Category Archives: love

Disruption, Are You Rigid?

According to my dear friend Marilyn there are two kinds of people, those who prefer towers and the others which prefer caves, the former observers and the latter shelterers I would add that neither of these can hold off the ‘inconvenience’ of disruption.

The result of our cumulative experiences makes each of us shelter in uniquely different ways. Despite our protests we all have finely defined boxes, sometimes our boxes include massively built walls, which make us comfortable and ‘safe’. Entrenched in our comfort we grow ever less capable of being expansive. Our self-imposed exile of stability restricts our movement as surely as shackles might. Disruption is going to happen so I think it is prudent to recall Dr. Wayne Dyer’s words:

karma jpegBrainyQuotes image.

When we close ourselves off from disruption can be as small as the cap left off the toothpaste, or the toilet seat left up by a new lover, a guest in our home slicing a lemon differently or being a fresh air fanatic living in our homes with the windows thrown open (my hand is raised high here). Disruption after all is unsettling, upsetting, annoying and it is an enormous opportunity for growth.  The irony is, that if asked, those who are the most thoroughly entrenched truly believe that they are functioning in a state of expansive love, generosity and kindness – the truth is only on their terms.

Rigidity is not my friend, or yours. In the two years I spent as a digital nomad I have had ample opportunity to serve as ‘the disruptive force’, and I do mean “serve” in the truest sense of that word.

Lots is made of ‘being agile’ whether an organisation or an individual, embracing change, rather than fighting it, allows the best possible outcome to manifest. And yes, I really do believe that on our spiritual path in attaining at-one-ment with The Universe, or God, having our comfort zone pushed and pulled out of its normal shape is very good for us, necessary even. Disruption forces us to confront what we fear and let it lead us forward, or we can beat a hasty retreat from it returning to what makes us comfortable.

Recently I made a choice to help someone spend more quality time with their elderly parents prior to their departure on a rather long trip, but I needed to establish boundaries around my offer. Those parameters would allow me to be generous with my time and culinary talents but ensure that I didn’t bear an undue financial burden. We are always free to choose, but we are not free from the consequences of our choices. The response to my words came with consequences, disruption to the stability of my life and a hefty financial cost for the individual. Here is where personal responsibility kicks in, but it could be something ‘more’. I fully accept the karma of my choice but I have to wonder if The Universe was really using me as an instrument, or somehow protecting me (yet again). What if my words were meant to as an opportunity to help move this person dramatically away from the entrenched rigidity of their life? (my perception). Their subsequent choice denies their pets my love and companionship and their home security, and they will subsequently incur a cost of €50 a day for eight months while I am denied a measure of stability to write and conduct business. Quel domage.

Rigidity or resilience, how do you deal with disruption?

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

 

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No, Your Hate Won’t Break Our Love

It is unexpressed emotions harboring latent demands for redress which cause violent disruption to society. The seemingly extremes of heinous actions and vitriolic words each casting blame, instead of assuming responsibility and moving positively forward, actually feed eachother to ever escalating destruction. It is in the never ending cycles of human history rife with the absence of hope which manifest anger and discontent and, in some, a call for ‘retribution’. A politician stands up and speaks ‘on behalf of a nation’ with words that only serve to inflame those who hate, and exacerbate the fear amongst the panicked flock who demand a response to their collective fear with demands of isolation, xenophobia, and more brutality.

As Eve Ensler, poet, so perfectly and simply wrote:

“Bullets are hardened tears”.

We must unharden. We must stop the tears and the subsequent bullets and bombs. We must find a way forward between the madness and genius and that fraction of capability to cope with inequities tipping the balance to terrorist actions.

Anger can be a gift that keeps us sane; anger will make us sit-in, go on strike (hunger, walk off our jobs), meditate, light candles, and engage in activism we never imagined embracing fostering beautiful life affirming change. And, just like hundreds of thousands of cherry blossom petals ‘we’, coming together, cast a pink glow over our hurting world.

