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.
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 love in 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?
You should know you have been loved.
♥ Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping
I expect so much more from you in 2017.
It is not so remarkable. To be two in seven billion. To find each other in the throng. It is not so remarkable to navigate the wide oceans and narrow fences between us, to swim and scramble, and to arrive at each other at last …
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.
… try, they say …
Candles. Moonlight. Paper. Fire.
(Stilnox and bathwater don’t make the cut. No matter what they’ve cured before)
Crystals. Lanterns. Mantras. Sand.
(Ticket stubs, boarding passes? Silver chains and crumbling flowers?)
Sage. Yoga. Feathers. Tears.
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.
(I’ve been there. With my heart out in my hand)
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.
Gone now. An empty room I travel through, seeing what used to be there, the ghost tables and photographs, the thread chairs disappearing. What to decorate, what to add to this emptiness? But first the walking, barefoot, the reaching and touching of things that used to be here. Feeling the fade, feeling the ending, the going away as something active, present.
Drawing our names in the dust, tracing the sadness with my fingertips. Only webs and dangling threads left now, all the finished, unfinished remains.
In this room. This small room, this small house we made, this small life we lived in small moments with big, deep breaths. Empty now. Gone.
What to do with all this space? You should know I’ve found someone to fill it up, to reach into corners, open the blinds. Someone to dance me across this bare, dusty floor. But they’re not you. You should know.
He’s not you.
I once said there’s a part of me that only you-
It wasn’t only you I left behind.
The accumulation, the little gatherings. You open your arms wider to them. You hold one more, and close.
Fingers and slipping. Everything that falls through – you never knew how. Always scooping up the love at your feet. Until it is back again, and overflowing.
You don’t let go.
You let everything stay.
You remember she said there is always room – it just expands. And you are a chasm now. Wide, wide open, and reaching.
You don’t let go.
(This heart. It holds every thing)
And here I am again. Forgetting. Or remembering – differently. Something softer, something sweeter always pushing through …
Sorry? Am I really here again? Standing on a dark street, lip bit, trying not to cry? Am I really here, in heels too high for the slippery streets and the shaking?
Why’s it always raining when my heart gets broken? (there’s no denying – half a year got me half way there.)
And now you’ve gone and left me here?
Hell no! You knew. You know.
And I thought with that we might take care. I thought perhaps you cared. Enough to be a better man when it comes to invitation.
See, I know where you’re wounded too (dark spirits will pull that from a conversation). I kept my touch gentlest there. And when I turned out my palms … I understood your right to refuse them.
But it’s been a long time since someone left me so small. Off to take their better call. Leaving me an unspoken message. Alone to hear, loud and clear.
Sorry for taking so long to accept.
I thought you were a different kind. And that – you motherfucker – was a ‘big deal’ to me.
Rejection might be mandatory – humiliation, never.