My Soul in Resistance

by Christopher Lovejoy on January 8, 2012

In the weeks that followed our tour of the island, my companion came alive to her promise after backing away from the precipice that marks the boundary between life and death.

With all of the fruit, sunshine, and exercise she was getting, her eyes and skin were aglow with health and vitality. Her sores had cleared up and her sunburns had peeled and healed.

I have to be honest here: she grew more attractive, vivacious, and desirable by the day.

We were much more active, she because of her recovery and me because of her vitality.

She turned out to be an incredible swimmer, like she was born to swim. Her strokes were smooth and unusually assured, like she had been doing them all her life. I could barely keep up.

She also loved to sing and dance.

What a boost to my morale this was. I would often sit and watch her perform a dance along the shore, and sink into heavenly reveries when her angelic voice carried a song of joy and innocence.

I concluded that she was not of this earth, but then I had to check myself when I realized how comfortable she was with the things of this earth. For someone who had been stranded on a desert island for as long as I had been, she was a dream come true – in more ways than one.

Navigating through our language barrier, and beyond my abiding respect for her, I really only had two essential gifts that I could offer her at this time: my attention and my appreciation.

She had all but given up on being rescued. I sensed that she knew, like I did, that if we were to ever get off this remote desert island, it would be through our own persistent, consistent efforts.

Or through some twist of destiny powered by sheer dumb luck.

But as we grew to realize that our lives on this island offered so much for so little, living off the grid seemed more like a blessing than a burden. Any thoughts that we might have harbored about being rescued became very much beside the point. We would be here now and go with the flow.

If a rescue came knocking, so be it.

We didn’t feel isolated here. We didn’t feel deprived. We didn’t feel at all impoverished. We didn’t need money to buy what we needed. We didn’t need a vast store of knowledge to keep us going.

Rather than viewing this potentially hazardous adventure in paradise on a desert island as a step backward, we embraced it moving forward, with gratitude and appreciation, from a clean slate.

Life was better than good.

When she started flirting with me, allowing her vulnerability and her considerable charms to draw me into her world, I resisted. The frequency of her daily flirtations abated, but she persisted, while being mindful and respectful of my resistance. On one particular day, however, it all came to a head.

Nothing too dramatic, mind you – just a bit of tension that added a little spice to our lives.

We didn’t eat breakfast together that morning like we always did. After I woke up, I saw that she was wandering along the shoreline, heading east. She was clearly in no mood to sing or dance.

This break with routine scared me a little, and I might have been reading more into this than was actually there, but I nevertheless dreaded a subtle disconnection from the heart – hers and mine. I didn’t want her to leave me here alone, to settle down somewhere else, even for a while.

I felt deeply moved to take stock of my life with respect to her presence here.

I came to terms with the fact that I was older than she was, by at least a quarter century – older, perhaps wiser, more mature in a seasoned way, as healthy and fit, but less vital and nimble.

I was old enough to be her father. Thankfully, in my interactions with her, she had demonstrated a maturity beyond her years. In other words, she didn’t need me to be her sugar daddy.

I came to terms with our language barrier.

For as long as we stayed on this island, I had little hope that we would ever communicate fluently, or even meaningfully, through the spoken word, but I was constantly encouraged and reassured by the way we communed daily with our eyes, mimes, gestures, and resources.

I came to terms with our social isolation and what this might mean for a budding relationship. I felt an obligation to take extra care to maintain my respect for her and my appreciation of her, which of course meant walking a fine line between demonstrating gravity and communicating levity.

I tearfully came to terms with the apparent loss of someone I’d known and loved for many years. I consoled myself with the likelihood that she had mourned the loss of my life, had moved on, and had met someone else who was more than ready and willing to reciprocate her affections.

I reluctantly came to terms with the very real but unlikely prospect of staying with her if we were ever rescued. I hated to think it, but a completely different milieu would probably doom our relationship.

But then again, maybe not. I knew, from my experience and from the experience of others, that faith, hope, and love could at times be quite powerful, persistent, and transformative over the long haul.

Last, but not least, I viewed a potentially intimate relationship with her in kosmic terms.

I could be wrong, but I had no sense that we had ever met in a previous lifetime. Our souls would be deeply touched and transformed by this type of relationship. Our destinies through the ages could be entwined for many lives to come. I had to be sure I wanted this relationship, here, on this island.

I turned my gaze eastward. The sun was poised to strike a chord above the horizon.

I saw her standing at the ready, far off in the distance, waiting for the sun to rise. I set off on a steady, brisk jog, intending to reach her before the sun split the line between sky and sea.

She sensed my approach, turned her head and smiled, and then faced the horizon again.

I rested my hands on her shoulders and ran my fingertips down her arms. Her body relaxed visibly – she even sighed invitingly – as I gathered her into my arms, pressing close and then relaxing.

She rotated slowly inside my arms to face me, and I saw teardrops trickle down her cheeks. She embraced me tenderly, melting into me as if our lives depended on being intimately joined.

Which, in reality, and if truth be told, they very much did.


What was this post about?

Previous post:

Next post: