When I was a senior in college, I fell in love with Keith. He was in a rock band on campus, and one fall afternoon they performed “Light My Fire” after Keith dedicated the song to me. I was mortified, I was too naive to understand the meaning of the song or the dedication (I’m a late bloomer). We were outside on the green, there was a small group of students, and part of me was numb. I could not totally enjoy the experience. I had very strong feelings for Keith. I was thrilled every time I saw him, but we never had sex. He didn’t push it, and I was satisfied with our mild physical relationship.
It took me a few years to fully appreciate the pleasures of sex. Then sprinkle in some crises and losses, and I would have a stretch of celibacy that spanned most of my 30’s. “Light My Fire” disappeared from my life until I was 40. How much living and loving did I bypass during those years? Self-imposed exile. You are safe but also unsatisfied and lonely.
At 52, I am more open and willing to take reasonable chances. I am open to the possibility that joy lives in many places. I need to let go of pride, prejudice, fear, and pain. I don’t want to dwell on the past, I want so much to live today because surely today is the miracle. The sun shines today and it feels good, even though the wind is brisk. I stand in the sun and smile.
So yes, I will let you in. I will enjoy this moment, which envelopes eternity. I will let joy in. I will not make demands, I will be the genuine me. Living completely in my skin yet free of myself.