I have spent most of my life thinking about love. I understood early that love could be exciting, extravagant, risky, reckless, heart-racing, heart-breaking, complete, catastrophic, desired and desperate. And I knew that love was like a scent trail and I would follow it. That love could not be a thought-experiment. That love should never count the cost. That the cost is the exchange of the self as a single currency.
I set out to fathom love because I lost it too soon– at six weeks old when I was adopted. Losing love early shapes the idea of love into its opposite: Loss.
Why is the measure of love loss?
Our binary oppositions are too crude. The opposite of love is not hate – in fact love and hate are as close as a pair of hostile brothers, as anyone who has fallen out of love – with a person or a cause, will know.
If love means to gain everything then to lose love is to lose everything.
Excerpt from Bluets:
“I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.
But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. ‘Love is not consolation,’ she wrote. ‘It is light.’
All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.”
You tiptoed away into the forest
the leaves fell sylvan green
branches crossed light filtered through
the specks of light turned shadows
You looked back at me a moment
I thought I felt your hand against mine
it was just the warmth of the sun trickling through the trees.
And when the fog lifted
rubble, boots, rivers
the things you whispered still floating in the air
I realized that it was just me.
sitting searching for that
you left those flowers in the hallway
they’re wilted but they still feel like home
pacing up the hall
padded feet and the smell of sunflowers
carried away in the wind
dandelions, they never found their place.
but you’re there as they swirl around me and
you’re there as the waters churn and the ocean
carves at the shore and you’re there
as the sands shift with the tides
and i remember those old piano keys
they’re covered in dust
those stars over that wooden deck we built in the backyard
that fire burning off in the distance and
i feel rain pattering in my quiet thoughts.
but i feel warm when you wrap me in your blanket
and i feel safe in the sunshine of your smile
and i feel home when i walk up those wooden stairs
and i see you standing there.
There goes my love
I’m letting it die
I’m letting it fade from inside and slip out from beneath me
And I don’t want to go
But this is where I’m going
I don’t want to go
But I’m letting you fade away
I’m letting your kisses slip from the trace of my lips
I’m letting your touch slip from the curves of my back
And right now it breaks my heart
It breaks my heart that one day it won’t.