Tucked within this volume are heartlines, woven equally of two types of tough yet tender threads: tales and thoughts about loving and longing. The weave creates soul stories about pivotal relationships: one's chum, first love, outlaw, and the intimate partner. The blend of stories and ideas communicates what happens "on the ground" and in the time of daily life. What belongs together is bound together: experience-reflection, meaning-action, smiles and tears. These relationships concern us all. Within them, we experience life's most important, validating, and memorable "moments." The chum is one's first best friend. She or he calls me to become-- not just a child, a family member, or a follower of the gang-- but a unique person. We tame one another. Thus our friendship promotes us to become real, and affords us an abiding presence. Now I will never be alone, but always vulnerable to loneliness. Significantly, the chum bond is unencumbered with the issues of sexuality. My first love draws out the burgeoning man or woman in me.Within the orbit of our "harmonious us," we share a plethora of "firsts" and negotiate the full spectrum of absolutes: the One, the Good, the True, the Beautiful, the Magic, and the Tragic.
The person of the person and not sex matters most. It is the outlaw who stirs my passion and rouses the broad and raw dimensions of my sexuality. He is the significant stranger who comes from a world different from my normal, habitual context. She introduces new ways of seeing and comprehending the social world." My outlaw challenges my meaning-system of values, morals and customary practices. With vows or promises, I commit to my intimate partner. He is my constant companion; she is the one I want to grow old with. These relationships index our growth beyond pure biological unfolding; they reveal that my most significant development happens because the "Other," by facing and appealing to me for my response, solicits and provokes growth. Fastened thus to life's spiral, we zigzag backward and forward over love's bumps and bruises and soar through love's thrills and rapture.Our soul stories expose the romantic-erotic patterns created by our wonderful dream-weaver and elusive, cunning, and sometimes loathsome enemy: Time. We remember the "hour" of struggling to love when we had one foot on thin ice and the other on a banana peel.
There came the time, too, when we were flying by the seat of our pants, winging it en route, and hoping for the best. We also endured the adventure of innocence lost and innocence regained. The book invites a journey through our gentlest caring and darkest longing, a search through our hopes, dreams, and erotic desires. Open it insofar as you are ripe to dwell upon your feelings, ready to draw from your memory bank, and eager to think your own thoughts. It will not satisfy the reader who wants short cuts, quick-fixes, game plans, strategies, or recipes. Nor will it suit someone who seeks ways and means of making casual contact, or someone who would be satisfied with a steady diet of one night stands. It is no manual promising formulae for finding, keeping, or getting over one's true love.It offers instead personal vignettes that integrate the heart-wisdom of the poets, the beauty of songwriters, and the integrity of a plethora of doers and thinkers.
Hopefully, in dialogue with the narratives and reflections, the reader will fashion a coat hanger upon which to hang her frayed and faded dress of loving, his tattered and torn coat of longing, or their entire splendid and elegant wardrobe of contented love.