While awaiting your help, bunnies, Judy found time to share the greatest love story of our generation:
I had the most beautiful moment of my life recently. It’s a story of love, heartbreak, and love-after-heartbreak. I wrote it down for me, but am sharing it with you in the event you like love stories.
In 2010, I met a woman named Jordan, which required changing my opinion on the possibility of love at first sight. We moved in together within a few weeks of starting to date. For the subsequent five years, we dove full force into the depths of intimacy. Of all the love songs I’ve heard, none have felt like they give justice to the feelings I experienced in her presence. Over and over, the relationship redefined my understanding of love and of myself. It was at once tender and epic. We built a life, a home (Agape), and a community. We explored the nature of reality, and, hand in hand, spelunked through the corners of our consciousness. If there are souls, ours mated, and gave birth to something much bigger than either of us.
Our mutual radical acceptance gave us the strength to follow our passions boldly. As part of that, Jordan found herself called deeply toward a spiritual path based on Peruvian shamanism. I cheered her on as she dove into study, even as it ultimately led her to be away from me for months at a time, practicing in the Amazon under the guidance of multigenerational traditional healers, primarily by sitting in solitude in an open-air hut, meditating from morning til night. After years of study, the calling increased until she was compelled to devote her life to the path of healing, helping bring the wisdom of this tradition to those needing psychological healing. To pursue this path fully, she felt called to take a nearly monastic devotion, one incompatible with our sexual relationship and shared lifestyle. (If your reaction reading this is “WTF?”, you can only imagine mine.) In parallel, I was also feeling increasingly called toward lifestyle choices that were incompatible with her desires, and, suddenly, the partnership that we had assumed would lead to children and growing old together was coming to an end.
Still madly in love, the devastation was enormous for us both. I went to great lengths — sweeping romantic gestures, offers of radical compromise — to make it work, but ultimately came to honor and admire the depth of her dedication, and the sacrifice she was making to serve the world as a healer.
She returned from another six-month stint in the jungle with a gift for me. While sitting alone in her hut, she had written an entire album (which she’d recorded quickly upon her return), titled “Songs of Love & Despair for the Universe & Justin.” Jordan has no formal music-composition training, but shamanism has been known to engender spontaneous musical ability, and these sounded like gorgeous medicine songs. I listened and cried as her music told the story of sitting alone in her hut, longing to return to our shared bed, knowing in her heart that that chapter of our lives had come to a sudden unfair close, but that our Love would never die.
Over this last year, we tried being friends, but would keep making out and then crying, so a few months ago I suggested that we take some space for a while. We saw each other again for the first time a few weeks ago. She said she was considering going to Burning Man (the home of many epic romantic adventures for us) for a few days, and I asked if she’d like to hang out a bit on playa if she did make it. She said that sounded really intense and probably not a good idea, and I said I understood. But on the night before the Man burned, she showed up at my camp, and we set out on a 2-person adventure for the evening.
It had been years since we’d raced around Burning Man together, but it was deeply familiar and magical. We stumbled on strange objects in deep playa, danced together near small art cars, laughed ourselves silly at the trash fence next to deformed aliens and freedom-fighting catstronauts. We entertained each other with snarky remarks about art, shared insights on mysticism that we’d unearthed during our time apart, laughed and cried as we remembered our past with our private idiolect. She told me I would always be her soulmate.
She led the adventure, and I followed her wherever her whims took us, until we found ourselves at a magnificent giant heart that emanated rainbows, atop a double helix / healer’s staff / two interwoven vines. We sat at its base, staring up in wonder, discussing love & beauty.
I asked her if she wanted to climb up the helix and sit inside the heart, which was clearly both possible and difficult. She was down for the adventure, and an adventure it was. It was so beautiful inside, held in a rainbow waterfall womb. In the center of the heart was a flat wooden heart, into which had been laser-cut a poem. Every line spoke to us, culminating with “They didn’t fall in love. They ascended to it.”
Around the giant heart were embedded smaller wooden hearts, with sweet little laser-cut quotes about love. I followed her attention, until she read one that made her stop. It read, “Love changes forms; it has no end.” She stared at it, bewildered, before stuttering, “That’s… that’s a line, from a song I wrote you. I… I promise I didn’t trick you into coming up here, I didn’t put that there.” Eventually I told her, “I did.” “No, you’re fucking with me.” “I’m not,” I convinced her, “I helped fund this art piece on Kickstarter, in exchange for being able to choose what one of the hearts would say, so we could have this moment.”
We had only one handkerchief between us, which proved grossly insufficient for our tears and snot as we sobbed and held each other for the next few hours. We mourned the greatest tragedy of our lives, that our love had changed forms. We shared gratitude for the greatest gift of our lives, our love that has no end. I told her that our romantic partnership was the first major person or thing in my life to have died, and it was my favorite thing. She told me this was the best lovemaking of her life, and we celebrated that we could enjoy our most romantic experience together ever, a full year after breaking up. We stared at the line from her song, sitting in what for us was (literally) the heart of the heart of the heart of civilization.
Appropriately, climbing out of the heart proved more difficult than climbing into it. Lying together in the Temple, watching the sun rise to bring a new day, we shared fantasies for a new epic friendship between us, and plotted ways to enjoy the eros and agape of co-creation, without the sexual. Later, we held hands as we watched that temple burn.
Thank you to Jeremy Richardson and the entire Ascension crew. And thank you to Jordana Grader for the love of a lifetime.
Love changes forms. It has no end.
Justin would like to thank The Academy … Epic, Judy, epic, if one is a high school sophomore. Jaysus.
Update: Whew! After Donkey’s grueling day, getting up at noon and skimming articles online, she sure could use a break:
11. Make time to play. Focus on ways you can have fun and get re-energized. Whether it’s a solitary hike or dinner and a movie with friends, enjoy yourself.
Bottom Picture: You & Kitty Kittay will be the belles of the Camp Septic Orgy Tent in your new Ali Shanti Porn Star Lashes(TM)!