When you're letting go of someone you love, the world is full of sharp corners. My body is a bruise for you. I am wounded by the absence of your touch.
Did I imagine it all? Or did we really once see the same forever, sunlit and windblown winding our way to the ocean?
Time has been decapitated and strangely punctuated. Time has been blunted but also stretched waaaaaay out. The distance to tomorrow might as well be forever. In time this will all just be a memory. Only time will heal these wounds. I remember the feeling like I had nothing but time. I don’t feel that way anymore.
It's pretty incredible to me the things I find in my internet searching for truth. The perfectly timed scientific discoveries that confirm what I am in that moment proving in my own body. I recently read that the feeling of not being accepted is experienced as physical pain equivalent to having a broken leg. A broken heart actually feels like a broken heart. It hurts. Sometimes it feels like my chest is going to break. When we break a bone, we go to the doctor and they take x-rays to confirm the fracture. Then they set it and wrap it in plaster so it can heal. A straightforward process for ending the pain. I can’t stop imagining that you have the plaster for my heart.
I know that you don’t. I know that my healing begins the moment I stop hoping you will heal me.
When you miss someone, everything is covered in their name. Like little labels stuck to objects that are now tragic little shrines. The knife now reminds you of that one night he cried cutting onions. You wondered if it was really the onions. The corner of Lincoln and Ventura now reminds you of where you once turned right. Now you keep going. You drive straight, headed towards your healing. What was once right has ceased to be so. You must choose a new direction, even if all of you wants to turn that wheel. Keep going straight towards your healing.
How to accept. How to move forward. How to move on. The world isn’t ending, even if it feels that way. The dissolution. The disillusion. The breaking up of what you had thought (hoped) was unbreakable. Tonight I will fill the last empty boxes of the life we had started together. I am going to store those boxes in my friend’s garage. I am going to do my best to let go of the future that once lived so vividly in my mind. That future has died. Mourn its loss as you learn how to let it go.
Stay above, but know the depth. All these notes to self I jot down. This eternal archeology of the heart. This faithful dig. A collection of ancient artifacts slowly unearthed. What story has already been told? Whose story are you living? What new story is waiting for your telling? We repeat these painful patterns as many times as it takes to collect all these fractured and buried bones. We are trying to put ourselves back together. We are hoping for a clearer picture, a way to finally know what we are made of. Such a strange and ineffable longing to return to some distant memory of self while being inexplicably driven towards building something new, something better, something less tangled in past lives.
I wake in the middle of the night and grab my notebook to write something down. In between two worlds, neither here nor there. I read it in the morning. We're going to have a star named after us after this is all over, right?
I once heard a scientist say we are all dead stars looking up at the sky. Our home, always right there, or impossibly far away. Depends on how you look at it. I am trying to close the distance. I am trying to find that feeling. With you I felt like the sky had returned to me. In you I found a home.
The rain like a thousand tiny intruders wakes me in the middle of the night. I am afraid. I am alone with my longing. Longing to have him by my side. His love and protection are something I hadn’t let myself feel before. Having to let him go feels like learning how to feel safe all over again.
You are safe. Tell yourself that as many times as you need. 384 times a day. As many times as it takes until you believe it. Until you can feel it and breathe it. You are safe.
We used to joke that we were driving a race car. We were traveling so very fast. Only fools rush in, or perhaps just regular people who are curious and courageous enough to see what’s on the other side of this feeling. This feeling. Oh the feeling of falling in love. What a glorious falling. What a magnificent undoing. Coming undone is just one form of becoming. The pain that’s left when things fall apart is in direct contrast to the joy you once felt. This death is happening because you were once so fully alive. In love. You are stretching your capacity for the glory of it all. You are adding a new marble wing to your magnificent temple.
I am proud of my bravery in love. I wouldn’t take any of it back. I dove in. I learned the hard way. But here is what I am realizing: I am in the thick icky space of confronting the disappointing reality that I have spent most of my life waiting for a man to save me— waiting for someone to show me that I am worth saving. There. I said it. I admitted it, first to myself, and now to you. A feminist who has hoped that the end to her suffering would ride up on a white horse. A princess who forgot the transformative power of her own kiss. The knight in shining armor isn't coming. That man is a myth and in waiting for that illusion you have trapped yourself in a tower. You have been waiting for someone else to accept you so you could finally accept yourself. You are that someone else. You are your own salvation. You are the white horse. You are worth saving. You must save yourself.
At our beginning, he took me to the beach. His hair the sun. His eyes the sky. It was so clear that he was where he belonged. I stayed on the sand while he entered the water. I have always been afraid of the ocean.
Several months later, after our ending, a mystic told me that this was not the first time we had loved each other. We had shared 17 lifetimes together. In one of them I lost him to sea. He went out and never returned. I spent the remainder of those days in waiting, in mourning. In this lifetime I can feel that pain, that eternal agonizing hoping. That day in the beginning I nervously sat watching him, still a stranger. So new to me, yet powerfully familiar. Overwhelmed with feeling, I wrote this:
he loves the ocean
and he’s not afraid of her
daily he surrenders to her ways
daily he navigates
her will, her power
I sit on the shore writing
looking up, watching
making sure he’s still there
the current carries him away
makes him a black pinprick
in the bluegray fabric
I keep writing
paying special mind
not to wait for his return
but to wonder at
his form upon the water
My heart is slowly healing with the plaster of time. I am finding strength in releasing. I held him in my sight just long enough to be moved. Just long enough to expand, to become wider, closer to my truth. And now to stop waiting for his return. Now to be grateful. Now to simply say, thank you. Thank you. You helped me understand the might and the depth of the ocean.