The clean sheets call my bones to rest but I cannot. I am feeling the energy return to my body as my mind moves over the events of my life with the swift touch of loving familiarity.
I have been feeling more and more that my time in this human vessel has not been linear, but radiating out from the hub of a central experience. An organizing event, pivotal and one from which every other experience has sprung, occurred half-way through my life. I cannot explain it, though I embrace it. Even as it perplexes me, I see my marriage and divorce as that from which all other love relationships have grown.
My first love, my mother and father, my sexual abuse, even the relationship I have with my twin brother has been informed by this, and not the other way around, but how could this be? I have no answer except to say that this past heartbreak feels closer to a primal loss, closer to the grief I felt earlier in my life. I look back on my divorce and believe this centrally located phenomenon was known to me as a child.
I do, after all, understand love differently. Love for me now is an healing energy that I can use to know myself, my friends, my lovers, love is a way of being. And love has re-organized my understanding of how things happen. It is dimensional. It is anarchy.
For so long, I have traded my efforts for love, my time and energy for the return of being loved. Minutes and hours of care and consideration in exchange for expectation unfulfilled. I have done this in every relationship I have had, including this last one, but now I see how and why I ended this generous relationship in a decidedly loving manner. I have begun to understand that I need not reach for love because I am in fact swimming in it.
Now that I know this, I feel through situations in which I have been distracted from this fact, times when I have been diverted from the awareness of the love that flows around me. This doesn't mean I'm happier or in a better place, in fact, I would say my confusion over spacetime is profound, like I just opened a door on something I cannot keep from pouring out. I'm a two year old who has just had a lesson in trigonometry, lost in it, but dazzled. My mind feels wide and deep and my lungs, anxious for breath, swim in the spiral of knowing. It is the hardest thing to be still. As loss and grief swirl around me, I float in the pain of it, the sadness flows through my sinew to my fingertips and keeps me from reaching again.
I must take this space in order to understand myself before I reach out for anything because I might just reach for something that in the end, I will not want. I will familiarize myself with the topography of this expansion, and while I hope for borders, I also secretly wish that I might not find any.
I hope there is no end to this.
The world is shivering with pain, it seems, and I shiver within it. I am beside myself with grief and illness and an ache that seems to know no bottom, and I don't believe that I am alone. It doesn't help me when I am crying on the shoulder of my roommate, or friend, or stranger on the street. We are all of us in pain. This is our unifying trait.
Not long ago, I planned a "project of hate" which I believed would take me all over the world. I have observed, no matter where I have lived, that the community around me shares a hatred for some other group. Oftentimes it is purely geographic, but without exception, there is some form of distrust or loathing on the part of the commonwealth for some other outside group. I believed I could go around the world following the "thread of hate" from one group to the next. I never did it because I decided to do A Love Rebellion instead.
This is what makes our present unpleasantness so challenging. No matter which victim is pointing the finger, no matter how much good they have done in the world, they too are guilty of this act. There has been too much violent, exploitative history between people for too many centuries for this not to be the case.
It is the one thing we have learned over the course of human existence, how to hate when we feel threatened. The key is to learn how not to feel the threat, or, at the very least, not to act on this fear as it reads in our newspapers, plays on our televisions and in our movies, and runs through the veins of our politicians. Even the people who call themselves "healers" belittle other groups in order to prove that they are somehow above this all-too-human condition.
So I go about breaking myself open, again and again, to learn how to heal, how to love, how to be there for myself without judgment, because that is my practice. I walk in this pain as the soles of my feet pulse with the sadness of the earth. I breathe in the chaotic air that whips through the trees, encouraging the birds to flight. I cry as often as I can, and let the toxic lessons I have learned throughout all the painful episodes of my life run down my cheeks.
I am endlessly becoming a different human than I was, and this endeavor has brought so much richness and life to my experience, but it has also brought loss, ache, and great sacrifice. I learned hate from the same people from who I learned love. This is the underlying conflict for all that I feel. I have come to understand that I both love and hate who I am. My hate is based in lack, disappointment, regret, and resentment. My love lies in comfort, success, and engagement. Both live within me, and always will.
Presently I resonate more with the pain and the loss of the people around me, but I know there is an end to this time. It is my hope that someday all humans will find that the thread that is easiest to follow is one of love, and that I might make a project out of that commonality.
I think about living in a place where the people all share a love for another group so fiercely, that that loved group is inspired to kindle its own flame for another group entirely. It sounds crazy even as I write it, but I am forced to hope that it is possible. I am forced to believe that one day we can stop seeing each other as competition for scarce resources and start seeing each other as potent collaborators.
There is so much wasted creative genius in the race of humans. Wasted in wars, in planned incarcerations, in exploitation of the weak and less fortunate. I know this as I know my own bones. As I know my own waste. As I know my own creative genius. I am no different than anyone else.
That is why I still have hope.
I knew the moon would bring me pain. Staring up at it each night, knowing that you were also looking, this agony I predicted. I predicted the longing I would feel for you each time I heard a familiar bird call. I knew that when I went to our favorite coffee shop, my gut would drop with each sip I had the courage to take.
This was all easy predict because I still love you, and our split was the hardest thing I have ever had to do simply because there is still love between us.
But I could not go on hurting you, and I could not go on being hurt. It was too much to bear to know that I was tormenting my favorite person. I walked around in misery most of the time, missing you and fearing you simultaneously, anxious that I might open my mouth and again cause you pain. I was having a hard time living with myself. This was why I knew it was time. Not because I hated you, but because I was beginning to hate me. And I cannot allow that.
It would be easier to shift the blame to you, to fool myself into believing that it was your fault, but I know better than that. I mean, I know it is not all on me, but I cannot account for your part of it, as it is no longer my business. But it would be easier. It would be easier to hate you.
Today I felt this most acutely when something really great happened for me. For a moment, I was jubilant. Buoyancy filled my lungs and with my first joyful breath I could feel the old tingle of bliss in my fingertips. But in the next moment, it was gone, snatched from me as I had the impulse to share it with my favorite person, because he was always so proud of me when I did good. It was in these happy moments, when I shared my good news, that I felt most loved, most cherished. And in that moment I wanted to hate you. I wished I could.
But I cannot. I can't bring myself to do the easy thing simply because I love you so much.
So I will sit with this, knowing I have chosen this challenging path, living with the pain of loss and the fear of anything wonderful happening because the person I would want to share it with is no longer my person. He is his own and I am my own and while I want to hate him, I cannot.
You might not have signed up for this type of blog writing, but this is where I am right now, and I will be writing like this until I don't need to anymore. Just giving you a heads up now. Thanks for reading, and if you have any encouraging comments, I would love it if you could leave them below.
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