Posts tagged #love

Damn, it was the peanut butter...

I woke up...

I woke up from one of those dreams you don't want to leave. It started so bizarre, me, marrying the Homecoming Queen - living in a plush mansion, learning she likes to play golf (why I didn't know ahead of time I don't know, but I like cool surprises so I was unfazed by such), and driving off in our little smart car... The dream then warped to traveling through Europe, visiting an old high school, and then a house in Heidelberg, Germany, where I and my traveling companions ended up walking around the back only to find a criminal element had moved into my childhood home. After fisticuffs I found myself walking through some ambiguously European streets, only to jump into a clothing shop with a friend to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy street.

We got into the shop just in time to see a fashion show going on; but not just any kind of fashion show. The show consisted of normal people; big, tall, small, fat, skinny, etc. At the very end of the fashion parade was a special needs girl, her speech and gait giving evidence to my conclusion, accompanied by her father. Her dad has a false left leg, and for some reason the shoe on the false leg, which was more of a peg or pole, was turned backwards.

And while this was proceeding I turned to my friend and let loose a disparaging remark about a guy I knew, who I believed was presumably trying to woo my romantic interest. No sooner had I said such flippant words did she, my romantic interest (turned out it was an ex-girlfriend of mine named Kerry) reveal she was standing behind me the whole time.

I felt like an ass. She looked at me, stepped close, face next to mine, and for some reason she bit my earlobe, which caused a lot of pain, and then said, "If you ever want me to be this close again, you won't talk about people that way."

It was the longest moment...

It was the longest moment as I held my breath and considered one, yes, I really shouldn't speak ill of people, even in general, two, my earlobe was in a lot of pain - why did she have to bite it, and three, she acknowledged what was real in my soul; that I liked being with her, and she wasn't opposed to it, but my actions should reflect that as well.  And I exhaled with, "Okay."

Then we were off, outside on the busy streets, which I came to understand were in Iceland, and we were in a bay watching cruiseliners begin to sail out of port. A golden sunset was making its way across the bay and I really wanted to just take a picture to capture the moment. I thought about just using my smartphone and posting to Instagram, but I felt like I needed to use a better camera. I looked, and Kerry had run off with my camera bag. So I chase after her, she runs up an embankment, and as I'm following I realize it's snowed. Not in town, but here, in this wooded area, I'm surround by snow. And there she is, laughing and making snow angels. I fall beside her, and after some talking we're both looking up into the starry night sky, hued in blues and blacks.

Then a metro bus arrives not to far from where we are, and I look at her and ask, "Are you ready for them to find out about us?"

She laughs, and we both get up and walk towards the bus.

And then I wake up.

mattsaid-45.jpg

And I'm floored by this rush of emotions and this longing for intimacy and I can't figure out why I even thought about Kerry to begin with - it's been over seven years. And then my mind is racing over moments with other ex-girlfriends, real moments this time and not dreams, and I feel like there is this crescendo of an epiphany and it's like I'm not in a fog anymore, I can see with clarity, I can feel with clarity...

But why Kerry? That's not the way it was between us. We were never able to find our rhythm  maybe that's why we broke up, I don't know. But why in the world would I think about her, after all these years...

I started backtracking.

I started backtracking. Was this a sign from the heavens, a signal of a new turn in the path before me? I went to bed feeling nostalgic, yes, but that wasn't it. I didn't watch any old movies though I wanted to. What was it? I went shopping the night before... Wait... The peanut butter. I bought peanut butter last night. And I stood there for a solid five minutes just looking at peanut butter trying to figure out what to buy when I noticed some peanut butter was "100% natural". And Kerry only liked to eat natural peanut butter.

That was it. Kerry loved peanut butter. Peanut butter toast. Peanut butter chocolate candies. Peanut butter on celery. Peanut butter in a spoon. But it had to be natural, and not the dehydrogenated oil kind.

And just like that the chorus of epiphany came crashing down like a clumsy percussionist knocking over a set cymbals and windchimes. The swelling in my chest deflated and it was like waking up from another dream all over again. For an instant it was like I had this puerile appreciation for the mystical elements of love and intimacy, but then I remembered the goddamn peanut butter and it was extinguished like the snap of a finger.

For an instant it was like I had this puerile appreciation for the mystical elements of love and intimacy, but then I remembered the goddamn peanut butter and it was extinguished like the snap of a finger.

Kerry and I had a few moments to be sure, and my heart, it longs to be in those specific moments again. They're like they're an echo for a song that if I could just listen to, just one more time, I might find this restlessness satiated, this longing quelled. But it's not just Kerry, it's all the moments from all the times before with all the other people.

The text message with just the smiley face emoticon in it.

Long talks under an African moon.

Coloring Mr. Potato Head pictures.  

The first time she fell asleep on my shoulder.

I was really pissed off after I remembered the peanut butter, but now, as I think about it, I'm grateful for the memories that have been. Even with all the garbage experiences, there were some pretty great ones in there as well.

And that - I suppose - is just part of life...

Posted on November 21, 2012 and filed under Moments.

Bartered Love

They will love you - and they talk a lot about love - but only if you agree with their doctrine and conform to their standards. (1)

Isn't that what we do though? We barter love...