In various locations in Stockholm statues of St. George figure prominately – in the 12th and 13th centuries his legend came to include the story of a battle with, and victory over, a voracious dragon. In its purest form St. George’s tale is one of good vs. evil, light vs. darkness, life vs. death. Stockholm, Homs, Paris, Zliten, Baghdad, Nice, Kabul, Brussels, Boston, London, New York, Orlando, and sadly many other cities share a pain created in the absence of love. Our responses in each of the tragedies we have borne has been resilience and community.

“Absence is to love what wind is to fire; it extinguishes the small, it inflames the great.” ~ Roger de Rabutin de Bussy

I believe that within us we are both a cherry blossom petal and St. George and the dragon we must slay is hatred, ignorance and fear. We must be kinder, more compassionate, empower not condescend, find a way to ensure hope remains a constant and together build a great reserve of universal love which cannot be extinguished in the name of any God.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via livelikeadog@gmail.com through PayPal, and do share it with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiPlease click here to order my book, thank you! 

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Dear Sir, I dreamt of you last night.

Dear Sir,
I dreamt of you last night.

ekaterina yastrebova lovers

Art by Ekaterina Yastrebova

I have no idea who you are but the conversation we shared as I slept, in my dreams, was lovely. On waking I recall but snippets of the content but all of the associate energy. It was the kind of conversation generally held in business, pragmatic, evaluating risks and rewards, benefit statements – yet, we spoke of love.

You had asked me if I would love you. Not in the sense of immediacy associated with ‘hey, would you like to get out of here?’ but in the sense of ‘build something with me’. I have the sense this morning that something ancient ran through our words, surrounded them, infused them with deeper meaning and gravity.  My reply was measured, as in negotiations related to a contract – the greatest contract, the one where two people amplify each other, and in doing so their love expands the universal love that is filtered through the air we breathe and the stars that fall through ink black skies. I told you ‘it never occurred to me to think of you “like that” because I have worked with lots of intelligent men, piercingly handsome men, charming men who made everyone around them weak in the knees – except me’.

But here it was – logical. A question posed and a conversation following. No sweeping, Adrenalin fueled, rescue from epic adventures or courtship based upon glass slippers, letting down one’s hair from a turret or a single kiss to awaken from a sleep of a 100 years which determine the outcome every faerie tale instructing little girls and little boys how it will be when they meet and fall in love. No. You knew, and pressed your suit.

Emily Dickinson wrote, Morning without you is a dwindled dawn.
I think it is better phrased as, Dawn makes up for mornings without you.

My days have never begun without you. You are experienced as the pre-dawn air stirs across my skin from the open window, your hands combing through my tangled curls coaxing them into submission. Your scent mingled with dew, grass, trees, the smote fire in the grate, seaweed and salt water, lashing rainstorms or snow gently falling. The heat of you, as the manifestation of the Sun, pressed against the cool alabaster of my body as manifestation of the Moon. Ying and Yang. Harmony and balance.

I have no picture of you from my dream. I could not tell if you are dark or fair, whether your eyes are blue, green or dark.  A girlfriend shared weeks, perhaps months ago, “you will know him from his smile”. Have I been manifesting you from Mary’s words? I have not a clue in all the universe of who you might be, yet, I felt the essence of your character, your physicality resonate with virile strength, I felt kindness and loyalty and, most of all, I felt safe. Was this a prophetic dream or a memory etched upon my soul from another lifetime?

Do you read this and wonder, what was my answer in this morphing of reality and subconsciousness? When we meet you shall have it.

Teresa

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Croatia, my love, if need be I will walk back to you.

