How Can You Know Another Soul?


A Dear One May Soon Be Passing

A few years ago a female friend and I decided to explore the idea of an intentional relationship, not because we had that elusive chemistry that everyone seems to be seeking, but out of principle. After all, if love is all there really is, then it must be a principle that is present regardless of our feelings. It was going to be a grand experiment, and we even thought we might blog about the experience, a bit of a case study or experiment.

I know it sounds foolish. But great things often come from seemingly ridiculous ideas.

So we met in Nashville for a long weekend to get a feel for the idea. It was a lovely time that included the Grand Ole Opry, beautiful gardens, traipsing around downtown, and fine meals. I don't recall now if we even so much as kissed, though I remember the closeness.

I'm not sure I remember exactly why we did not proceed. I do recall that some of the terms were not very workable for her. And it may be that I was just uncertain. Regardless, when she told me it just didn't seem to be her path I was content to let the idea go.

We stayed in touch, and talked occasionally on the phone. We even practiced a bit of our respective healing approaches on each other, and shared a number of intimate conversations.

A couple of years ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. As I write, it is not clear if she is going to survive. Thankfully, a dear friend that she knew for many years has swept in to care for her. And they are very much in love, though at her insistence, that may not be the right description. Perhaps it is more true to say the two of them could not be a better fit for each other. And for the first time in her life she feels safe and nurtured.

I find myself crying for her as I write those words. What could be better than to finally find your way into such a place? While I don't know him, I am grateful for what has come to pass. No, not for the cancer, but for the outcome. It’s proof that even out of apparently dark realities beauty is to be found.

In the past few days she and I have been exchanging e-mails. I don’t know exactly what it is we are trying to say to each other. But I do know there is something that needs to take place. So I am leaning into the conversation for as long as she would like to do so.

Here are my most recent words to her:

I knew during and after Nashville what I felt about you on the inside. And those feelings have endured, pretty much unwavering. Let’s just call it a very pleasant warmth about all things about you. That includes an incredible pleasure you have found this deal with your guy, that you have been broken open by a really difficult health situation, and that you are really reconciling to your mortality. Even that you may decide your path is at an end, that your work is done. As best I can tell, that very pleasant warmth about you stays intact. So I don’t know what to call that, and I’m not sure I know what it means. But know that I hold you in those thoughts and feelings.

After sending this most recent note, I had an epiphany about her.

There is something between our souls. I don’t know how I think I know that. And I’m fully aware this could be some spiritual bullshit I’m simply ginning up. Then again, how do any of us know those things we know to be true?

Years ago I went through a number of past life regressions. I won’t offer what I believe about those experiences, but I emerged with an unshakeable faith that there is something true to them. I also came to see that somehow every aspect of every life adds up and makes sense. We just can’t see it; we’re too close to our own lives and selves.

It seems to be that kind of certainty that I feel for my friend. I will see her again. To what end I do not know. But we have talked further about this, and she does not disagree.

We will continue to care for each other from afar. Or perhaps we'll decide I should go and visit her. Perhaps it doesn't matter. Perhaps love is a principle that is not bound by circumstance, or even by a single incarnation, or any one relationship.

Seeing True™

Sometimes we just have to trust our sense of things, our feelings. In the face of so many things we cannot know, what other options do we have?

An Afterthought

In writing this account, I had a moment of clarity. I now see that this experience is an expression of the story I told in My Name is Wonder, which is the tale of a goat named Wonder on a quest with his spirit guide, a shape-shifting crow named Mac Craack. In that story there are relationships that cross time. Suddenly I see that some part of that story and especially its conclusion is autobiographical. What a wonderful world it is.