I have written so many things in the past weeks. Scribbles on the corners of receipts, full pages of my thoughts on the backs of recipes, my thoughts need corralled, my mind needs release. At the end of the day, I gather my thoughts around me, loose leaf representations of what could be considered chaos, but to me – is just daily life.
It is bizarre the way the body remembers things without the mind asking. Like putting magnets in a small space and not expecting them to fling themselves towards each other with no thought to the final, crashing connection. My body still wakes to curl into her embrace. A year later and I still reach for her.
Still long for her.
Still tear open scabs every time I realize that I still love her.
My mind, though, often digs its heals in. It is Flintstone style brakes that are shaky at best, and at worst, entirely ineffective against the pull of my heart. My mind, has pride the length of the Great Wall, and each day I pick at it with a chisel hoping to knock back the tower of hurt – the notion that to ever choose to love these people again would be the ultimate self-denigration; to forgive, an example of self-loathing, a permission for anyone to do it again.
My mind, like a disgruntled wife having been spurned too many times, regularly tells my heart to go fuck itself lately, and my heart has slowly, while stubbornly slumping its shoulders like a chastised child and grumbling under its breath, finally started to listen.
One of my favorite modern poets is Kahlil Gibran. In an excerpt from The Prophet, he speaks about the opposite extremes of love. He touches on loves ability to both greatly enhance and greatly harm your life. You cannot embrace love and expect not to feel both extremes, yet, rather than running from the parts of love that may hurt you – he asks that you embrace them, willingly accept them, and understand that it is all part and parcel.
“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And When his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And When he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden…
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter,
and weep, but not all of your tears…
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
I can choose to shut myself down, break off from any connection with the emotions that have caused me so many problems in the past, but to shut myself down means cutting myself off from arguably some of the best aspects of life. The intensity of emotion and feeling and a connection with someone who seems to complete the parts of you that you didn’t even know needed completing.I will “laugh, but not all of my laughter”, and I will “cry, but not all of my tears.”
It is safety, but at what cost? Mundanity? Mediocrity?
I can’t accept that. I’ve tasted what it’s like to love. Regardless of whether I feel as though any one has every fully loved me in return, I know what it feels like to truly give myself to someone, and the knowing means it is impossible for me to shrink back into the placid, quiet safety net of unemotional attachment.
It doesn’t mean I can’t be more cautious with where I direct my attentions, I know I need to be. Whatever you may think you know of someone is not always, often not in fact, what turns out to be the truth of them.
All it means is that love is worth feeling in all its aspects. The pain, the grief, the loss, it is all a part of this enlightening experience that shows you just how intense your feelings can be. Love teaches you the finite aspect of life, the fluidity of feeling, the expanse of emotion gifted to you.
You have to feel it all to appreciate it at all.