The Third Body
A man and a woman sit near each other, and they do not long
at this moment to be older, or younger, nor born
in any other nation, or time, or place.
They are content to be where they are, talking or not talking.
Their breaths together feed someone whom we do not know.
The man sees the way his fingers move;
he sees her hands close around a book she hands to him.
They obey a third body they have in common.
They have made a promise to love that body.
Age may come, parting may come, death will come.
A man and woman sit near each other;
as they breathe they feed someone we do not know,
someone we know of, whom we have never seen.
They were very young, probably college students. She, with her light brown wavy hair and her golden skin; he with his strong jaw, his rugged good looks, dark brown hair. Both had eyes only for each other. He had wrapped his wool jacket around her as they braced against the wind pushing them through the bakery door. They found a small table near the window and sat side by side. As she shrugged out of his jacket, the wide neck of her blouse slipped off one shoulder. He lightly kissed her tender skin glow as he eased her blouse back in place. Her hand lingered on his cheek as she brushed a wayward curl back from his eyebrow. No words passed between them but volumes were spoken.
The handsome silver-haired gentlemen wearing a crisp white shirt and tailored slacks stood to help her take off her bright green coat and drape it across a chair. They paused for a brief hug, a quick and tender kiss, then sat across from one another for the animated dialogue that passed back and forth between them. Like well-matched players in a game of tennis, each gave full attention to the other; their eyes danced and their fingers lightly touched now and then. I imagined that this was a practice grown deep and genuine and satisfying over the years. They appeared to be in their mid to late seventies.
Their mothers were chatting and laughing, catching up on all the activities of each of their families. The little boy and little girl shared the box of crayons and pieces of paper and pointed out the details of their creations to one another. Amidst giggles and wiggles, they sampled each others food, argued a little, laughed a lot and fully entertained themselves. They appeared to be in their own cozy space, oblivions to their mothers or others in the café. They were completely captivated by this world of their own making, immersed in five year old bliss.
A Course In Miracles tells us that our mundane struggling relationships are based on differences and competitiveness. However, the Course states that “a holy relationship starts from a different premise. Each one has looked within and seen no lack. Accepting his completion, he would extend it by joining with another, whole as himself. He sees no difference between these selves.” And love exists when “one has seen the others’ need as no different from one’s own.” Three couples of three different generations each clearly seeing the other as whole and complete. Passing love back and forth, giving and receiving, creating a safe and intimate place of their own in the midst of a busy world outside.
This spring as our hearts thaw out after a long winter, as we remove layers of coverings and expose our vulnerable selves, may we fearlessly see others as whole and complete and may we extend our love joyously. Perhaps we will even inspire onlookers to do the same. Love is not a limited commodity. It is a contagious mysterious wonder. As we give it away, we shall have more. To Life! To Love! To Spring!