you & me

Deja Vu: The Magic Generated Between Us.

{Photo credit: Jemima House}

{Photo credit: Jemima House}


I know this story like I’ve already lived it. I knew it when I met you. Not the details, but the essence, the substance. It spread out before me like the bird’s eye view of a landscape I had lived in but had only ever seen from the ground.

Tonight, in the kitchen, I realized that when you are not physically close, not on this island, on the same ground as me, reality seems addled, it is specific and extraordinary, I have no reference points to guide me.

It is not just a longing, although it can feel like that, it’s not only that I miss your presence, which I do, not just that I want you close and want to touch you, I do, but an overwhelming sensation of an essential channel being interrupted, that the way things belong has been disturbed, altered, time squeezed out of shape like scenery in a dream — there is static, an interference, a nagging sense of wrongness. Even when I am happily and wholeheartedly engaged in activity or thoughts of other things, I become aware of a quiet urgency encroaching that I cannot reconcile. There is unease, disruption. I feel a sense of getting in the way of what is destined when we are distanced for lengths of time, as if the pattern of reality gets interrupted. I’m self-conscious about saying so, it sounds mystical and romantic, indulgent somehow.

This hiatus now — two weeks — feels like a breath hold, like a fiery, lung-bursting containment, pressure, impending crisis. It looms and draws me in, it insults me with its banality. I am hindered by irritation and misgiving when I believe it is self-inflicted. But I feel it from outside of me. It is as if the world around me panics first at the breach in connection, and that I am just the one who senses it. Then I am startled, bemused, searching for relevant information, supporting evidence that could justify this disturbance and explain it. There is a conviction in me that life must be fine as it is — it unfolds as it will, of course — but then also a simultaneous and intrinsic knowing that something is terribly out of place. Both are equal in force. The source of the feeling already exists externally, like magnetic force, the weather or gravity. I intuit what is present, like a cold wind blowing on my face and thus my skin feels cold, it does not seem that I create it, it is just happening. It is unarguable.

All this is not to say that constant proximity is a solution (this is not a desire to be combined — that would result in implosion, obliteration of self, a bland destruction of polarities, no space for breath) for this is not a problem to be solved as much as a necessary question to be considered. Are we pulled, or do we push? Is the will to create the power that shapes circumstance, or does awareness reveal the path and we follow it?

You might say I am divided, sheltered from parts of my own consciousness, that is why I am fantastical in my assessment of reality or sporadically delusional, seeking only myself and creating the external story which supports my comprehension. I’m inclined to agree; it delivers me great comfort to do so — the vanity of perceiving self-awareness, the illusion of agency — it’s beguiling. To imagine we call the shots is alluring on one level, whereas the magnificent uncertainty that accompanies believing that our paths are predetermined is onerous in comparison. The requirement for trust, for faith, is gigantic. Maintaining a steady nerve becomes non-negotiable if we have no say in what is coming next. However compelled I am (and I am very) by the unknown, charmed like a snake in a basket, I still feel recalcitrant, cynical. The idea of being essentially choiceless provokes childlike protestations as I observe my ego diminishing in the face of realization: the need to finally submit to not knowing.

I don’t know if we can sidestep or miss what was meant for us through cloudy awareness, lack of insight, by not being clear enough conduits. I don’t know if we can get in the way of what was always going to happen or even unwittingly delay it. Can we? How much impact do we have, can we have, when we exert our will?

There is a strong case for aligning with what already exists, it requires careful perception but it’s the obvious way to up the levels of satisfaction, enjoyment and ease with little struggle, yet hugely dependent on our filters and the way we see the world. What interests me is, can we change the outcome? Is it a matter of self-belief, drive, determination and the will to succeed or attain, or are we self-important fantasists fruitlessly toiling to no avail? The biggest joke of all is that we will probably never know for sure unless there’s an exciting post-death disclosure form explaining the whole thing.

I have noticed that the act of designing with my intention appears to allow an unfolding to occur gracefully, appears to make the path in front of me become clear. Is this the strong focus of my attention? Or is it the honing of my intuition and the way I position myself in relation to what is already happening? Whether it is one or the other, or indeed a combination, is really surplus information when the aim of the game is to traverse the path as easily and enjoyably as possible. Here’s an analogy: I’m driving whilst wearing steamed up glasses looking through a dirty windscreen in driving rain, it’s difficult. When the rain clears, the visibility improves somewhat, but it will still be challenging for me until my glasses and windscreen are clean too. When all three things happen simultaneously, then relaxed and pleasant forward momentum can resume. However, if I have my eyes closed or I’m looking behind me, chances are I’ll veer off the road or crash, certainly I won’t see where I’m going. I’m responsible for how clean my glasses and windscreen are and for where I direct my attention but I can’t change the weather and I can’t change where this particular road leads to. It’s appropriate to acknowledge the weather though and adjust speed, expectation and various other things accordingly as much as it’s useful to look at the signage and see where the road is headed. Some things we control, some things we can only be aware of.

This brings me to the somewhat disappointing conclusion that I only know that I don’t know. I presume that somehow both destiny and intention collude to provide the outcomes we experience, and the more self-aware we become, the stronger and more defined our intentions, the more clearly we can see the signs that show us where the road is leading, thus maybe even giving us a sense that we knew all along.

Coming back to you — I must concur that to enjoy and savor every moment is always the most important thing for me, and whether our meetings are by chance, choice or destined, ultimately reveals very little about the magic generated between us, and so to argue one way or another seems to be missing the point somewhat. Although I favor elaborate existential deliberation to attempt understanding and translation of profound feelings, it is a rather excellent backdrop informing how we relate with each other, giving a grounding for romantic illusions whilst also drawing attention to the poignancy of our existence and the very reason that such propensity for romance exists. One dictionary definition is thus: to indulge in fanciful or extravagant stories or daydreams — and what is each life if not a story? We are made to feel big, not small, in appreciation of this grand scale, the preciousness of our time as conscious beings becomes stark, and what we do and say matters more, not less. The inherent desire to keep quiet, for fear of embarrassment or reactions we won’t like, is reduced and replaced by a wish to open as wide as we can — while we still can — to the enormousness of feeling that is available to us in every instance. Both perspectives, of hugeness and insignificance, lend themselves to a helpful view on self-expression for those reticent in coming forward. If our time is precious and short, then being who we are and saying what we have to say is urgent and important. If we are inconsequential and tiny, then there is no reason not to express ourselves fully either. There is no such thing then as too much feeling when you look at it in this way, it’s more a case of how much you are capable of holding and how you choose to let it be expressed.

As interesting as theories and philosophy may be, as much as our minds want to explore every facet of existence and answer every question, the combinations are infinite, and I myself prefer to be fluid in my understandings, rather than spend a lifetime gathering proof that things work the way that I imagine they do.

The real deal is in the experience, not the analysis. Concepts and ideologies are ways of assigning meaning, they are not a substitute for feeling. It is necessary to not know some things in order to maintain a sense of wonder. In wonder lies reverence and a deep gratitude for being here now, no matter whether it is by design or by default.


JemimaHouse06Jemima House is a yogini and writer who experiences regular bouts of unbearable lightness and needs to be upside down a lot. Walking the tightrope between angelically mellow and devilishly stubborn, she is a wandering star with a big heart. Also the owner of Positive Living UK, a unique network supporting and inspiring people in living their passion.


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