I was watching a movie not too long ago - it was questioning, simply, the art of beauty - and at one point the protagonist says:

Crush. It's funny how the same word for the feeling of disappointment can be used for the feeling of attraction. The Oxford English Dictionary states one of the meanings for the word crush as "a strong and unreasoning, but transitory attachment." (2)

I'm beginning to wonder if "crush" and "emotionally attached" are what we mean when we say we "love" people... I mean, I get it, I get the excitement of liking someone, the rush and heightening of senses from simple touch, the almost nostalgic aroma that washes over you when moment after moment of interaction fills the Twitter-like feed of your mind.

Or, for you non-Twitter people, I would have written that as: "when moment after moment of interaction fills the puddles of your conscious thoughts". (Hmm, I think I like that better, scratch the earlier comment about Twitter.)

Emotional Attachments

But I understand the idea of crushing on someone, and the idea of emotional attachments to someone; but those aren't really love. The limitation I feel with the word is, perhaps, a negative towards the English language, because we have to throw modifiers at the word: true love, young love, bad love, false love, brotherly love, romantic love. I wish we could just have different words, it'd make it easier. 

Transient

For a long time, I would talk about love, but I would always treat it as a currency, a karma currency. If you do well, I will treat you well. If you aren't inconvenient to me, I will accept you. But WOE TO YOU if you begin to be an inconvenience. 

I guess I'm beginning to see that's not love, and I should stop calling it that. Then I think about divorces, and break ups, and parents abandoning children, and all these instances that teach us that love is bartered; but it's not love that's bartered, it's the emotional attachments. Love is reserved for something deeper, something that is an expression, an expression from something that isn't tainted or corrupted by "transitory attachments". 

This delineation I think we see in a scene between Aragorn and Éowyn, in Return of the King (2003) 

Éowyn: "Why are you doing this? The war lies to the East. You cannot leave on the eve of battle! You cannot abandon the men."
Aragorn: "Éowyn..."
Éowyn: "We need you here."
Aragorn: "Why have you come?"
Éowyn: "Do you not know?"
Aragorn: "It is but a shadow and a thought that you love. I cannot give you what you seek... [But] I have wished you joy since the first I saw you." (3) (4)

Aragorn experienced emotions for her, but he loved another, and he always would.

And that deeper sense of emotional attachment, that's what I think we should begin to consider when we throw out so easily a word like "love". In whatever circumstances, convenient or not as they aren't the issue, there is this underlying deeper thing that causes expression to rise to our external actions.

If you love your girlfriend/boyfriend, and if you break up, the change in circumstances, shouldn't cause love to cease. And if it does, I don't think you were experiencing love. I don't think there is a true sense of the action of love being in a past, but no longer, present tense.

I loved... but love no more

Consider this: "I loved him, but I love him no more." I, to my deepest core, don't believe it works like that. The emotional attachments may change, they may mature or dissolve, but the wishing of the other person's highest good, I think, never meets cessation.  

And, to be honest, I think that's part of the Shadow of the Divine within us all; the capacity to love - or to express it with a modifying clause - to love beyond our transitory, and often self-seeking, emotional attachments.

Just an evening thought to ponder...

  1. Steve Brown, Three Free Sins: God's Not Mad at You (New York: Howard Books, 2012), p. 210
  2. A line by Ben Willis, played by Sean Biggerstaff, in the British movie Cashback (2006); a Sean Ellis film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0460740/ 
  3. Aragorn, played by Viggo Mortensen, and Éowyn, played by Miranda Otto, in the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King; a Peter Jackson film: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0167260/
  4. The scene is on Youtube as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHLXGwjpVqw
Posted on October 26, 2012 and filed under Literature, Religion, Moments.

Beautifully Ugly

Transient

It won't - it won't be like you thought it was. Innocent dreams give way to winds of time that weather it all to ruin. But it will go on. That is Life. The Hollywood illusion of Goodness will falter. We'll get fat, sick and ugly, all in time to see we've always been ugly. Mystically, I suppose that's why Adam and Eve "covered their shame".

But there is, I believe, a turn in the play. As I've heard I repeat to you:

If someone wrote a play just to glorify
What's stronger than hate, would they not arrange the stage
To look as if the hero came too late, [as if] he's almost in defeat
It's looking like the Evil side will win, so on the edge
Of every seat, from the moment that the whole thing begins
It is...  
Love who makes the mortar
And it's Love who stacked these stones
And it's Love who made the stage here
Although it looks like we're alone
In this scene set in shadows
Like the night is here to stay
There is Evil cast around us
But it's Love that wrote the play...
For in this darkness Love can show the way... (1)

(My words of wisdom for you tonight, that can't fit in a text message.)

Mystically, perhaps wispy wishes of Goodness or its very shadows bearing through giving glimpse to its size, what Adam and Eve didn't see was that we are not just ugly - but beautifully ugly. We are pieces that fit into a puzzle, and once in proper alignment, we actually show what is Beautiful, even with our shameful contortions.

You are beautifully ugly, and so much more lovely for it.

  1. David Wilcox, Live Songs and Stories; track 3, "Show the Way" --- start with the story in item #2 before you listen to the song at #3 
Posted on April 1, 2012 and filed under Religion, Moments, Letter.