Ch-ch-changes

In my thirties, I obnoxiously pooh-poohed all sorts of things. Vegetarianism. New age-ism. Exercise. You name it.

In my early forties, T found me one evening lying on our bed, listening to Krishna Das, chanting along: “Hare krishna. Hare krishna. Krishna Krishna, hare hare.” She looked at me like I was from Mars. (And she could be forgiven: no one would have guessed – even a week earlier – that this would be something I would do.)

More than ten years later, I continue to listen to more than my share of Krishna Das’s gorgeous kirtans, to meditate, with and without mantras.

As I sat this morning in the sauna, working on my half lotus (I’ve pretty much got that down; headed toward full lotus, now), reflecting on just how much less meat (and, in fact, how much less food) I eat than I did once upon a time, I thought, “How unrecognizable I am, in some ways, to the man I was fifteen years ago.”

And I am, in many ways, unrecognizable. Physically, of course: not only am I fifty pounds lighter, but I’m more fit, more flexible, more comfortable in my body. And this, in spite of a massive, painful surgery with years of recovery. But not just physically. Sexually: my shame is mostly gone. I’m confident, poised, hungry. And not mortified, secretive, and starved. Intellectually: I’m open, curious, skeptical. As opposed to defended, arrogant, and terrified. Habitually: lots less porn, lots less (empty) sex. Much more reading, writing, connection with friends. And this, in spite of just how much time I’m capable of spending on sex/uality.

In any event: there’s not much more to this post. Just to say, even as all that’s true, as I look, outwardly, very different, I remain, of course, exactly the same.

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