It is not an easy love, the way she does it. It reminds me – vividly, oddly – of the shocking red of a determined flower. A flower that lasts the winter, when everything else goes to grey around it. Is this you, Ben, over my shoulder right now? Sending me the image of a flower, when I think of Maggie? Because that’s not what I see for myself when I look at her, here beside me. I see something so much stronger than that.
There is nothing delicate to the way she loves, Ben. But as your mistress cries in my arms, I suddenly understand that this red flower of yours is something the fading flowers – the grey people, like you and me – have always wanted as our own.
~ Lucy, LOVED
“The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing – desire.” ~ Willa Cather
I’ve never been one for belief. Preferring, since I first found words, the question. But you suggest an answer now. Something permanent and waiting. As if there might be gods and fates whispering, a place and time of return.
I would know you anywhere. In a room filled, or across vast, empty spaces. Even when I’m not looking for- … I somehow seek to find you.
Perhaps. Perhaps. We are indeed part of something greater. An entire universe found in our kiss hello. Sliding lips remembering. The familiar that comes from knowing.
You know, don’t you. Have always known. That it won’t be happiness that ends it. You learnt this many years ago. When, in some other loss, some other love, you discovered there’s no seducing sadness.
This is how you will lose him.
A small or sudden sorrow that separates. No crawling on your belly back. The distance, suddenly, too far.
Ruins to most people. But really, ruins are just evidence, aren’t they? That’s what you asked him once. Thinking about bridges, and wild weather, and washing away. But storms are easy. You see that now. You could swim across that suffering.
But this. This quiet, calm. The questioning. The way you can’t be his answer now. This is how you will lose him.
Know your history. Know her story. Seek out Audre, Alice, Maya, Gloria – seek out all the incredible women who speak bone deep, beautiful truths. Then go tell your own story, loud, clear and proud. Your voice has never been more needed in this world.
Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women. ~ Maya Angelou
I imagine it’s something like lights turning on all over the world. One by one the illumination, as continents glimmer then glow. I see it as gravity pulling the stars back down. Collective sadness, collecting love. The bright flame of grief making our shared surface deeper.
Know this. You have been loved.
It’s not dimming, ever. To remember, to honour, to lovein this way. We should do so well with the living. We should send out our sparks and turn up our songs while we’re both on the ground. Don’t you think?
I’ve been here before. Recognising that happening under the skin. The visceral confession that precedes, concedes. Thinking – hand to chest – I found you.
To be two in seven billion. Thinking – perhaps – you found me, too.
I’ve been wrong before. I’ve misconstrued. And now. This forgetting heart of mine, she’s made and remembered. New old mistakes to drink away. To somehow, some day think away. Searching again for words, for wisdom and witches.
One or two or five or seven. So many ways to ritualise. But not so many to exorcise those familiar feelings, familiar failings. Yes. This foolish heart of mine reluctantly knows. That there’s still more swimming and scrambling to go.
Try, they say.
To arrive at last, Rock – first a ritual for letting go.
Note: this post is as much about the odd trajectory of my writing career as it is about love and the usual subjects. How not to get weighed down by the past, but not forget it either. And a reminder that there is no quick-fix, magic-wand way to transform your situation. The only ritual that works for that is, well – work.
I suppose it’s a bit like locking the door – then twisting the handle three or six times, just to check it’s binding. You know what you’ve done, but that doesn’t mean you feel it. You need something beyond the knowing of it. Something to click in the deepest part.