It's hard for me to think like that, however. I'm often asked about the inflationary effects of having many lovers and friends in my life, as if love and affection can be diluted, or one could develop an immunity to emotional connections. The fact is every relationship is important to me: Perhaps it's just the way I'm built. I certainly have long dealt with a lot of the major issues of my past, so it's no longer a form of compensation.
I can understand the other point of view -- the one that sees me taking so many emotional risks and has to wonder why. It's like seeing people jumping from airplanes, or facing great danger: In the absense of an obvious payoff, the only conclusion one can draw is the total lack of sanity.
Yet there's an ENORMOUS payoff when a connection is made, even for only a short time. Wednesday night I met a lovely lady at Ancient Ways, and she and I had a delightful little romp, a festival fling. The first one I've had in a very long time. The result of it was she realized that there were men at the festival who thought her beautiful, and her attitude allowed her to meet someone really special. Should I be hurt because I wasn't the focus of her attention after that? Hell no -- it was so much fun to see someone find that connection themselves. She certainly didn't ignore me...and on Sunday gave me one of those hugs that says it all.
On the other end, you could turn the corner and find yourself looking into the eyes of someone who will be really important to you for the rest of your life. The trouble is, either situation requires that you turn the terror into the thrill, and allow yourself to take the chance.
Talking to Val about this on Monday night helped me to clarify it, especially late in the conversation (when I was so tired I'm surprised I was able to string simple sentences together) -- The chances we take are the seeds of tomorrow's memories, but only if we plant them: Otherwise they're the regrets of what might have been.
I've often said that, when people look at my life, I want it to be a story of inspiration...not a cautionary tale. How many seeds left over when it's all done may be the sole difference between the two.