Polyamory on Parade
This article was written with Coyote Marie and other friends.
baton twirler: Sitting on my gramma's porch last Friday, a voice came into my head clear as day -- which is not something I'm used to, let me tell you! -- and it said, simply, "Love means you have to share it."
snare drum: Polyamory: participation in multiple and simultaneous loving relationships, The term dates from the 1960s or earlier, a hybrid of the Greek poly ("many") and the Latin amor ("love").
tenor drums: Polyamory is monastic -- turning the world into a church: a self-aware, perpetually evolving, erotic church, one through which Love constructs relationships hindered neither by egoic fear nor the machinations of culture.
tympanis: Love passes the polyamorist from one partner to the next.
bass drum: Therefore, let desire not interfere with the machinations of Love.
cowbell: Communism's great mistake was misapplication. Polyamory makes us "communionists." Love governs all.
triangle: The breath of polyamory is self-awareness.
cymbals: The blood of polyamory is freedom.
gong: The soul of polyamory is dignity.
tambourine: When monogamy is the status quo, the first polyamorists seem freakish, but then it is like a contagion.
maracas: For me, it's so much more real and true than the cage of monogamy.
trumpet: I cheated, but it wasn't even sexual for me. It happened in a moment of compassion for my friend. I somehow spontaneously channeled a higher-worldly force that moved through me to sexually heal her. I couldn't stop saying, "There's enough of me to go around." It was beautiful and amazing. How can this be wrong? Is this "cheating"?
To think you own your partner -- to think you have more of a stake in his/her body than anyone else: this seems tragically wrong, to me.
And the presumption that Love is finite and to be hoarded! Have mercy!
bassoon: "Polyamory" means "love of many" -- not "sex with many." And monogamy doesn't mean "sex with one." It means "marriage to one."
tuba: I don't think he really understood what I mean by "polyamory." He saw it as increased sexual opportunity.
sousaphone: Monogamy provides protection against people like this guy -- and people like him necessitate monogamy.
tuba: Frankly, he found the honesty part of polyamory as a major hurdle. He said, "People will think it's freakish. You just can't be that honest."
Sure, it is easier to be manipulative, and more ego-gratifying if people are competing for you -- but honesty and trying to find a way to be wholly myself in this world is everything to me.
sousaphone: If people were competing for me, it would not be ego-gratifying. I would be humbled and grateful, and I would not manipulate them. I would share myself polyamorously and conscientiously, following my heart. We are meant to be gifts to each other, so it's wrong to be manipulative.
tuba: In the end I told him, "Love who you want, but don't pit other women against me or try to pit me against them, I will not cooperate. I will just let you go to find what you really want and need in life, because I'm not about lying. I'm not there anymore. I don't have to be like that -- I'm a lova in a good way."
sousaphone: The more we understand about where people like this guy are coming from, the less power they have, and the less they exist. Such people are the impetus for exploration into our own unresolved issues, so we have that to thank them for. Their ignorance is a gift when it serves knowledge.
euphonium: I had a dream that Rose Mary makes love to everyone in the world. Rose Mary is my soul -- the divine feminine. In making love to everyone in the world, she sees past ignorance to the essence within people, and they feel her feeling them. For her, lovemaking and sex are most often exclusive of each other.
In a vision I had, Rose Mary humbly bowed her head and said, "Making love."
mellophone: Intercourse is the zenith of lovemaking, balanced atop a colossal pyramid of compassion.
marimba: In my dream I was sitting between Coyote Marie and Mary Peacock, an artist friend of mine in high school. We were in a high school classroom -- a big shop class that was really nice. The window was open and it was a gorgeous sunny day. You could see the ocean off in the distance. The room was on the 4th floor of this really nice high school. It was the first day of school.
I'm sitting there grumbling, but Coyote Marie and Mary Peacock are in a good mood. I say, "But I don't wanna take ‘Introduction to Polyamory'! This class is gonna suck! I mean, no offense, guys, but I don't know if I wanna take this class with you."
They were really into it and just pshawing my reservations, saying, "C'mon, Marimba, dude. Lighten up. It's gonna be fun."
Then I was like, "Jesus, look at these little construction paper name-tag things we each have: they can't even spell ‘polyamory' right! it's spelled ‘polyamery'! How can I take a class they misspell the name of?"
Then there was more eye-rolling from the girls.
congas: The misspelling suggests that polyamory has not been clearly spelled out for you, it's a little sloppy; the rules are not clear.
I have to take the class. I need it for graduation; and then I will be able to spell it out correctly for my students.
saxophone: She talked about how some of her jealousy issues are that new kind of jealousy: seeing people living from their true selves making her jealous of them, but for her own true self.
Also it turns out her boyfriend is giving her major traditional jealousy problems over some boy she is friends with, and she feels sad to be trapped in a situation all over again where monogamy is lording over her feelings.
trombone: The bulk of our conversation centered around the fact that she and her man are talking about opening up their relationship to other sexual partners -- after a surprise makeout she'd had with a friend of a friend. Actually, it's a similar story to my experience with the Drum Major: the suddenness of it and the intensity, even the same qualities having attracted us both.
oboe: I was totally not expecting to meet someone who could talk so openly and heartfully with me about polyamory and how it might work; how to navigate it within a deep partnership, and what's scary about it -- yet how good it feels.
clarinet: He's gone through a change similar to mine since I last saw him. I was expecting a chubby grungy boy hiding behind his long hair and pipe. Instead I met a slender, self-possessed clean-cut boy with nothing to hide. It was like a mirror! We talked for a long time about a lot of stuff -- art, family -- but then I found myself, again in the same day, hearing "Oh, I experimented a lot with polyamory and rather swore off it, but am forced to reconsider it lately." So, another good long talk about polyamory and joy and fear and wholeness and pitfalls and variations.
bass drum: I've not met a man so articulate and versed in his own processes, or in touch with the waking dreams that run between us all. We didn't touch at all there on the beach. We sat and moved our hands in the sand and felt the electricity between us and talked. At one point he said, with deep realization, "You're making love to me right now," which was true. But what man feels that, and understands it, and says it, and can let it be? Amazing.
bass guitar: My first response is, "Wow. That's really neat." My second is that my male self would have felt the same thing, and then seen it as a rung toward sex.
bass drum: He was clearly fighting it being a rung toward sex. I'd never seen a guy be like that before.
