The Grand Canyon had always been fascinating to me, the scale, the emptiness, the unexpectedness of it. We sat on the edge amongst the crowds and gazed at the empty space. A great place to be a man?
The sun was high, the shadows were small, the heat was intense. It was my first time here. After years of seeing pictures here was the reality. I became absorbed in the light, its colour, intensity and movement. Light has been my passion for over forty years. It has been my profession and has been the bridge between the outside world and my inner world. Here I was in front of one of the greatest examples of the dynamism of light and all I had to do was sit and enjoy it.
People came and went. They saw the canyon and yet did not see what I saw. They saw a snapshot, I saw a movie, they saw in 2D, I saw in 3D. I couldn’’t understand how they could miss the beauty of light, the creative force of light.
The sun moved, the earth moved, the shadows grew longer. The light changed, the colours deepened and the canyon shifted under the fierce caress of the sun.
Urmila sat there with me, equally fascinated, equally in awe. She sat for hours watching the shift of what seems so permanent. I was curious and I was amazed. I was not on my own experiencing this.
I met Urmila while working on a seminar, she became a friend, a confidante. We enjoyed spending time together. Here we were watching the sun setting over the Grand Canyon finding that we both loved light and could both watch it for hours. She was someone I could spend time with, doing the things I love. I could be a man.
I fell in love. I wanted to be with her, I wanted to bring our lives together.
As the sun faded I talked about us and how this could be our life together. She loved the time she was spending with me, she had never had this involvement before.
“We are so good together, we enjoy so much together”, I said to her, “we should do this all the time, we should travel together.”
“I know, I love it, but I don’t want another girlfriend” she said, “we have so much in common but there is something missing. I want a man who excites me, I need something more.”
I was feeling the pain of being kicked, I was lost. I couldn’t understand. I talked and pleaded and persuaded. I just made it worse.
“At least you can do me the courtesy of letting me make up my own mind”, she said, firmly. I shut up and cried inside.
Later she was in my cottage in the UK, and I was in Seattle. We talked all weekend by Skype. I was desperate, I had to make it work, I had to get her to see how great we were, how suited to each other. This was the last chance.
“There is just no polarity there, no electricity,” she said, “if not for me, do something for yourself, find your strength, find yourself. Are you man enough?” Can you be a man?
When she said that I realised I was completely failing, I was not honouring either of us. Things changed inside me, I understood, I stepped into my uncertainty. I didn’t need her any more, I didn’t need the certainty. I didn’t need someone else to make me who I was. I was sufficient.
I went back to the UK expecting nothing. I went back to my life.
One of the great indicators of masculine strength is our ability to be totally there, completely present, even in an uncertain world, the ability to be a man. Women know exactly when a man is in this state and they get very excited by it. They also know when men are not there and they get very frustrated by it. She saw what strength I had inside me and she saw that I was capable of being a man with power, presence and strength.
I detached from the outcome. I ceased to be obsessed with what happened. I stood tall as a man and let her see that. I accepted my worth and I stepped into my vulnerability. I knew I was the right man for her, but I was not being that. I was being needy. This is not what a woman wants, she wants a man worthy of love, a man she can trust, a man sure of himself.
We are now married…