– Last year at about this time I wrote the post entitled A Thousand Years, when love isn’t a smaltz-y commercial event it’s still valid (I invite you re-read it or read it if you haven’t already).  Last week National Public Radio (NPR) in the United States asked its listeners to nominate love songs in conjunction with Valentine’s Day. The resulting list is impressive, filled with happiness and a variety of the kinds of love that cross our lives. But Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You” sounds like I feel right now.

croatia88 days in Croatia. Standing on the wet tarmac in Split, waiting to board the plane that would take me first to Munich and then back to my other reality in the United States, the skies were grey and the fierce overnight rain had diminished to what would be called dreich in Scotland. I love that word dreich, I felt it and the sound of it resonated into the marrow of my bones even though I only thought it.  My throat clenched, my eyes filled with tears – I have fallen in love with a country, again. I have fallen in love with people, rather a population whose collective kindness, hospitality, generosity and understanding of what is truly important felt more authentic and organic to me than in any country I have ever traveled and certainly more than where I was born and currently live.  I walked upon sidewalks of pure white stone smoothed to a fine polish from 2000 years of footfalls that ‘spoke’ to the soles of my bare feet as I walked with a man in the same rain the day before I left.  I laughed more frequently (at myself and life) in those days than at any time I can remember, I cried tears of gratitude and humility just as often. I listened (rather than heard) church bells echo across urban and rural landscapes.  I knelt in churches (which didn’t fall down) to pray for dead I never knew from a war whose scars can be seen everywhere. I spent nearly three months becoming more of who I am than I have ever been – a striking revelation on the eve of a birthday in numbers that in most previous eras would have been considered old age.  I met a wonderful dog, named Medo (honey bear), who helped to heal a part of my heart that I didn’t Medoknow was in need of mending and in the process earned his trust and protection simply by brushing him, sometimes multiple times in a single day, for three weeks. I wasn’t running from anything, and it turned out I wasn’t running toward someone.  I found a home in the truest sense, a piece of Earth where humans have lived for 12,000 (or more) years. I became part of the Dalmatian phenomenon of pomalo. For someone whose family drama was about learning self-reliance, out of necessity I found (in not speaking the language) that I needed to rely upon complete strangers for survival and, I grew.

I wrote a blog post at the end of December which suddenly this week, evidently because Jupiter the planet of luck and expansion was rising in my Aquarius birth sign and despite Mercury being in retrograde meant that communication was heightened, went viral earning more than 110,000 unique readers in two and a half days.  While friends said OWN THIS, I was (I remain) humbled, I am just the messenger for the Adriatic – it’s she that rightfully stands in the spotlight. Over the last three weeks, from a wide range of people, I have been called to leadership which I shun unless I can be ‘in service’. Sharing lunch with a man that read my blog post about the Croatian bikini I was told that I was “Mediterranean but didn’t realise it” – as fine a compliment as I have ever received. The men who variously waited on me in Split’s hot chocolateLuxor and Bajamonti cafes smiled in recognition, touched my arm in fondness as I would take my leave, and yes, told me lies about the weather in the United States in an attempt to keep me in Croatia. People gave me lettuce, flour and millet, and homemade wine. The old women in the marketplaces dressed in black, smiled, made small gifts of Clementines or lemons with my purchases of dark, fantastic Pršut and pale gold Linden honey and almost always hugged me hello and goodbye.  As a huggie person this surprised and delighted me given the three feet of personal space demanded in the United States.

Being away from my apartment for three months meant the cupboards and refrigerator had a lot in common with Old Mother Hubbard’s, so six days after returning I finally went to the grocery store, and wept over pears. Not because they were beautiful, they are, they are perfect – too perfect. I shed tears over these pears because I didn’t know who I was buying them from, the people behind the pears, I was disconnected from the person selling them to me as well as the person who grew them and it felt like I had been abandoned.  I have been back in the United States a week and the scene in my local Wegmans was not about the pears so much as the experience of any traveler. When we have thoroughly immersed ourselves in another culture we are never the same, we can’t go home again. Not really.

