I am convinced I may be suffering from a few mental illnesses, this life is insane.

Love is a mysterious thing. What it does to a human soul is beyond comprehension. We always worry that love will just "go away". I know I do. One day the person you’ve loved for years on end just tells you that they don’t love you anymore. (Not to worry, I am not talking about my life at present, but reflecting rather, on random thoughts that flutter about my body like paper bags in the wind).

Just like that. A life can be flipped over and rendered unconscious by a sentence. I have spent pretty much the last 30 years writing about relationships, not from experience but from what I read and observation from people I know. I have written about wanting, always wanting something somehow untouchable. And when you do finally touch it, you fear losing it. Our desire to be wanted, our desire to be needed and cared for and respected and cherished and nurtured and just plain and simply, saved. I have written about love because I find any other topic somehow banal. I don’t know what could be more important to our humanity than love. Love has endless layers that fold and fold and fold into this delicious, frightening abyss. And you can never ever choose who you’re going to love. You meet someone and it seems somehow insignificant, and then within seconds of looking into their eyes, it all changes. You fall into the kind of trance that only a divine, loving, God could invent. Your whole life changes. You find a missing piece of your soul that has been scanning the Universe in search of itself. I mean, you wake up one morning, not expecting anything to change really, and by supper time, your heart has a wing span that is endless and it soars around a room laughing all the while.

You lay there with your chest ripped open, and you watch as your heart just spews drop after drop of crimson, rusted, blood all over the walls and the bed and the furniture and the curtains and the wood floor and you smile because you know that nothing may ever feel this good again. That is why the fear is so immense, that the loss we suffer from a love that removes itself from you, feels like it has killed you. I have felt that way in my life. I thought nothing would ever cure me, help me, ease my suffering. I thought that nothing on the planet could ever restore my thirst or my hunger or my sleeplessness. If it weren’t for my brain being able to breathe in and out on its own, I surely would have died. In fact, I wished with much sincerity that I would die way back then, in my other nearly forgotten life. I am glad I didn’t. Very glad indeed.

Nothing else can shape who we are, like love can. Either in the discovery of it, or in its tragic loss. We see no reason in it at all until time takes us up a few steps higher into ourselves, so we can look back and say quietly to ourselves, "Oh…I see it now". I seen over the years people that describe the finding and losing of love, and I can honestly wish I knew and say, "I know what you are feeling". Because of that empathy, I’ve learned to write down just what I am thinking, and not what I "think" I should be writing down. You can’t think about what you’re writing or your ego will take over the entire process for sure. Many great ideas have been lost in the need to be clever. Many great ideas have been lost because of our egos worrying about what other people will think of what we’re writing down. I never know what I’ve written down until I go back and read what I’ve written (I’ve trained myself to proof read often..laZiness). It’s always a surprise. I always learn something from just running into whatever it is that I am doing. I know that I tend to live my whole life in one day. I always seem to be cramming everything into an hour. But that can also entail just sitting and doing more than just nothing. I wallow in nothing from time to time and I love it.

I often close my eyes and go through the pages of the book of life. I flip through them randomly, not really looking for any day in particular, but I’ll just sometimes look at the pictures, and other times I’ll take a moment to read what is left of the tear soaked words. Blurred, but somehow legible. I don’t know what a memory is, I don’t know what it means to "remember" something. I don’t know how our minds store all of the countless boxes that we have up there in our wee heads. It’s beyond me how and why we remember anything at all. Some of the memories are in beautiful boxes covered with silver bows and some of them are in little steel boxes bound with rusted chains that have locks that have no keys. I think some memories are better off left just where they are, but some are made to be opened again and again with eyes closed and the sun on your face.

Sometimes painful memories are still there but we just know realize it because it keeps us still.

I think that there are memories that if unleashed all at once, could actually kill us. The human soul is fragile. I know that strength is always at the tips of our fingers when needed, but our fragile natures are what can be completely annihilated from dragging the past with us like a reluctant frightened dog. I know it can be very easy to live among those terrible memories. Losing love can cause a person to stop moving forward at all. We can easily stop and lie down and not want to get up. The funny thing is, is that our bodies cannot hold onto pain. As hard as we try, pain is like cupping water in your hands and trying to run with it around the block. A part of us wants to hang onto pain, because otherwise there would be nothing to feel…One day though, you wake up and the pain has lifted. Time comes into your room during the night, when you think you’re lying there awake, and it takes the pain somewhere out into space and hands it over to the angels.

You wake up and feel like you can breathe. You’re not even sure why for a long time, you just know something is missing. The only thing that can truly hang onto pain, is a poem. When you write the words on paper, the terrible words that tell an even more terrible story, the paper holds onto them for you. You can fold up it up, and the paper will never surrender them. I love writing for that very reason. Heartache can travel through a pen like nothing else in this world. Try it sometime. I’ve been doing that on the internet for a few years, it’s therapeutic.

I am glad I didn’t die way back then, in my other nearly forgotten life. I still don’t know who I am, that boy that cried so hard that his mother wanted to go and made me go to places I hated like those day camps. I still kind of laugh at that. I cried like it was murder.

Love makes us bigger than anything else. Yes, it comes and it goes through our bodies. Sometimes we forget what it’s like to not have it. I don’t ever want to be without it. I don’t want to let the "What if’s" travel through my chest making me instantly sick. Sick to my core. I don’t want to consider not having you. But, in my moments of quiet, my moments of doubt, I do let it come across me like a shadow. I am a person who has learned from a mountain of pain, that life is what it is. Glorious, frightening, and endlessly full of joy and wonder. I’ll take it all in. I’ll forever keep the dogs of doubt at bay. I’ll keep trying to be sure of everything. Not knowing anything is what we have to live with. I know I love though, and it feels like the sun pouring itself out around my lungs. I don’t know what we are, or who we are, or why we are or where we are, but we are, and for now, I am grateful. I am merry and glad and hanging onto you from a rope that dangles from the white robe of God.


 JA/JD Edited

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