It was an epic wedding, 200 of our favorite family and friends at one of the best Community Love Fests ever recorded. I do mean recorded… at least six of the guests were professional or really great amateur photographers and videographers, so we have one of the most documented weddings of the new millennium. Artists, Costumed Minstrels, Shamans, Portraits of dead Ancestors and real live family members who had never seen the like. Calling in the four directions, drinking from a sacred chalice, dawning masks and jewelry for the ritual, quotes read from Shakespear, the Bible, and our parents. All the artistic and ancient traditions of love came together on a gorgeous day that opened with double rainbows after the New Year’s eve rain.
I was actually surprised to find out that life could get any better after marriage, but it did. Something in Al relaxed after the wedding. Some deep fear of abandonment settled in to a cozy happiness that I did not even know was missing before. I believe he is a keeper. He is the love of my life.
Don’t give up people. You will never know until you give it a try. But if you are lucky like me, spirit guides are on your side.