The Ideal Lover
A quick intro and then a story about a dream lover.
Do you remember the first time you dreamed about your ideal lover? Can you still picture him or her?
Is that first ideal lover the same as the one you dream about today?
Even if you’re warmly ensconced in a relationship with a lover, you may still have moments of wandering in the land of ideals, ideal you, ideal them, ideal love.
It’s a fun trip into the place where daydreams glow and grow. Ideals inspire us. And it is wonderful to feel inspired, the feeling lifts us up and transports us on a magic carpet ride.
This post is inspired (as in unashamedly ripping off his idea) by – Christopher Malone of The Infinite Abyss(es) – and his recent Valentine’s Day post – A Valentine, Red; A Kettle, Black: An Essay. It is a long read, but one very worth taking the time to explore, for there are many treasures of inspiration and love within. He has a brilliant mind and a perceptive heart. Please visit his blog for my sake, so he doesn’t hate me too much on this day of love for my copycat crime.
Does my cheek have no end?
The images which go with this post are extracts from a little book – The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. He is the author of The 48 Laws of Power, and this book is an offspring of that, offering its readers the means of having power in love. In some ways it is an instruction manual for Narcissists and other manipulators, but it also serves as a guide on how to spot the love games played by such players. And it also offers insight into ourselves and how our dreams and ideals of love influence our love life, and the choices we make in love.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day today, a day of love games, hopefully of the fun kind, where our ideals of love come out to play and we play with them, by trying to guess what will make our loved one’s heart beat faster and wilder for us, by flirting with the disaster of disappointing expectations, our own and those of our significant other, by perfect dates which go skew-whiff when the unexpected drops in for a visit, by taking chances and risks, I thought I’d share this book… and risk the consequences of breaking copyright laws (hopefully the author, his publisher and their lawyers will see this, if they ever do which I doubt, as promotion of the book and will let it slide)…
Love and risk go hand in hand.
That was the intro, now here is the story.
A long time ago I had a very vivid dream in which I met my soulmate…
I was living in New York. I boarded a plane and flew south. The plane was more like a train, and I stared out of the window at all the neighbourhoods which passed by. When I landed I was met at the airport by a hotel taxi, assigned to shuttle me to the resort where I was staying.
The resort was a very colourful place right on the beach. The rooms were in individual cabins, brightly painted and friendly inside. I settled in quickly, then went out to explore the surroundings. As I walked along a path I came across a pigeon. It had a string tied around its neck and the other end was fastened to a stick. I freed the pigeon and, as I encouraged it to fly away, a little boy came running over to me shouting at me to stop. He told me that he had captured the pigeon because he wanted a friend to play with, and he was very unhappy with me for releasing the bird. I explained that to have a friend they must be a willing participant not a prisoner. He looked doubtful for a minute, but then he smiled and ran off.
I wandered down to the beach and walked up to the surf. It was a glorious day, there were lots of people enjoying the weather, the warm tranquil ocean and the golden sandy beach. I looked around and saw a pool just off the beach with a bar, and music playing. I started to move towards it, a strange crunching sound drew my attention to my feet, I stopped and stared in disbelief. The sand had sharp shards of multicoloured glass in it. I was walking on it, and with each step the glass crunched underfoot. I was seized with fear. I didn’t know what to do. I looked around, but no one else seemed to notice. Tears welled up inside of me. I felt so horribly alone. There was no one I could turn to for help, nobody cared.
As I was in the grip of this fear, a calmness descended upon me from above, and enveloped me like a soothing hug.
“Fear not,” a deep, serene voice said quietly, “The glass is an illusion, a visual creation of your fears, walk forward, you will be unharmed.”
I was doubtful, just like the little boy. I took a deep breath, focused my eyes on my destination, the pool and bar, and moved tentatively forward. The ground still crunched beneath my feet, but I felt no pain, the glass was blunt under my bare soles.
I reached my destination, and climbed up a few steps to the poolside. The pool was shaped like an hourglass, the water sparkled brightly and invitingly. I saw a dark-haired woman frolicking in the water. She turned to face me and I recognised her as Luna, a friend of mine from Florida. She smiled and waved, motioning for me to join her. Suddenly I was in a bikini. I dove into the pool and swam up to my friend. She welcomed me, then told me that she had something very important to show me. She submerged herself and I followed. The pool was very deep, we swam to the bottom, and there Luna showed me a rectangular-shaped recess large enough for a human being. She motioned for me to get inside the recess, which I did without the slightest hesitation. As I turned to look up a door closed over the recess, enclosing me in the space. I knew immediately that it was a coffin. I thrashed around in panic, my air was running out and I knew that I would die a horrific death and nobody would ever know. I bashed my fists against the door, but it held fast. I knew Luna would not save me, she had put me here and she could not be trusted.
Then, once again, I was wrapped up in calm, and the voice spoke to me.
“Do not struggle,” it urged gently, “struggling will prolong your pain, relax, and breathe”
Breathe? I was a human, humans could not breathe underwater without apparatus. This was insane… but I had no other options. I had run out of air, my body was racked with pain. I gasped and sucked in water, but the water wasn’t water at all, it was air, thick silky air, but air all the same. My body relaxed, it began to float upwards, the door opened and I floated out of the recess, up towards to surface which was glittering in the bright sunshine.
