i see you in smoke rafters the beams, the cigarette butts falling between the grates
i see you in the stillness of candles, the slow burn, the flickering of desire
i see you in music and every time i pick up my dusty guitar the ashes fall off and you linger in the shine
i see you standing there.
i see our breakdown, i hear you say “you just told me you didn’t love me” i hear the break in your voice
i feel it die in my chest
you sit hunched over in that familiar position with your boots on, staring at the floor
i see flowers i see ashes i see the light that once was, the sun how it shone when i heard your voice
i see you in street corners. alleyways. the fleeting glance of a stranger rushing by
i see gray. the dull pain, the end.
I’ve come to realize that in the realm of love, we are all going through battles. You are going through yours, I am going through mine, and everyone around us is going through theirs. Each battle is unique and each person is affected deeply by their own personal experience. For many of us, these experiences and situations (especially when negative) permeate all aspects of our lives. When love goes wrong, it can be paralyzing. When our hearts are breaking, everything else threatens to fall apart.
When you love someone and you let them in, you give them the power to break you. You give them the power to render your world apart. But the truth is, there is no way to experience the amazing level of joy that you can experience in love without giving someone access to that part of you. If we are not vulnerable to feeling pain, we cannot feel that joy in equal measure. Taking that risk, to quote “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” is the only chance anyone has at real happiness. But in taking that chance, we also risk the breakdown. The pain that we feel can be immense. It can threaten to take down everything around us. That’s why love can be so scary.
The truth is, love is a gamble. Love can sometimes feel like two imperfect people trying to create perfection in an imperfect world. We cannot expect perfection. When we seek perfection, that very expectation becomes the cause of the eventual breakdown of the relationship. The truth is when you take that risk and you love someone, trying to be perfect will not change the outcome. The most we can do is be the best we can be, and hope for the best. Life and love won’t always be fair. Sometimes it will hurt. You will fall in love, and the person you fall in love with will be far from perfect. Sometimes you will fall in love with someone who will do all the wrong things, and who will hurt you in ways you never knew existed. And you will love them with every fiber of your being – without rhyme or reason. That is the nature of love.
But life is an adventure. Adventures can be dangerous. Life is meant to be lived. Here’s to loving the hell out of everything and getting up – over and over again, no matter how many times we’ve been burned. Here’s to loving until our hearts leak and until we’re pouring so much love out of our veins we’re gasping for breath but in the end, by God, by God, did we love.
“Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all…Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and [fastly], but it is much better to be killed by a lover.” – Charles Bukowski