The DanceMy dear (never met in person) girlfriend Jocelyne has an uncanny sense of what will touch my soul posted a picture on my Facebook wall this morning. It is a painting by a Greek man named Antonis Kalantzis called La danza, Quint Buchholz. I see the woman I wish to be in the centre of this composition, held in the arms of her lover dancing the Argentine Tango in a snowdrift. A fleeting moment of human connection and restrained desire, something ordinary and extraordinary, a rendezvous realised by riding in on a white horse for one, and a yellow bicycle for the other. So close to Valentine’s Day it’s easy to think about romantic love, wanting it if we don’t have it, cherishing it if we do. I have no regrets about my requited love with Croatia, anytime we fall in love it is a gift we give ourselves. While mountains of snow pile up around myself and my fellow Americans from Minnesota to Maine the ‘things that matter’ that touched my being keep me warm now – at a distance of 4400 miles.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Love in the present, and The Velveteen Rabbit

lovers“The present moment is really all that we have. The only place you can really love another person is in the present. Love in the past is a memory. Love in the future is a fantasy. To be really alive, love – or any other experience – must take place in the present.”
— Jack Kornfield­­­

Three months away from my home base in the United States has taught me precisely who will make an effort to maintain connection, the same is true here in Croatia, people I swore would make the time to be part of my experience here have ‘been too busy’, whereas others have delightfully surprised me in the dynamic of friendship (shout out to Ivica, Carmen and Daša).

I genuinely appreciate Jack Kornfield’s words because I have, like so many, at certain times held onto a memory (or established an illusion of parity) as a dynamic experience when I should have let go – long ago. Why? I assure you I am not delusional but as an eternal optimist I 3rd eyesuppose each of these events in my past come down to hope… that if you respect space, focus intention, believe sufficiently in the connection or your actions or messages received through the 3rd Eye, or Heart Chakra to the vibrational energy  given and received then it must be real. Bonnie Raitt had a very popular song as I was going through my divorce in 1991 (Adele’s cover is stunning) I can remember hearing over, and over, and over again while learning to sail that summer to mitigate the pain of loss, to process who I would be next. But it was the husband and wife that I was sailing with for whom it was more resonate – but neither knew the truth of their loss, they held onto the marriage like people cling to part of the helm of their destroyed boat. I never cried about this for myself in hearing the wife play it on the boat’s sound system, but for them – always.

Ah, love. Like living well, treating it as the miracle it is to be elevated and cherished requires the same active engagement as your exercise régime. There cannot be indifference, there cannot be procrastination, to have an intimate relationship (of any kind) means to participate and practice at it – daily, hourly, and sometimes in the space of a breath.  Not because you ‘have to’ but because you recognise that if you don’t you will both loose an essential aspect of yourself and the person who loves you will take to higher ground (or grasses greener on the other side of the fence).

Being RealAnd so, The Velveteen Rabbit and what can be real, even when it isn’t.

When we are most able to be “real” is as Margery Williams nearly a hundred years ago wrote – we are shabby and have loose joints but we are are most beautiful to those who love us, and whom we love.  When we are most real, when we are truly worthy of love, outward appearances matter not.  Five or thirty extra pounds, failed hearing or eyesight, peculiar habits are ignored because the authenticity of loving is sitting right beside us.  When we are real, and not an illusion, we reach for our others, we call, we send postcards above and beyond social media (although how easy that is you would think more people would actually bother to connect in this manner), we engage and make our lives meaningful in the reality found in laughing loudly, hugging tightly, crying softly, sharing life and all the joys and sorrows that accompany our journey.

