Love isn’t the brassy blare of a band, marching down the avenue on July 4th’s celebration. Oh, to be sure – that is part of it – loud jangles, crash of cymbals, heartbeat of drums. But love has many faces, some apparent, some quite deceptive.
Love is the gentle stirrings evoked by a walk after a thunderstorm’s power, smelling the earth, watching lightening flitter over the New York skyline, curled up on a rock, and telling each other of your pasts, and peoples – speaking in reverence and caring tones.
Love is the sharp pain of betrayal and the shooting stabs of hurt inflicted upon sensitive, fragile egos that make one near in anger and rage – defending yourself at risk of rejection – yet believing, nonetheless, first in your own sense of worth. Being able to say “fuck you” to the one you love.
Love is the despair and confusion and insecurity brought forth in opening yourself up to another person. Of being aware of his frailties and still wanting him more than ever – because of those faults not in spite of them. Of seeing the flaws yet not running away. Of opening yourself , baring your soul when trust is just a mirage, still to become real from knowing your love, facing it and not walking away, and of having to tell that other person that love is there – whether or not he chooses to respond in kind. Of wanting so much to hear the words “I Love You”, yet not pressing but allowing them to come of their on accord at a time of his choosing – if at all.
Love is passion and the exploration of a body found wildly exciting – seeking those hidden sources of pleasure, being sexually vulnerable. And love is those quiet ripples that float through your body as you see the one you love or think of him during the course of your day. Love is giving and taking- together or apart – the stillness of soul touching – the fire of lust, the knowledge that this is something different than any before or any after, but that a part of you, larger than ever before, rests in the hands of another, and you are content, or largely so, to have it that way. Love is a gift from God to be savored, enjoyed revered, for each moment it is a part of you.
Love is encouraging the strengths in the other, urging him to grow and explore facets of himself. Being a source of strength rather than drowning him in your need. Love is knowing the relationship may end yet moving forward in self-determination, with trust and belief gathering your courage about you, a mantle of strength in the storm of emotion. Love is knowing that love may change in form and substance, devolving into a well of despair, fragmenting, feathering away into a manifestation of a different making – yet Love still. Love is holding still the trembling of the soul.
Love is the bringing into the world two children to bless this union. Children precious, deserving of all that is good. Physical manifestations of love and passion. Children who bear witness of good and ill. Who bear the scars of devastation.
Love is the torture of knowing your love was always far greater than his. Of sustaining emotional scars, physical bondage, inquisitions, blasphemies, of running and hiding to escape his wrath. Of finally, running away, knowing not to do so would mean your death, be it emotional or physical.
Love is the PTSD moments after the Fall. Twenty years later. The choosing aloneness rather than taking the risk of opening yourself up again. Of the nightmares that continue, again and again, of what it turned out to be. Of the ending, cruel, painful, devastating in consequences not just for the two of you, but for the children brought forth from the union of those souls. Of the never ending trauma that follows in your wake, curling in sadness and despair deep within.