Not A Twilight Reverie


I have so many questions that flicker at the edges of my mind when I’m close to sleep.

The latest one is my wonder that so many people are focused on getting married without the slightest idea of the damage they are getting ready to perpetrate on the love that is lighting them up from the inside.

It isn’t really that I don’t believe in marriage, although it’s not for me. It’s that so few of us know what the hell to do with it when we decide to lock ourselves in.

Let me be truly honest with you. I believe in love. I believe in the kind of love that moves mountains, mows down anything in the way of reaching the beloved and inspires the willingness to fight by whatever means necessary to preserve the happiness of the one who owns the heart.

I believe in fighting like a junk yard dog to protect a loved one. I believe in giving until I’m empty and exhausted to keep them safe and well. I believe in setting myself aside and listening when that need is there. I believe in loving someone enough to give them the space to grow and become more than I’ve known before.

When I love someone, I am not threatened by their success or growth or change. I am fiercely supportive. I am proud. I am made more by the love I have for them at that moment.

I believe in complete honesty, no matter how painful. I believe that love in the form of sexual expression should be with each wide open to the needs of the other so that no one else may tread or tempt there in that sacred place.

This is where I differ with the concept of marriage as I’ve lived it, and seen it played out in the lives of those around me.

In my experience, and in my observation of the lives of most (not all) of those around me, marriage is some kind of death knell for whole-hearted devotion. The marriage occurs, everyone sends gifts, experience the happiness and then it’s game over.

Because of a lack of insight, heart or awareness the relationship changes. Because one or both feel that the fish is caught so why continue to cast? Why continue to try when marriage has been achieved? Now is the time of contentment, then settling and finally, an insidious disregard for anything special that made us love in the first place.

What. The. Hell.

This is what I see and feel all around me. I am horrified by the witnessing of it’s painful, inevitable demise.

Most are clueless to the work required to have the kind of love that becomes legendary. The kind of love that epic poems are written about, the kind of love that will sacrifice whatever is needed to ensure the happiness of the other.

It’s all “you do the dishes, cook the dinner, do the laundry, keep the bills paid, listen when there’s complaining to be heard and be ready to have sex at a moment’s notice”.  This is not a gender specific comment. This is a statement of reality when someone, somewhere thinks they’ve reached a point where they’ve achieved their “goal” and don’t have to think or try or put in any effort anymore. Male or female.

Disclaimer: This is my opinion.

I know for a fact that a legal document does not ensure love. It does not guarantee that I’ll be held when I cry, listened to when I hurt or understood when I grieve. Being married doesn’t always mean that someone will support me when I need it, or wipe my tears when I cry without telling me to stop. It doesn’t promise that the other will be there for me when I am sick, frightened or feeling scared and alone.

For a very few, rare couples…all of this does happen. Most of the time. And that is more than enough in this universal rat race we live in.

For the rest of the world, not so much.

I’ve learned that familiarity does indeed breed contempt. I’m all about separate places and personal spaces. I believe that I should be missed, because I’m not always there. I believe in bringing something fresh into conversation because of not living in the pocket of another.

I will not agree to be taken for granted. I will not agree to love in a quiet, socially acceptable way. I will not agree that a legal piece of paper dictates who I stand beside; or determines who I fight for.

I submit that I can live here, and you there. That in doing so, my love will remain fresh and interesting to you. My conversation will be new because we are not in the other’s pocket. Never let it be said that my commitment, devotion or rabid defense of you be any less because there is not a piece of paper saying I must do so.

If anything, you will have more of me than anyone ever has. Because I will be dogged in my preservation of the love that lights my heart. I will allow no one or no thing to dim the fire that burns in my heart. I will be the irresistible force and the immovable object, the wall, the quiet power that holds you steady when your heart is weak and quivering.

And you will do the same for me.

This has nothing to do with a legal document, and everything to do with love.

I have so many questions. Why we kill love with neglect is the most horrifying. Negligence is such an insult to a loving heart. Ignorance is no excuse.

So many questions when I’m close to sleep…

 

Advertisements

Now


It’s difficult for me to write right now. It hurts me to try. My mind is in some kind of transition. Whatever part of me I carry inside my bones and blood is alive and compelling me to move, to live, to jump.

And I will. I don’t think I could stop myself even if I wanted to. Which I don’t.

My life right now is a fucked up turmoil of joy and sorrow. I am in mourning and celebration at the same time.

There are fractions of seconds where I tell myself to go back where it’s safe. Return to the certain. Follow the plan.

My spine won’t even allow my head to turn that way. My heart lurches forward in some mad scramble as it falls to pieces while it’s healing. The marrow in my bones demands from me whatever comes next.

Whatever that may be.

My hand reaches out to touch things I’ve never experienced. My heart demands more.

