With all this deep reaching exploration going on I was slow in getting ready. On the other hand, why would we want to hurry. Were we not 'dancing,' already?
I told Anton that I had been so deeply in love with her in Moscow that I had just wanted to be with her, simply because of the way she was. I explained, that after I had messed things up so badly that we couldn't talk anymore, when I had to resort to writing letters, that I sudden realized I had cherished her for nothing more than being herself. I explained that I became ashamed I had tried to invade her life. I told her that all I could think of during those last days before the end of the conference, was, that I had to get things back to the way they were. "And that's the honest truth," I added. "I had realized by this painful process that I had no right to alter the platform that you had been happy on, even if my motive might have been to raise that platform higher, in order to make your life a bit richer."
Two small tears came to Anton's eyes as I spoke.
"I think I learned a lesson about sovereignty during this conference, because you cherished your sovereignty above everything else," I concluded.
"Oh my God, Pete, this must be what has been missing!" she responded with a burst of great excitement. "Sovereignty is a vital element. It is essential for establishing unity. Without it unity cannot be established, much less be maintained. Without sovereignty, unity becomes slavery, a trap. Without it, no one is free." Anton grinned now as she spoke. "That's what Nicolai once told me, too," she added. "He said that without a strong commitment to the sovereignty of nations, no nation in the world is free. Nations can only be united as a community of principle, which means a community of sovereign nation states bound together by a common commitment to enrich one another."
She smiled as she spoke. "This is what Nicolai is proposing for us; something that you may wish to propose to Heather, too. I can feel that you want to remain close to her forever, and she to you, but maybe you can't reach each other without a demonstrated commitment that guarantees each other's sovereignty no matter what. This has been the problem between Heather and you from the beginning, hasn't it? What had happened at the SandCastle was the inevitable result of not knowing what was needed as a foundation. Every person needs to feel cherished, but without a commitment to sovereignty, love hasn't the ring of a true metal. If you had focused on this principle right from the beginning, the SandCastle impasse might not have happened. That's what Nicolai had said to me some time ago when you told him about your experience on one of his visits."
"Isn't that what I told you, too?" I said to her. "Love doesn't reflect itself in the form of demands. Respecting another's sovereignty means, one doesn't impose. I have never imposed anything on Heather. I have never imposed anything on you either. I didn't need to, our love has been greater than the force of caution that urges self-isolation. And so it will always be."
Here something strange happened. I couldn't find my shoes. "Did I slip then off at the restaurant?" I asked. "Maybe I left them there."
I explained to Anton while searching for my shoes, that what I had felt in regard to Heather was beautiful, too. It wasn't a complete isolation. The remaining barrier wasn't as dense. My love should have guaranteed her sovereignty. Then ether would have been no barrier. Still there was happiness in this union. I said to myself that one doesn't need to go through an open door seven times a day to know that the door is open. One doesn't need to do this in order feel the unity that spans all boundaries. "Once in a decade should be enough to test the validity of it," so I thought.
"But was it really enough?" she asked. "Why shouldn't you have cherished your love more intimately once or twice a week, instead of twice in a decade," she said and grinned. "Whatever is right, is right universally. Have you ever thought about sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings with Heather in the kind of letter that you had written to me during the conference in Moscow, composed with the same deeply drawn honesty and affection, and concern? That's all a part of establishing intimate relationships, and the lack of it may be the reason why you never had the kind of intimate relationship that you could have had."
"Yes," I replied, "I was a fool, but it is so hard not to be a fool. Didn't the same shallow relationship develop between us, too? We had sent a few post cards to one another until we met again in Caracas. Nothing more than this happened. Those post cards were nice, but they didn't convey what could have been said."
Anton seemed to agree with what I had said.
My shoes were eventually found, with us both looking for them. She didn't even comment on my having been so stupid as to have placed them under the bed so that they were pushed far under it with the carpet at the bedside.
After this bit of hassle was over, I told her that my relationship with Heather had nevertheless been as full throughout the years as it had been when we first met, maybe not as full and deep as it could have been. "Sure, we didn't share a bed for years," I said to her with a smile, "but this does not mean that we didn't have an intimate kind of relationship. What we shared included a lot of what had mattered the most right from the start. This had never ceased. The most valuable of what we had cherished had continued to enrich our lives. In a somewhat remote sense, Anton, one could say that Heather and I had really been married to each other all along, without either of us wanting to acknowledge it. That's the beauty about being human and in love, Anton. We keep on loving one another no matter what. There exists really no standard against which one can measure life and love. Life unfolds in countless ways, with each aspect having the potential to be as rich as the other. It's really impossible for one to make any judgments at all. Just think of how dull the world would be if all life could be measured with the same meter, and all love in the world could only have one single expression? Thank God, life and love are individual in their infinite unfolding. This makes the human sphere infinite, too."
Anton grinned in response, or perhaps in response to me putting my tie on the wrong site out, which I hadn't noticed until after I had put my coat on.
Evidently I wasn't really there. My head was spinning. Talking about the grand offer that she had made, seemed to help. It was a way of responding and exploring, except it put me even more into a tizzy, and what was worse, I loved it. This promised to be like India all over again, only better. Indira never talked about children, but Anton did. Heather wouldn't dream, of it. Ushi perhaps, but she was too far out of my life, and had been for so long. "You are right, maybe I should invite heather for a vacation to Mexico," I broke our moment of silence.
"There no reason why your association with Heather could not change tomorrow into something still better," Anton suggested, as though she hadn't noticed me correcting my tie without taking the coat off. "Anything can change," she added. "As you said yourself, there are countless facets to infinity. Our life and love should be new and fresh every moment with new experiences of love. It must never stop to grow. It must never dim and go out. This should also reflect itself in enriching one another's existence. Maybe your love for Heather should be fresh every day, as is ours, as all love should be, as your love for Sylvia is probably, too. Shouldn't love be always fresh to have any meaning at all?"
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