I have a very clear feeling that that's the proper stance to take. That my beeing [sic] with him is partly about him doing that dance, the dance of learning not to use emotional intimacy as an excuse for sex.
bass guitar: Last night, I was checking out what it might feel like for me to be with him. It was like giving myself to the love you receive. Receiving him with you holding me feels like receiving you through him.
I see a day where we won't have to process so much in pairs with the door shut behind us. We all will be so present in each other that if one meets two, then the three may go forth.
bass drum: This feels like my dream, the warm open tropical kitchen of produce and lovers spilling over into each other, the dream I want to portal through my space, a dream I would give to you.
vibraphone: I don't want to be emotionally dependent on you. And I want to give you my heart purely. I think that is key to polyamory for me. Polyamory for me is being way more self-aware and honest than I can be as a monogamist.
flugelhorn: In the future if there should be a time to dance away from each other, we will never be distant. The purest love knows no distance. The purest love knows all.
xylophone: In future relationships -- sexual or not -- I will share myself, and receive what others share with me, and hope my needs do not ask for too much and that I can keep from granting too much. Polyamory cannot function without a high degree of self-awareness.
glockenspiel: I want to share some dreamwork from last night's dream: the line "I can be a footsoldier too," offered as an invitation to gentle waking love. The "footsoldier" part was bugging me, so I looked it up and went, "Oh!" and then, "Oh wow!"
Footsoldiers are infantry, the ones who fight their fight on the ground, face to face. Also, historically they sustain the brunt of the casualties.
I think dreaming "I can be a footsoldier too" is in regard to part of my conversation with Claves, where he kept saying how he couldn't see how polyamory, or just us making love, wouldn't lead to terrible pain. I said that the pain I'm done with is the pain of giving myself away to another person, the pain of loneliness for my self -- or anything else in this new world. And the subtext I couldn't quite voice was that avoiding future pain is a terrible reason to deny present love. If pain for the cause, then yes, pain. I am a footsoldier for Love.
cornet: This is what polyamory looks like: when you enter into relationship with me, you navigate relationship with those I love.
piccolo: Polyamory reconstructs identity purely from Love.
flute: Love melts us all into one, dissolving all marriages into marriage with itself.
electric guitar: In my world there is no sacrifice or compromise -- and I don't believe there is in evolved polyamory, or in Christ -- his was the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. In my world there is only the heart's desire balanced with the mind's wisdom, which gives everyone what they need.
band director: I dreamed we are at Gretchen's -- a group of 6 or 7 of us, different ages. It's a powwow. Gretchen tells us of her visions, and is frank open vulnerable loving questioning, about this work we're all doing for the future. The dream takes a long time, in real time. The energy is huge, but not at all rushed. We sit on the floor.
Gretchen holds a circle. She wants to know if we have questions. My hand shoots up immediately, I know my question will be: "Is polyamory real?" It's not my turn. I wait.
Gretchen speaks to my brother. With him she sits straight and speaks straight, firm and clear, directive.
She's in throes of some kind, moved more and more by the love moving through her in her work. It nears my turn. She moves toward me; she is languid with the process, dissolved into love. My question dissolves into our communication, moot in the face of such appreciative, mutually instructive sharing. These meetings are rare, but so important.
I hold her as it's my turn. She moves more and more to me, laying-sitting with me, her head laid on my heart. She looks in my eye and says to me, "Excalibur."
"I have to tell you!" I say, so full of love and wonder, as is she.
"Tell me," she smiles.
I say -- about laying with a lover -- "Like this," and I speak with my body, emphasizing touching her, one hand at the back of her head and one holding her body. She smiles, knowing, but knowing now, because I tell-touch her. "Mmmm," with the meaning.
I am telling her about Amy and love in the new world and art and color and purpose and all of our work and I'm not using words so much as feelings; word-feelings, communication so deep and lucid it's word-form is indiscernible from its felt-meaning, spoken and passing between our bodies. I say, "I am a knight," and I feel her response: "Yes. Yes. Yes, this is a crucially important revelation."
The dream was all dialogue, but now in waking-life the words are feelings, I can't transcribe them 1 to1.
Such intense love, whole love, accounting for everything. She asks if I have visions and I do, I do; I yearn to share them. I'm telling her about Amy and show her a picture.
Is there such a thing as peaceful urgency, fullness flowing into the now, through body-minds in work-love-preparation with each other? Powerful. A room full of people learning sharing praising their/each-others' power. Art power. A powwow for Kingdom come, as it does, in life. Like what's your flavor? What's your flavor? Holding Gretchen, she is as loving of me. She responds gently warmly to my story, about me and Amy, it's a right story, right work, bathes her in love.
She is asking us questions not as a shrink but a woman genuinely needing to know; all of us kneading needing each others' reflection to support us in our love-work. She is so eager. I am too, so excited energized by this communication.
Amy: You don't even have to verbalize your question, "What is polyamory?" Just holding it in your mind and waiting for your turn dissolves the scene into mutually instructive love and sharing; deep communication. Communication is touch -- being in touch with, a communion.
Image by peasap, courtesy of Creative Commons license.Tweet