Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The nature of love remains intact

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For the first time in nearly three years, I've had to shut down my heart for maintenance. In a small act of visual commitment to this necessary business, I've had to close the cover of the framed photo of the woman I love deeply and can't seem to get over. In the black & white photograph, she is seated in a bathtub, semi-profile, her golden hair pinned up and off of her bare shoulders, which are bowed slightly forward in an instinctive pose of modesty, smiling her perfect Swiss smile, her hazel-blue-green eyes beaming as if bathing were a baptism of sheer joy.

Since receiving it, I've gazed at this photograph every morning and before turning out the light each night. I've spoken to it, conversed with it, cherished that bouyant image of her again and again. She sent it to me during Xmas of 2002, along with a wonderful love letter and a black brassiere scented with her then favorite perfume, Laura. I keep it in a plastic bag so that the scent doesn't dissipate. It was then such an intimate display of affection that I was romantically overwhelmed. We had not yet become lovers, so together the gifts made an indelible impression upon me. They still do.

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So, after not seeing her in the flesh since October 4th of 2003, I have to physically make myself remove my own heart from contention for the Most Crucified Organ of the Year award. This is an award given seemingly anonymously to millions around the world for heroic performances in hanging onto that which is beyond their grasp. I say seemingly because I am forcing myself to admit that I must find a way to quit bestowing this painful accolade upon myself day after day, while blindly and graciously accepting the liability of my deep-seated romantic sensibilities that, like dutiful Roman soldiers, daily nail that whimpering muscle to hopelessly star-crossed wood.

It is no one's fault. Though I have argued with myself as to whether or not distance and culture are reasons enough to bid true love farewell, or if there might be some shortcoming on my part that has conspired to make this love pass into history, I am left with few answers besides All of the above. She has told me that she no longer feels our heart-connection in the way she did two years ago. She has told me that saying this is not easy, that it feels dry and insensitive to express it in this way. I know her heart and know this to be true. It is not easy for her. Nor has it been. I apologize for that. Who knew this love would be so grand?

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I have some dear dear friends who have patiently played invisible violins over the course of these past two years, whose fathomless understanding I appreciate more than I can express. I want to tell them that I have let go with love that which moved within me like kindred fire. I want to tell them I am recovered, that the perennial nature of love remains intact and that everything is possible again. I want to tell them I am ready to see it because I believe it. But this will take a bit more time. However, please feel free, dear friends, to set aside your bows.

The future has been a warden that has kept my past locked up against my living fully in the present. I have to move into and through the past tense in order to arrive at the present one. I have to relearn what the moment is and surrender to the belief that it exists as it is, even if I don't wish to believe it. I have to learn to think of her as a woman I once loved, a soulmate whose beautiful soul cannot be mated to mine in this lifetime. And I hate writing this; hate having to come to this place. A larger part of me feels as if it's dying in this process. It is. And yet, I want it to live, to continue on in some make-believe place I've kept hidden as a domed kingdom of captured snowflakes that comes alive merely by shaking and turning it over.


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Now comes the time I must wish her well in her journeys around the sun, tell her that all my practice in hoping she finds a love deserving of her heart has been for good purpose. I wish for her to know that my love quietly follows more than a respectful distance behind as she goes forth into the future that awaits her, that I wish it to be a blissful future beyond anything either of us can imagine. I wish her to know that I hold her forever in a vital place that nothing and no one else will ever occupy. I will learn to be secret about it. I will serve it out in silent sentences on paper, in blank snow, in empty hectares of winter sky. I will share it mutely with the twilight, whisper nothing too loudly in the dusk.

Outside my windows, autumn sheds from the trees in steady orange and red. I will follow them in this. I will weather winter, somehow, and look to a green spring fueled perhaps by a kind of amorsynthesis. By what unexplainable magic this might occur, I cannot tell. My given task is believing it will happen. Believing has to be enough. It just has to.

10 Comments:

Blogger Lexie parried...

You are such an inspiration to me...I want to hold up an intention for your highest good, especially in this new covenant with yourself...and hope it sustains you. Perhaps when I hit that 2-year mark of being without my "man that I once loved" that will signal my time to do this as well.

October 25, 2005 4:30 PM  
Blogger Amy parried...

You say it better than I can. I still feel the pain of not being with the one I love and I know I must move on. In little ways I have but I have yet to manage to go about doing what you have done. Maybe like Lexie said: when I hit that 2 year mark it will signal my time to do this as well.

October 25, 2005 4:55 PM  
Blogger ~Just Michelle~ parried...

Safe journey to you through these seasons of the heart.

~M~

October 25, 2005 5:34 PM  
Blogger ankhara99 parried...

You'll see it, when you believe it. Love and all good things to you as you row your craft from the center of your heart, dear one.

October 26, 2005 5:32 AM  
Blogger S.A.M. Tanner parried...

Joe,

As a fellow poet, all I can say in hopes of being supportive is: more grist for the mill...

But truly this pain I understand.

Please don't forget to breathe and we will send you hugs and smiles from afar!

P.S. Crying in the shower is best, then the tears don't show.

Stu

October 26, 2005 6:31 AM  
Anonymous aharamanx parried...

The grandest tribute is to move forward; through and past it. It is a leap of faith. A faith in yourself and the memories you have to cherish dearly forevermore, but locked away now as they must be.
It is time and it isn't easy.
Love to you always, dear Joseph.

October 27, 2005 10:50 PM  
Blogger Marit Cooper parried...

This brings to mind a quote I'm using in the book I'm writing at the moment
“The soul learns from sudden shifts, frustrations and deceptions of the erotic impulse; it can be wholly engaged and then gone; it has hatred and cruelties. It widens in complexity. It destroys one’s false self in order to birth a truer self. Thus it is important to immerse yourself in projection and not wilfully withdraw it. Do whatever one can to further the relationship with the loved on. Let the projection reveal it’s message and fall away of its own accord.”
~ Valerie Harms ‘The Inner Lover’

October 28, 2005 12:52 AM  
Blogger redpig77 parried...

I understand what a painful process it is. I had to do it too, so many times. :hug: I will be here if you need me. But I know that you will be alright.

October 28, 2005 9:17 PM  
Blogger newwavegurly parried...

I've been her, and I've been you. Neither position is easy to be in.

I always relate these things to song (it's just my way), and it may seem cheesy, but Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" is so appropriate (and has been for me in the past). I hope you don't mind if I post the lyrics here:

If I should stay,
I would only be in your way.
So I'll go, but I know
I'll think of you ev'ry step of the way.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
You, my darling you. Hmmm.

Bittersweet memories
that is all I'm taking with me.
So, goodbye. Please, don't cry.
We both know I'm not what you, you need.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.

I hope life treats you kind
And I hope you have all you've dreamed of.
And I wish to you, joy and happiness.
But above all this, I wish you love.

And I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I will always love you.
I, I will always love you.

You, darling, I love you.
Ooh, I'll always, I'll always love you...

October 30, 2005 6:35 AM  
Anonymous G parried...

How beautiful, truly. I'm relearning the joy of living in the moment, too. And, you know, it's so easy to say that and so easy to slide back into not doing it. For the average person it is, anyway. You're strong and resourceful and you will find the best way to do this for yourself. I love your title and your words that you have "let go with love." Believing that it will happen is almost enough, dear. You must also know that it can happen. I know no one who is wiser about the human condition than you are. So I harbor no doubts about the future of your heart.

October 30, 2005 6:18 PM  

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