Everything ends and I am so afraid of the empty space between love and loss Everything ends and it never gets easier fear of change only grows I hoped it'd shrink with age Everything ends and I never learned to cope with the possibility of regret with decisions you can't take back Everything ends and I'm paralyzed by thoughts that nothing new and good will find me again
I Still Love You More
I still love your memory more than anything real all my affection is eaten up by a ghost Compulsory comparison everyone else comes up short and I'm left here craving what can never be I still love these memories more than what is offered to me I don't think anything else will ever be enough Not even who you are today can soothe this aching shadow that obscures everything else inside of me
The kind of love that I believed in has all bled out of me a conviction that once gave me courage crumbled and got carried off in the wind What is left when the reward you ounce sought in everything can never be made real? agony of unmet expectations The hollow space that remains behind disillusioned high hopes no one told me growing up was a lesson in losing everything The kind of love that I believed in was the last innocence to leave me I never chose to keep moving forward but momentum is a merciless force
Reality cannot hold a candle to ever glistening memory bearing witness to the slow waning of a soul succumbing to the burden of time Trying to linger in flames long extinguished rather than stand with purple fingers in the present the clumsy grasping at long cherished delusion can still feel better than accepting all is lost
Missing you is a chronic illness an ongoing inflammation of the heart it comes and goes in sudden flareups then subsides back into remission Regular checkups have become routine monitoring my emotion for warning signs self screening for the sharp pain of longing trying to stay mindful when it overtakes me Some days it feels like I'm finally better probing into those tender places doesn't hurt at all but then for some reason I start to ache again and all the stiches inside my heart are unsown An ocean of grief opens up inside me bright, blood-red waters fill my lungs with the violent crashing waves of all that once was This condition of loving you cannot be cured I think I'll always carry it with me I think I like the days with pain they make me feel close to you again
The Awakening *Spoilers*
I first began reading classic novels in college. I loved to read something that had stood the test of time, something that I felt I would gain some intellectual benefit from apart from simple enjoyment. It was exciting to catch quick references to characters or plots from stories in other content I consumed that before would have just slipped by unnoticed. I’ve found the classics add a lot of depth and context to many other aspects of life and art.
The Awakening is a very short novel by Kate Chopin I read nearly a decade ago. I wish I knew exactly what year. I hardly remembered the story at all. I just retained the vague feeling that I had not been too impressed by it. Someone suggested this book to me recently, and I was proud to say I had already read it. Although, I was a little embarrassed I didn’t remember more about it. Realizing this, I decided it was a good time to reread it, especially knowing, at only 157 pages, it wouldn’t take me more than a day or two to casually flip through. I was excited to see how ten years of further life experiences would alter my perception of the story.
It was fascinating to go over the text with the double vision of reading it for the second time. I could recall my original thoughts, while also experiencing it as if for the first time. There is something indescribably poignant and sad about seeing how much I’ve grown through revisiting a story like this. When I was younger, I remember being rather bored in the beginning of the novel, and utterly frustrated and perplexed at the ending. Now… well now, I felt my soul gripped by every word, every thought and experience Edna Pontellier had. Ironically enough, I am now the same age as she was in the book.
When I was younger, everything seemed so much simpler and straightforward. If Edna loved Robert and not her husband, and Robert loved her back, then what was the dilemma? Just leave your husband. Nothing is more important than love, especially a love that is within your reach. I found it hard to understand why Robert left for Mexico. It angered and confused me. When he finally came back, my naïve heart truly believed they would finally be together in the end. Even when Edna left to go tend to her friend, I felt no uneasiness about Robert waiting for her to return. Of course he would.
This time, as soon as the inevitably ending began it’s slow approach, I felt my chest getting tighter. Despite not remembering the book, I knew immediately Robert would not be there when Edna returned. Some part of me thinks that even Edna knew as she sat on the porch for a few minutes before going back in, as if to prolong the happy delusion for just a few moments longer. This time, I also knew in my very bones why Edna appeared by the seashore of their happy island summer homes. I knew she would not be returning to have dinner with Victor. As a teenager, I was dumbfounded about what was happening all the way up to the point where she stripped all of her clothes off in front of the ocean waves. I remained in disbelief even at the very end.
Revisiting this story after so much has happened in my own life was profound. It ached in all the best and worst ways. It swallowed me up completely. It held a mirror up to my very soul and cradled my crumpled form as I wept inconsolably. There is something about youth that fills us with crisp simplicity and happy illusions about life and love. The painful pull of life that drags us along into the future adds such complexity and depth to concepts and convictions that once appeared so crystal clear and unchangeable. Sometimes things cannot have a happy ending. Even love is not enough in many instances. Certain decisions cannot be taken back or rectified regardless of how wretched we feel about them later. One word spoken too soon, a poor choice of phrase spat out in a moment of high emotion, can change the course of a life forever. Even small stones, carelessly thrown into the still pond of life create irrevocable ripples that spread out in ways we couldn’t have possibly imagined.
