Sylvia shook her head. "I am not saying that the problem is easily solved," she added. "This may be the biggest problem that we face in the world. I am merely suggesting that this may be where the root of our problem lies, because unity can only exist on a universal platform, because its principle is absolute and universal. It may take years for us to sort this problem out, to establish the platforms on which this can actually happen. In our tiny, isolated, bisexual family world of just two people, we never had to deal with those larger complexities that demand us to face the truth and achieve the level of honesty that the truth demands of us. Maybe we all have until now kept our self-love on far too low a level, on too short a leash." She laughed at that thought.
"Maybe that's what got us into a rut in the first place," I answered. "Self-love and self-isolation are fundamentally contradictions to one-another, aren't they? This means, we have to work on that."
We embraced each other in agreement.
"Do you remember our time years ago, after our house had just been built?" I asked her. "Ross and Heather used to stay with us many a night then, when the weather was too bad for them to hike home. Remember I used to share the bed with Heather quite often in those days, and you with Ross, sometimes Fred would come for a visit and join you? We were living at the edge of the world, then. Life was free and exciting, but then all of a sudden it stopped. It seems to me that it stopped because we hadn't dealt with the underlying mythology. We hadn't pulled us up to a higher level. We never got away from this 'my husband, my wife,' thing. We were saying, my husband sleeps with your wife, etc.. Maybe we weren't saying it out loud, but we were thinking it. We have never addressed this wife and husband role-playing, even in our now open environment. And that, apparently, killed the whole thing that might have developed into something great."
Sylvia nodded. "This means that you and Ross have a perfect opportunity to uplift the entire environment that we live in, to a higher level, because your interrelationship won't be tainted from the outset with this mythological preconditioning. Sure, you'll have other problems to solve, but those may not be as deeply rooted. Your relationship has therefore a better chance to stand on its own, by its own merits, its own honesty, its own worth. I actually envy you, I really do."
"You have the same opportunity with Heather," I said and smiled. "Maybe I should envy you!" I started to grin.
Sylvia agreed and then laughed. "In a way, we are both like little children taking our first steps into a newly discovered world, and we discover with amazement that it isn't all that easy to take those steps. Still, we push ahead. We stumble, we fall, and we get up and try again. Eventually we will master the challenge. Eventually, we may even think about climbing Mt. Everest, as Steve suggested. We are not ready for that yet. First we have to learn not to play games with each other's lives and become human in our thinking. But the time may come when we do stand on Mt. Everest. But think, Peter, what wonderful experiences we are bound to have in-between. That's what makes living worthwhile, doesn't it?"
"But we are not there yet," I reminded her. "If we could allow ourselves to move more freely, our world would be a brighter place. But, how do we do this? We seem to be trapped into a denial of the very thing that we want to embrace. We want to embrace the Principle of Universal Love. Why do we deny its validity at every turn, often for the smallest reason?"
+ + +
What I disliked most about the growing isolation, was its effect on Sylvia. Our life together seemed to have reverted back to a default state in so many ways, that we couldn't break out of in spite our best and most daring efforts. Sylvia had become my default kind of woman. That's not how things should be. Who wants to be a default person? I wanted to see her, and love her, as the brightest star in a star filled sky, instead of being the only star in a dark night. Unfortunately, that was the state that we had reverted back into. I could sense the Sylvia wasn't at all happy about this regression. Something had become lost in our lives.
It seemed to me at this time that my affair with Anton was the only aspect that hadn't changed. I realized, that what I had said to Anton that night over dinner in the tower in Moscow was still true. I smiled about it again, remembering. I had told Anton that I didn't want to entice her. I had told her that there was no need for that, since we were already bound to each other deep in our hearts, because of our love for our humanity. I had recognized this to be true. This meant that the love that had unfolded from that first moment on was still true, in spite of all the denials that had kept its truth hidden from us and had kept us isolated.
I realized that the bond that love had forged between us was secure in both of our hearts and would always remain so. Indeed, I had a beautiful letter to prove it. The letter was a testament that our love had not been lost even during the harshest days of trials and agonies that we had subjected one-another to.
It was shortly after that realization was made, that the thought emerged that I should celebrate this truth as a kind of acknowledgment to myself. This idea came to me on a cold winter's night in front of the fireplace with Brahms' Symphony Number One being broadcast on the radio. I was startled by how precisely the first movement of that symphony depicted the way our love had unfolded. The movement opens with a long drawn out, peaceful, but powerful statement by the full orchestra. That's how I remembered Anton when I first saw her standing there at the reception desk at the Airport, when we arrived. The impact she had had on me that day, had been as powerful as that symphony's opening statement, and as drawn out and unhurried as Brahms seemed to have realized that a new and powerful love should unfold. The impact of her presence had remained as overwhelming and captivating as it began; right through to the day we had dinner together. At this dinner, new melodies took over, which too, were reflected in the first movement of Brahms' symphony.
I was surprised, listening to the radio, at how closely the music matched the way our love had been. It unfolded with a mixture of sweet melodies, melodies of joy, but also melodies of trials and agonies, while in the end, the first movement trailed out in a serene mood just as our days in Moscow had ended.
When the second movement began that night, while I was sitting in front of the fireplace thinking back to those days and what had become of us, it occurred to me that the deep serenity of the second movement, the slow movement of the symphony reflected the state of my love after we parted. Or more precisely, it reflected the present state of it as I had come to recognize its reality. The deep serenity of the music reflected that truth that I had already recognized during our first night together high above Moscow, the truth that our love did exist as a reality in our hearts and was as secure there as the rock of Gibraltar is secure that symbolizes everything in the world that is enduring.
The music of the slow movement, in its sweet and beautiful serenity, reflected not a distant future of a brighter world drawn by hope. Instead, it reflected the certainty of the present love that I recognized to be as real as the sun is, and as immediate as every moment of every day. That's why Brahms' melody wasn't hurried, I reasoned. Brahms must have felt that sufficiency that is anchored in the truth, and that its richness is enough of a reason for a boundless, endless celebration.
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