More.

This is where I am. No one may understand this, and it really doesn’t matter. I am alone in this and I comprehend that completely. I have plenty of fear and doubt, but I’ve come to a point where the only thing that matters to me is what I have to do next. What I need to do next. What I will do.

I am alone. Surrounded by those who love me who are finally allowed to reach me. Supported by those who would do anything for me. I love them. Appreciate them.

But I am alone. As we all are. But I choose to step out, be brave, love fiercely.

I’ve learned a little jab to the ego now and then is a good thing. I’ve had plenty over the past few months, and while it’s never pleasant, there’s always something to use to move forward. And I am going forward. I am jumping in. I will take that flight, learn that dance/language/recipe. I will do it all.

Because I can.

I will fly  to California. I’ll visit Hawaii, vacation in the Dominican, take the train to Chicago, stay at home and cook for my best friends and family. I will do it all.

I’ll take naps when I feel like it. Sometimes the highlight of my day is holding my pups as they lay across my lap in blissful abandon.

When I’m stressed, I’ve learned to chop the hell out of everything in my fridge and make something awesome with what I’ve learned.

It’s difficult for me to write. It hurts me to do so. That’s why I have.

 

 

Pistols At Dawn


 

Let’s talk a bit about resolving conflict. There is the tried and true way of yelling and screaming at each other which achieves nothing but a sore throat and resentments. We can also do the ignoring of the elephant in the room and begin the second cold war. If that doesn’t work we can blame and shame the other into some kind of submission, that’s always a fun one. If all else fails, we can (sigh) try to work it out with discussion and understanding.

I know, this is a radical concept, but stay with me for a minute or two.

If both parties are not heard and respected, then there is no real resolution to any problem brought to the table. For a misunderstanding to be cleared up, everyone has to be willing to listen and consider. Not just one person, but all persons involved. If there is an assumed insult to deal with, somebody needs to listen to the offense taken and the other must listen to the intention of the words spoken.

Unless you just want to be angry, then you should quit reading right now. 

Any kind of successful resolution to conflict comes from both sides being able to share their intent and emotion, from both being willing to listen to the other and consider that maybe, just maybe no harm was intended. That is not to say no harm was done, because who are we to say when we have caused another pain? We don’t determine that, they do. Our part is to listen, understand as best we can and explain from our hearts that our words were from a harmless loving place. That we truly meant no harm or hurt at all.

If someone hurts us, it is our right to speak up and stop them where they stand. We have a right to say what the injury is and expect an explanation and apology. If the offender is important to us we will give them equal time and respect to listen so that we can understand what caused them to hurt us so carelessly. If they don’t matter to us, well we say what we need to and move on, leaving them behind. That alone will tell you where you stand.

Let me tell you what doesn’t work, in case you’ve been in a cave or under a rock the last 50 years or so. A Johnny Carson monologue on someone’s transgressions with no feedback is worthless. A gag order where the other party has no time or right to say anything to explain their side is worthless. Deafness to any belief or truth other than the one already pre-decided is a real resolution killer.

I hope I’m not being too vague in pointing out that resolving conflict takes input from both sides to be of any value to the continuing relationship. If the relationship matters at all.

Each of us see and understand life differently based on our personal experiences and traumas. We all need to respect that about each other and tread carefully. That being said, it is impossible for us to go through life without treading on each others hearts, memories and experiences. Impossible. So our only option for loving and lasting relationships of any kind is to refine the art of resolving conflict.

I have been in a relationship where there was never any resolution to conflict. It is a soul killer. I am no longer there, and will not be in another one of any kind where there is not the heart or courage to give and receive and resolve. Period. I will not go there.

If I’m not looking at someone with the guts to take the same truth as they are willing to give, then I won’t be looking at them for long. I have just learned that about myself. If I’m willing to shut up and listen and absorb and ponder the possibilities, then by god the one I’m looking at better have the balls to do the same. Or they can move on to someone else who hasn’t lived the reality of what it’s like to be forced into silence.

I will never be that person again.

Another important point before I close is to fight fairly to resolve the issues at hand. It’s wrong to use any weakness shared with you as a weapon against the one you care about.It shows a dent in your character to use what has been shared in confidence to harm the person who trusted you to begin with. Resolve the damn issue like people who actually care for each other.

I have wondered recently why a person wouldn’t just say “ouch, you just stepped somewhere I don’t want to go” and let you step away and respect their space. Why does everything need to be a huge offense to humanity instead of a “hey, okay sorry, I won’t go there”? If something stabs you in the heart, by all means say so! We can’t know unless you do. But let there be a reasonable, mature solving of the problem.

Forgive my diatribe. If I have offended you, your feedback is more than welcome. We will resolve.

If all else fails, we will go with pistols at dawn.