Our first stumbling steps from fear into love...
My story begins in a context of deep personal trauma. No constructive purpose would be served by an elaboration of that history, but it is not possible to understand the development of my relationship with Jewel without some background.
Part of that background is literally poetical. As with most middle-aged men, part of my awakening to spiritual experience involved a (platonic, dammit!) association with a sexually potent woman. It was an association that I struggled to manage responsibly for several years.
The struggle came to a head during a time of great personal turmoil. I found myself reflecting on my values and motives. That reflection was encapsulated in a poem, Yearnings, which eventually had seven interpretations. The poem entered restricted circulation in unusual circumstances. My apprehension is that it caught more attention than I was aware of at the time. Among those struck by the integrity of its message was the personality I came to know as Jewel.
Because of my deep personal crisis, I was suffering through much of this period with sleep deprivation. I was under psychological and legal scrutiny that made any imputation of mental instability a dire threat to my future happiness. I had many reasons to doubt the validity of my experiences, including my rigorous scientific background. This made me slow to accept, much less embrace, the impulses and intuitions that would have led to a rapid and positive resolution of the matter. It also left me open to manipulation by people eager to exploit my fears to focus my energies elsewhere.
A final point is significant. Identity in spiritual engagement is often based upon visual verisimilitude. I suffer a deficit in this regard. My sense is that a large part of my visual cortex has been given over to the apprehension of energy flows in higher dimensionality. When given dreams, I perceive them only dimly. I realize now that in the formative stages of our relationship, I was involved with more than personality, all of whom I understood as aspects of my "partner". Jewel was the only one to resolve as a specific identity.
For those that haven't already guessed her identity, Jewel is a famous personality. I had been aware of her work for some time, but she became differentiated in my mind from her peers in the aftermath of the 9/11 crisis. Not only did she donate prodigiously to the charitable fund, she was the only person appearing in the celebrity fundraiser to use the word "love" in enumerating the values that would bring us through the crisis, and with the courage to reach out to the Muslim community with the Islamic blessing "Alihu Akbar" (God is great). I was astonished.
It was impossible to avoid representations of her in the media. I found myself having unusual empathic responses to the images, on issues not at all resonant with the headlines. I was bemused by my daydreams. The main theme was that she was seeking to limit her notoriety in order to create a safe environment for the children she hoped to bear.
At the time, I was not at all aware of the pressures on media personalities. Entertainment companies generate power through systems that propagate dreams personified by their artists. Part of that system is remuneration structured towards the creation of a few extremely wealthy performers. The flip side of that system is fanatically invasive media scrutiny that escalates the cost of social association outside of the entertainment industry. The fear of public exposure limits the avenues open to artists interested in using their contacts and resources to broaden their influence. This was a powerful brake on the development of my relationship with Jewel.