There are far-reaching implications of what has been written below. This is part 1. The rest of the article will be posted tomorrow.
The Three Spheres of Stalking
The first time I met Lujan Matus was a pivotal point in my life, the scope of which I could never have imagined then and probably even now cannot really fathom.
We met through a close friend who had known him for many years and who had told me all kinds of fascinating stories about this elusive character. I was intrigued by his accounts, which painted a picture of a truly unique and unpredictable individual who obviously had a lot of personal power and had impacted the life of my friend unlike anyone else.
When we went to meet in a cafe in town I was initially struck by the fact that Lujan was not Chinese, for in listening to all the stories I had imagined an older, unconventional Chinese martial artist with a wicked sense of humor. Lujan was very welcoming and friendly and sat opposite me. We didn’t have very much to talk about, evidently neither of us being inclined to small talk, but while we were sitting there I sensed that his attention was unlike any I had encountered before.
Lujan asked me what I was thinking and I answered that I felt he was acutely aware of everything. I don’t remember much else that happened there except that I was impacted by his robust physical presence and noticed that he was simultaneously energetic and self-contained. I was also struck by the generous and uncomplicated affection he had for my friend and how my friend had so much respect for him.
Something about Lujan was very unnerving for me though. His presence stirred up all kinds of strange emotion and made me feel deeply uncomfortable, even though I liked him immediately. We went for a walk and talked a bit more, still not really about anything because there was a slightly awkward feeling that didn’t allow an easy flow of energy. I felt revealed and ‘unnatural’ because I was not accustomed to being seen, I was used to being the one noticing everything and to have it happen to me made me feel very apprehensive.
After half an hour or so we said goodbye and by this time, though it had been on the surface an easy and relaxed meeting, I was really feeling stretched and couldn’t wait to be out of the spotlight.
In the last moments before we parted I looked into Lujan’s eyes and felt truly hunted, which made me defensive and hard. He asked me what the look was about and I immediately checked myself and said it was nothing, though I knew that it was something his presence had brought to the surface. He waved goodbye and drove away, leaving me in an absolute emotional turmoil.
My good friend and I walked a little way, continuing on to wherever we were going, with me in a stubbornly distant and odd mood. With a mischievous glint in his eye, my friend asked me, “What did you think of Lujan?”
I said I liked Lujan, which was true, but I was stewing over what had arisen within me and wasn’t prepared to open up about it because I felt I had no handle on what was going on and I was deeply threatened by how vulnerable that made me feel.
The next thing I knew I was having an emotional meltdown. I stopped and sat at a deserted bus stop, bawling my eyes out and trying to explain to my friend what was going on. I knew straight away that being around Lujan had confronted the deepest compromises of my character.
Lujan was the first person I had ever met who lived completely within their integrity. I knew this in an inescapable, cellular, undeniable sense, and it rocked me to my core. His presence was a massive demand on me to live up to myself, and all the years of not doing so, along with all the frustration, self-doubt, denial and heaviness that had engendered, was bursting to the surface in an explosion of loaded emotion.
My reaction included everything from anger to self-pity, relief, hope and fear. Even now writing this, the retrieval of this memory is bringing about a cathartic release.
When I conveyed this to Lujan he said that this is my inner spirit expressing gratitude, for I’m seeing myself from an elevated position and also being reminded of my purpose, which is the true expression of my spirit. He spoke about this as a recovery that delivers one into a perpetual state of gratitude, in which the world becomes so beautiful because your base plate is stationed in the deep appreciation that you have a chance in this world, which is the clear-hearted humbleness of a warrior.
Immediately after we had this conversation I had a break from writing and went to the supermarket near my house to buy some groceries. At the deli I stood next to an old man with a radiant expression. We looked at each other and I had to say something to him because he looked so beautiful.
“You have a nice face.” I said, and he answered, “So do you.”
We then saw each other again at the counter and greeted one another warmly. There wasn’t much we could say and no point in making it into anything other than a simple exchange of recognition, but the interaction was really lovely and filled me with gentle elation.
I stopped for a coffee on the way back home and some of the other people in the cafe seemed to be lit with beauty and character. I wished I could acknowledge it to them but instead I just admired those qualities silently and hoped they didn’t think I was fixated on them in some bizarre way. The next time I spoke to Lujan I told him of my experience and he said this was a definite indication that gratitude had saturated my whole perception and was being reflected in every encounter.
To be continued …
Photo courtesy of H.koppdelaney