“Each day is a miracle that intoxicates me. I want more. I greet every morning like a new pleasure.”
Malika Oufkir

More so, I want to share that miracle with you…everyday. When I reach for you – reach back for me.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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Dalmatian Echoes

rain drops, sun-bleached stonedalmatia

darkened seas tossed in violence

terrifying gods ignite the sky, scream angry words in unknown languages

windows shuttered, stories bidden

flickering light, something held at distance, now in proximity lovers

decay, renewal, one – or both

kneel, clutch, embrace, drowning that rescues

her shuddering response beneath his surrounding, burrowing warmth

discovery of self in the other

parched. hungry. greedy – like the earth

primal continuation, cognitive exploration, Tantric at-one-ment

in waves, nourishment came – yet again and again

fingering Spanish chords, his thoughts echoed through her body

a thousand years of her words stilled, caught, unexpressed

fingers entwined

racing hearts in syncopation, quieting to soft harmonies

with hair like Samson, he anointed himself with their sex

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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What lovers do

“White Lace” – Jeremy Mann, oil on panel

I have been lending a new girlfriend here in Croatia the collection of books about love, famous lovers, courtesans, geisha, and, of course, seducers I brought here as reference materials for my second book. She is engaged to marry a lovely Dalmatian man in his mid-fifties. Evidently the content, shared, is producing some much appreciated surprises, (for both of them), in the bedroom; exchanged words have always been powerful aphrodisiacs. I hope all my writing efforts have the same net effect on all its future readers.

I don’t think romance is necessarily about seduction, I believe romance is about bringing ourselves and our partner delight; a heightened state of anticipation of mutual pleasure.  Small things not grand expressions – just as it is the small things that build up unchecked will also destroy love. When? why? did we stop being ‘romantic’?

“It isn’t possible to love and part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”                                                        ― E.M. Forster, A Room with a View

1770 Billet DouxI recently discovered Billet Doux because of Musetouch on Facebook and I do not mean the French lingerie company nor from the “1670s, “love letter,” French, literally “sweet note,” from billet “document, note” (14c., diminutive of bille; see bill (n.1)) + doux “sweet,”. Rather the small exquisite masterpieces of handwork used to transport the letters which lovers used to write to one another. I am charmed. At some point, the right man, will understand that his words tucked into one of these would make me swoon more effectively than any diamond worth a hundred times what the average price of these archaic treasures sell for.  Let us consider, for a moment, the circumstance of receiving such in an age before telephone, television, the Internet and all of the immediacy offered to lovers today… the anticipation of waiting for words, the promise of reuniting or escape to be carried by a courier (a stage coach or private hired rider) or, even left at a point of rendezvous frequented by lovers and unknown to others. A touch point of words, scrawled upon a small piece of paper with a fountain pen – or quill, perhaps scented, sanded, sealed and rolled into the carrying tube represented by the billet doux – private words, words that excite. Franz Liszt (1811-1886) sent Europe ablaze with his love letters – to a great many women – but, for example, I think none finer of precise use of language (as well as his music) to create longing and desire, to mark his lovers’ heart as his own (for however long or short).

Thursday morning 1834

My heart overflows with emotion and joy! I do not know what heavenly languor, what infinite pleasure permeates it and burns me up. It is as if I had never loved!!! Tell me whence these uncanny disturbances spring, these inexpressible foretastes  of delight, these divine, tremors of love. […]

This is to be — to be!
ink
Marie! Marie!

Oh let me repeat that name a hundred times, a thousand times over; for three days now it has lived within me, oppressed me, set me afire. I am not writing to you, no, I am close beside you. I see you, I hear you. Eternity in your arms… Heaven, Hell, everything, all is within you, redoubled… Oh! Leave me free to rave in my delirium. Drab, tame, constricting reality is no longer enough for me. We must live our lives to the full, loving and suffering to extremes!…

Franz

One does not ‘need’ a billet doux to make your lovers’ heart race – one needs to actively contemplate the path to ‘un-doing’. None of us could actually use language like this today and be taken seriously. But the intent, the intent is something anyone can put into action.

If you enjoy my blog please consider ‘buying me a cup of tea’ in your currency via PayPal to livelikeadog@gmail.com and then, please do share the blog with your friends on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – I am @TeresaFritschiTo order my book, please click on the cover art of my book below, thank you! 

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