Despite this, there is such agonizing, undulating beauty to be found within deep, unalterable grief and regret. Books like these, characters like Edna, are a haven for the innermost broken-winged birds of my soul. They are a reminder that while I may not be able to change the course my life has already taken or the decisions left open to me because of that course, I am not alone in my sorrow. Others have experienced the complex emotions I often feel incapable of expressing for myself, and even more will experience them in the future. I’ll leave you will a quote from my favorite artist that sums up this sentiment nicely:
You’re not alone in anything. You’re not alone in trying to be.The Ladder Song – Bright Eyes
A Precious Aching
Sometimes my heart strains toward you spreading so thin across the expanse between that it quivers like a tightly strung guitar string sending notes of anguish into all that empty space Reverberation of moth eaten memories stirring up stale dust in a long abandoned room as it echoes off the walls of aching lungs until I'm almost sure I should reach out for you The half formed fantom of a future grips my heart so suddenly in some moments that it feels worth risking anything for even certain humiliation and rejection But then the sharp, pinching recoil always returns to snap me out of my pathetic, forlorn reveries my hand is not worthy of even reaching a frenzy of hope can overcast the wretched truth I have no right to continue pining a don't deserve the bittersweet comfort of these carefully enshrined memories let alone the audacity of asking for more My lot now is to keep languishing moving inevitably away from a future that could have once been mine but was long ago forsaken My selfish heart keeps me from even the respite of one day forgetting pouring warm tears over ice cold memories I will be grateful for this aching
There are many reason I identify with polyamory primarily the science that explains it's our nature but also because it allows me to love again even though my love for you has never faded Monogamy proclaims I cannot love more than one in this model my life would have to be spent alone or else in a horrible, shameful sham of love because you will never again be mine to hold Polyamory is something I am able to practice quietly within my own heart the alter I still gently tend for you in my soul need not be torn down or take up all the space I can share my love with others without letting you go which is a true blessing because that's a choice I am unable to make The feelings I have for you are probably the best part of me and it would be a tragedy to discard them all together What a relief to be reassured there is no need for me to be alone just because you no longer love me while I will love you forever What a gift to get to keep you nestled close to my heart no matter what to never have to lose the vivid color of all that you still are to me
The Strength of Memory
Early morning mountainside enshrined behind a gentle mist fog rising from cool air as it meets the hot earth How many other moments of awe have already slipped beyond the veil of impermanent, imperfect memory sudden piercing pang of vague loss I run my fingers over the fading pictures I've placed in holy alters of the heart pleasures made sweeter by the stitches of pain weaving outward from the past Is it wrong to endlessly revive old joys should I put effort into slowing the inevitable erosion of time or would it be more kind To allow old days to disappear and someday no longer know what wonders I've since lost along the long, winding way Will holding on make me strong enough to face the many difficulties ahead or will a tight grip leave me too weak to embrace the life I've yet to live
I wish someone had told me to hold onto all the people I once knew. I wish I had some way of knowing what I was throwing away, or at the very least letting fizzle out, watching with disinterest as my many fertile gardens of companionship withered in the hot sun of time. When you’re young, it’s hard to realize what you have. Everything just feels like it’s always been that way, that it will always be that way. Friends come and they go without much fear of social isolation. There will always be new peers, new classmates, new friends to take their place. Every school year is a new start, a new chance to build connections. After high school, there is always college to find your chosen family.
Six years after getting my Bachelors and only now am I beginning to realize the opportunities I squandered for all those years. I would always hear people saying that high school doesn’t matter. That you’ll leave those doors and all the people inside behind forever once you graduate. Not to worry about those relationships, because there will be plenty more that are more important in the future. Looking back, I wish instead they had said those years don’t have to matter. I realize now this was a message for people struggling in school, the social outcasts, the kids that felt like they’d never fit in or find friends. This message was a beacon of hope for them, a call to keep their courage as they moved out into new avenues of life. The point wasn’t that I shouldn’t invest effort in maintaining the relationships I did have. It wasn’t about devaluing the whole idea of childhood friends.
At the time, it seemed like a waste of energy, pathetic even, to try to cling to old friends that were no longer around you everyday. After all, there was a whole new pool of peers to meet and mingle with. Why reach out to people from the past? I never really gave much thought to the fact that the bonds I formed in college would one day become less convenient as well. What then? It was quite a shock when I started working full time to feel the difference between a classroom and a work place. Not only were there far less people to interact with in general, but those people were vary rarely of an age that I would consider my peers. We had very little in common. I already had trouble finding companions within my age group, let alone outside of it.
All these years later, I often find myself looking back on all the bridges I burned, wondering if there is any way I could salvage them, or if the other party has already forgotten me. I never understood how precious a childhood friendship truly is until it was too late. There is an empty space inside the new connections I make. There was something so special is the knowledge that the other person really knew you. They knew all of you. They had watched you grow up and you had known them just as intimately. That’s something you can never have with someone else, even if they tell you about who they used to be. You are still only seeing it through their eyes, only getting the bits they want to reveal. And something aches inside of me when I acknowledge that.