balance :: flow, by L’Tanya Durante

March 27, 2012

“The aim is not to quench your thirst. The aim is to develop the perfect thirst, so that you never stop drinking.” ~Sufi Teaching~

The Way You Make Me Feel

I was sad to hear about Whitney Houston’s death, but my feeling watching the 4-hour televised funeral was more than sadness. It registered more as a reminder and an awakening.

I listened to the bodyguard (the real one) talk about how much entertainers give for us. Figuratively he shook his finger at us for our iniquitous condemnation of those who quench our thirst at the expense of their own.

But, wasn’t it her job to fill me up?

Rock With You

I thought about all the pop princesses and princes we know by first names who had fallen asleep empty, unhappy, judged – those whose job it was to fill us up, but retreated to fill themselves in secret.

It’s their job to fill me up, isn’t it?

I closed my eyes and thought back to 1984. There I sat at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, NJ anticipating, watching Michael Jackson and his brothers perform. At the end of the song, “Human Nature,” the stage lights darkened and focused only on the guitar and MJ as he moon walked in a square. I had this magical feeling that there was a thread that connected all 55,000 of us to those guitar strings, those feet, and that rhythm. I left that concert feeling a fullness and flow I had never experienced. It was as if he had activated some kind of performance osmosis – a movement of energy from his cells to mine.

But flow in one direction can leave you thirsty.

How Will I Know

It didn’t occur to me that his cells could possibly be as dehydrated as if he’d gulped seawater. All I cared about was that he had done his job as a performer.

I spent years actively trying to recreate that feeling – a high that only oozed through my cells once I stopped chasing it during the Thanksgiving break of 2009.

I sat on the balcony of the cruise ship watching waves tumble and somersault. My boys were inside the cabin.  And there it was, in that quiet, meditative moment of equilibrium – an understanding, a remembrance. Salty tears ran down my cheeks. Even in my loneliest times since, I’ve never expected to be filled by another person.

(There Is) No Greater Love

Michael, Whitney, Amy, Heath, Anna, River, Elvis… I hope you have finally developed the perfect thirst so that you never stop drinking. I think I have.

It was never your job to fill me up.

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L’Tanya Durante surprises me every time I read her pieces. They’re short, they move quickly, I’m engaged, then BAM, from an angle I didn’t see coming, I’m crying. The sudden turn, of fate, of beauty, socks me in the jaw, just powerfully enough to make me levitate in the images she’s left me with. I met L’Tanya when we both wrote for Danielle LaPorte’s pre-FLAME adventure, Carrie and Danielle. It was a conversation with L’Tanya that—speaking of socking me in the jaw in a sudden turn—upped the game of this Waking Up series so sharply, it had me spinning for a week before I figured out how to land. Please, take a dive into the sweet witness of her life’s observations on her blog. And levitate.

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Story Charmer’s Waking Up Series is the month of March in meditation on WAKING UP. What does it mean? What growth does it spur? What wonder and challenge? GUEST POSTS and personal queries will appear here throughout the month. Read all the posts in the series here…

If you’re spurred by what you read, and you want to write a post in reply, email me (hi) at (storycharmer) dot (com).

Join the conversation. Leave a comment. Write a post.

Let’s wake up together.

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balance :: flowT « I, Witness
April 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm
balance :: flow « I, Witness
April 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave March 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm



L'Tanya March 28, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thanks, Dave.


Pearl Mattenson March 28, 2012 at 3:58 am

L’Tanya–You have put words to feelings that have been in search of a name. Thank you. ‘It was never Your Job to Fill me Up’ Oh that is going to stay with me. I also realized how much I have missed this voice of yours!


L'Tanya March 28, 2012 at 9:16 am

Thanks, Pearl. Miss you too.


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