Vicki and I met again for the first time last December. We dated as teenagers 47 years ago.
Vicki was reading The Edge last December and came across my name. She emailed me with the question: “Are you the same Richard Curney I dated in high school?” I don’t know if I’m the same 19-year-old she knew, but I do know that I’ve always used only one password on my laptop. That password is the pen name I made up to write my first love poem all those years ago, a love poem to Vicki.
We’ve shared stores of lives richly lived over the last few months. She sings a phrase from an old song, and it is almost always a song I know. Dozens and dozens of dusty rock ‘n’ roll tunes have filled our nights and days together.
In the ’70s, Vicki was given the Sanskrit name Karuna — which translates as compassion — by Swami Vieda (then Dr. Usharbudh Arya). My spiritual journey led me to take on the Sanskrit middle name of Ahimsa (do no harm) at about the same time.
As teenagers in 1967, we were photographed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune while traipsing along a waterfall on the Willow River near Hudson, Wisc. Though we never crossed paths since, we both revisited that waterfall many times and consider it sacred ground. I’ve asked my kids to scatter my cremated ashes behind the falls.
We both became vegetarians within the same year. Some friends and I started a little vegetarian restaurant on Hennepin Avenue. Vicki remembers eating there.
Vicki is from Hudson, and I am from St. Paul, but we were born in the same hospital.
Vicki and her former husband started a successful “hippie business” (candle making). My former wife and I started a successful “hippie business” (natural foods).
We attended some of the same concerts and gatherings. We both sat in the front row of a Doors concert in 1970 but never knew the other was a few seats away.
We both had booths at the original Renaissance Fair in Jonathan, Minn., and again the next year, but time had not yet ripened for our reunion.
Vicki’s daughter’s current roommate babysat my daughter when they were kids. My son-in-law’s first apartment was on the same floor of the building where Vicki currently lives in Prior Lake.
Last year, one week after my divorce papers were finalized, Vicki picked up The Edge and found my name. Larger powers of love guided the recipient of that first love poem to bring us together at just the right time. Now, I write another poem to her nearly every day.