Story 2a - In the Brilliance of a Night
Ushi stood in the dark, tall slender, beautiful. She was the most satisfying person to
behold and to be with, at this moment. In Ushi, I was embracing so much of what I had always treasured about human existence, though it was in many ways like it were a reflection of my embrace of myself that I felt up-welling, something rich, something that was being acknowledged, and which I realized was acknowledged by both of us. It came to light as a multiply interlaced process of love and joy; a spiritual symphony.
Ushi had remained by the window while I undressed. After what seemed like ages, though it was probably a matter of seconds, we had begun our embrace that seemed not to end.
Oh what joy this was indeed! I felt a great joy that would have made the air sparkle had the bedroom lights not been turned off. I embraced her and treasured her deeply, as a wonderful, beautiful, gentle friend and generous lover! I almost cried in our embrace, and yet, there was no rage, no lust, no hurried emotion, only a gentle appreciation, an appreciation of her, and of her generosity in love. And again my own words from the cafe came to mind; "to be enveloped in love." Also Helen's words came to mind, and her concept of the universal kiss and its associated element of our peace. This was a night of joy and peace in which the concept of the universal kiss was redefined with an even more beautiful
meaning, and by the power of Steve's science.
A feeling of satisfaction came over me that night, that it had been our sharing of ideas, and of our love that those ideas expressed, that had made it possible for us to experience this total embrace which only hours before, at the beach, seemed so totally impossible,
even to contemplate. This new unfolding embrace was as full and so beautiful,
more than I felt that any embrace could possibly be.
I was tempted to ask her if she was familiar with the music of Richard Strauss, specifically the Rosen Cavalier. She must have been. This opera is one of the finest tributes to the generosity of love ever produced. Once before this opera had come to mind in a similar context. This had happened a long time ago in a strip bar when a dancer had embodied this quality of generosity in a rich measure. There had been a large stage at the center of the bar with seating all around it. This particular dancer had been most generous towards her audience. One could see the people's satisfaction in their faces, which were all smiles that she had caused so easily and so freely.
My night with Ushi was fast becoming a night of still greater satisfaction by virtue of her generosity towards love itself. Erica was right, there can be no pardon by divine Love for our failures to love, because we invariably cheat ourselves until those failures are corrected. But this was then. Now, love was allowed generously to unfold and to enrich one another as we became bound by it into one borderless whole in which the very concept of I or us lost its meaning against the magic of the truth and its beauty that seemed to have no end.
"Oh, how rich our human world is in beautiful things, and in beautiful people, too," I said to myself at one point.
I felt poor in the debt which I now owed to Ushi and Steve for this liberation that I had experienced with their help; a liberation from living with a closed off mind! This night brought a healing of a lifetime of self-doubt and self-condemnation to which I had unjustly sentenced myself. Their love was restoring in its precious flow everything that had been denied for decades. Oh, how I loved Ushi for being such a wonderful woman by whose love and generosity I was receiving this reprieve. Had I merely embraced her as a friend, the struggle would have continued, but she had allowed me, even urged me, to embrace her as a lover and as
a woman, and this without reservation to as far an extent as the principle of sovereignty allowed. Thus, she was nurturing me gently on. The honesty in this had broken the spell of my poverty. She must have known that this would happen, and that it was needed.
Our being together that night was filled with a kind of a great calm that I had never known to be possible, a peace of the soul. The street lamps projected shadows of branches on the ceiling, shadows of a midsummer night's dream. Nothing was in any way ordinary. This night was so rich. Nothing in the world; not the Ogarkov Plan, not nuclear rivalry, not communism, not capitalism, nor anything else appeared in any way significant, compared to the great good that was unfolding. Steve was right, life demands that we live it completely, just as love demands that we love ourselves unreservedly in the highest sense possible, and envelop one another in that love,
and in the sparkle of the joy of it.
This kind of love was unfolding till sleep came upon us. We were discovering in one another the beauty that we found in our soul and in one another. This was the jewel that we embraced in our sharing, an aspect of
the great good, something rare and precious.
Naturally, an atmosphere like that is not conducive to sleeping. I was immensely grateful for her; grateful that she exists, and that Steve exists. Helen's version of the flower garden came to mind; a grateful heart a garden is, in which there's always room, for every lovely God-like grace to come to perfect bloom. I loved the magic of that realization, and the magic seemed true;
but with it the border to sleep was easily crossed. This border falls away as a
border when the reality seems as beautiful and magical as a dream, and more so than any dream could ever be, as it so happened that night.
I woke the next morning to a gentle kiss, accompanied by the most beautiful smile and the unmistakable aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Steve was already up and dressed when we came into the living room. He had breakfast ready. There were freshly baked buns on the table, still hot from the bake shop, wrapped in a cloth, a whole basket full.
As we joined Steve at the table, he got up and closed the curtains to block the sunshine that was streaming through the open window.
"Now what is that supposed to mean?" Ushi asked.
Steve stood by the window and grinned. "You should look at each other," he said and began to laugh, "you are both beaming like a light bulb, no, like a sun. It's getting too bright in here."
"Oh, you!" Ushi protested, "please open the curtains again."