When I arrived just under the glistening surface, I realised that the beautiful light was caused by the rays of the sun refracting in the crystals of the sheet of ice which covered the pool. I touched the cold hardness. It was solid. I felt the fear rise again. I knocked against ice, hoping to feel a weakness. I began to panic, even though I could breathe underwater I felt trapped, and the feeling rushed through me with a vengeance.
“Use your own weaknesses to break the ice,” the voice whispered, “that is their strength.”
I placed my hands firmly against the ice, and willed all my terrors, doubts and insecurities to gather together in the palms of my hand. A shudder ran through my body, and, as it did so, I felt the ice give against my fingertips. I pushed my way up and out. Fresh sea air slapped my face and I cried out with relief. I wiped the water from my eyes and glanced around. The pool area was empty but for one man. He looked at me and smiled wryly. I recognised him immediately, he was my friend Leo, also from Florida. I called out to him, but he didn’t seem to recognise me, he just shrugged, turned, and walked away in a disinterested amble.
I swam to the edge of the pool, dragged myself out, stood up, and shivered. The place was deserted. The music which had emanated from the bar had stopped. The beach was empty, as was the ocean. Where had all the people gone. The seas were rougher, and the sky began to cloud over dramatically. I felt as though I was at a different resort than the one I had arrived in, but it looked exactly the same. Perhaps when I had been in the enclosed recess, I had been turned around and released into an alternate reality.
As I stood still contemplating the situation, a movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention. In the distance a man dressed head-to-toe in livery was approaching me at a measured pace. I was overjoyed to see him. I wanted to run up to him and hug him, but I was glued to the spot, by the realisation that I was dripping wet in a bikini.
When the man neared, I saw that he was carrying a towel robe folded over his arm. He approached me with a steady step and gaze, then paused, unfolded the robe and held it out, signalling with a slight nod that I should step into it. His overall demeanour was one of quiet confidence, so I did his bidding. The robe was soft, and a welcome embrace from the cold which was slowly replacing the earlier warmth of the day. I wrapped myself up in it, and then looked at the man expectantly. He smiled ever so slightly, then turned a little and motioned with his gloved hand towards a slope which ran up the side of a cliff in the distance. My mind raced to try and remember if the cliff had been part of the scenery before, but I could not recall what the place had looked like. I was startled. My mind seemed to be erasing my memories of the past.
The man sensed my unease, and responded to it by widening his smile into a kind, comforting one.
“Please follow me,” he said in a polite, yet tender tone of voice, “you are expected at the castle.”
I stared at him in utter befuddlement. Castle. What castle. I could see no castle. And who was expecting me. Who knew I was here.
The man moved slowly towards the path up the cliff, and I followed. As we rose up the side of the steep cliff, the fine mist which had been shrouding the top parted to reveal an ornate stone building, half of which appeared to be recently built, the other half was in ruin with vines and climbing flowers covering its crumbling walls. It was more of a fort than a castle.
When we reached the top of the path, the man led me to a grand arched doorway, which was flanked by two quizzical beasts of stone, a lion and a unicorn. We passed through the beasts and, for a moment, I thought they would grab me, as their eyes seemed to follow my every move and they appeared suspicious of my intentions. The large mahogany door was wide open, and the man moved through the arch into a dark cool hallway.
Inside I was ushered into a vast foyer, where a group of three people were gathered around a table playing a game of cards. The three turned to stare at me when I walked in. Two of them were women. One was a young raven-haired beauty, with ruby-red lips, wearing a fancy costume of shimmering voluminous satin. Her eyes surveyed me with a touch of anger and a pinch of scorn. The other woman was older, wearing her white hair in a tight bun, she had a dignified air, her dress was a steel grey silk elegant evening dress, and she was draped in expensive jewellery. She glanced at me with mild disdain. The third member of the group was a man, neither young nor old, with a shock of white in his black curly mane of hair, he had a very arrogant bearing, accentuated by the ornate military uniform he was wearing. He was definitely unimpressed by my entrance, in fact his eyes wanted to kill me.
After I had taken in the sight before me, I felt panic rise once again. I wanted to spin around and run from this place. There had been a terrible mistake, the man had obviously mistaken me for someone else, someone better, more suited to this place, someone worthy of the surroundings and people. I turned to tell the man of my thoughts, but he had slipped away whilst I was distracted by the other people.
My terror exploded inside of me instantly. I spun and ran… straight into another stranger. A scream forced itself out of my lungs and up my throat, but was halted in my mouth the second my eyes met those of the man who now held me gingerly. He had the deepest, darkest pools of soulful longing which drew me in and absorbed me. He smiled the warmest, gentlest, and most exquisite smile. My heart melted, and my fear dissipated like the smoke from a match.
I knew him instantly as though he was a male version of myself. I trusted him completely, and never wanted to be apart from him. His presence was wise, kind, strong and immense.
“I am sorry that you have to go so soon,” he said in a velvety, rich and deep voice, “I am delighted that we had the chance to meet, we shall talk at length later… when we meet again.”
I did not want to leave, I wanted to stay where I was forever and ever into infinity, but that is not how dreams work… and I awoke.