When together, it made sense. That thing you’d do. That thing I’d do.
Caring for another person, going out of your way to do accomodate the strength or weakness of your friend. Your best friend. Let’s do what you want. I’ll hold that for you.
I can wait. I can walk. I won’t run.
It’s doesn’t work when that thing isn’t there anymore. That thing is so simple yet so vital. I felt uncomfortable giving you that thing when I didn’t know if you cared. You probably felt the same, but in a way that I wouldn’t know. Too kind to be spiteful but really in a different place.
So I told myself that it is okay. I told myself that I could choose good for someone else even though nothing was given back. I told myself to choose even though there wasn’t any other choice.
I want to be better at this. I want to grow in this way: to learn to love in a way that isn’t so conditional, isn’t so provisional, and isn’t so sensational. I don’t want my love to be delusional, unreasonable, and unkind.
So I’m here, and at my best, my love for you is all of the best of me. Kind, hopeful, patient, gentle, relentless, tenacious, one-step-ahead, joyful, a wait-for-you-while-you-go-to-the-bathroom-for-a-long-time kind of thing. It is: I dont care, I’m just glad to be around. At my worse, it disappears, it is overcome by feelings, it is angry, screaming (quietly like a baby) from a place of hurt. Afraid, protective (of self), single-sensed (narrow mineded), cynical, sad, and empty. All the dark.
When I consider the possibility, to have and to hold, I am slightly afraid but fully aware of the possibilities. I understand the ability to hurt yet, I also understand the possibility to forgive. I realized, that intimacy grows even from a process of past hurt towards forgiveness. When we talk and connect, it brings closure to the past.
I guess my hope is that closure ot the past allows for a new future to be had. I know that this hope is worth it, it is true, it is real. I know that it will happen, as it already has, but I just want back all of the good.
This is sparse, but I want to get it down quickly, as there are many other big things happening right now.
People were kind today. I know they’ll really miss me, and they showed that well to me. Endings are powerful because they reveal who we really are. Our reserved kindness comes out. We hug even if we never have before. We realize that it isn’t the same and there was something good in the day to day drudgery of repetitive tasks that had weight. We realize that we aren’t just doing boring things, but that we spent time together. We realize our humanness.
I’ll miss my work and the people there more after being away. It seems obvious, but the good-bye begins when you give back your key and you step out the door, not able to come in anymore. At that point, when you can’t enter back, is the point where you say bye. And then, going down the elevator with one close friend, the comfort of what was, hurts. It hurts because my body craves the comfort of consistency.
When we talk about work as Diablo, we just talk about everything that we can’t have, don’t have and don’t want. The work itself, the pressure, the appreciation we don’t get, the worth we want to be granted. It is all unmet longing and we hate it, together. Together we talk and it isn’t the nice talk about yesterday or today. It is the talk that turns blood from red to back, that turns lunch into work again (what are we thinking to dare talk about work and work!?). It borns the response: “Don’t talk about work please.” Cursed is the grown we stand upon that needs us to dig deep and break for things to grow. There is something sad about all of this.
I realize that part of what isn’t good at work, what hurts us, is important. But just as important, is the collection of people that you get to be with. It is probably the one place, outside of religious and athletic groups, where people will consistently choose for, not knowing who they will be with. So in the case of millionaire basketball players who want to play with their friends and people who they trust, I believe that is a good thing. I will edit this later.
I shook his hand, and it was clear, at that point, that the relationship would change. Something changed when he was granted the shackles of responsibility and the ability to command a whip. I resented the prodding and I forgot about the pressure to succeed. He answered to a new boss, and thus, in becoming mine, demanded excellence everyday. I had so much to learn from this position in our group. I learned that I was here to produce.
I feel relieved to be done. Some of my friends were happier than me. “take me with you”. “can i go too?” oh man. good night.
What I learned tonight.
1. Just because people don’t respond the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
2. Limits are real, and I have a hard time when people express the limits of their love for me.
3. I am easily disappointed and disillusioned by a view of community that is selfish.
4. I am at my best when I am fully known, and fully loved. People are part of that picture but can almost never be the full expression of that need.
Fastbreak, the frenzy of getting stuff done.
Breakfast, the nourishment for what is to come.
Break fast, a painful and abrupt change.
Brake fast, the reaction to a potential accident.
I’m still having a hard time sleeping. I think it’s the looming move, the messy room, the open edits, the unpaid bills, the budget unmade, bed unkept, the lunch not-yet-packed, the list that goes on. Then there’s the other side of the work, the future unknown, the heart’s unanswered longings. Wait, that was three word’s in a see of twos. A break in the pattern.
I am fully aware of the things the keep me up at night and wake me in morning. It, she, he, her, they, them, when, where, how, what, why. All of you want to hang out late at night, and then you make me up in the morning. A vampire child; late to sleep, early to rise. I like to thank each moment in the day as things and places where my inner vamp lets go of the blood sucking and my inner child finds a place where he is loved, known and cared for.
I’m looking for a break in the pattern. Maybe a brake is the only available. Slow down. Then stop. Full stop. Look both ways. Acknowledge the present of the other. After the silent gesture of presence (or lack of, if there is no other), make the move, trusting the space and the time after stopping.
Yesterday I stopped myself, but I kept moving. I told myself to brake. Break from the things to do, and the things undone. Brake the wonderful mind that wonders too fast. Break the habit of feeling alone too long. Brake because it is time to stop. I told myself to feel the ground under me. Sense the gravity of life that holds me in place; steady, able, present and loving. For a moment, I stopped running through it all and it felt solid and light.
I’m at my best when my soul is quiet and still yet fully present and aware. It is when I talk to Omar on the corner, Marlin at his home, calming down Yusef in his frenzy, and playing with Istam and Sibera. These people and these interactions remind that there are good patterns within me. A brake in the pattern.
I’ve been cooking again, and it tastes different. I made a stack of French toast, fruit, and tea. A stack taller than my belly’s depth, a taste crisper than a morning run. It looked good, but it tasted slow.
I taste the smell of something that once was easy. It has all the parts of what I love: soaking the bread in the special mix of egg, milk, nutmeg and vanilla. Dropped down into the pan, it fries, and the sweet smell of beauty floats up, slightly charred but full of life. It was easy to love you this way. I loved to do it.
I still love to cook and when for others, it finds it’s best hope. The food tastes so good, but I miss you. I miss the preparation, the conversation; between me, you and the ingredients. In greediness I lost myself, wanting too much flavor, wanting too much in one bite. I understand a wholesome meal with the full pyramid of health, on top with the veggies and fruits, and hidden are the sweets and breads. I am becoming whole in my vision, in my hopes, in the table of life that has been set before me. Sometimes the table is empty and sometimes it is is really cluttered. I keep cooking, putting food on the table, where it finds its best hope.
One day I know the food will taste different. I will set the table, and it will be less about manna I hoarded and more about the manna that falls fresh, every morning to satisfy me. Out the window I’ll look, and the morning cloud and evening fire will lead me on.
Sometimes I don’t let myself cry. I’m afraid that I’ll care too much and that I’ll stay stuck in that sadness. I’m afraid to become consumed by it, and that I need to move on. I’m afraid.
So tonight I let myself. I sang that deep longing song, of a broken and tired spirit. I sang that song that comes from the unsaid pain. The struggle withheld. I cried again, and it made sense. I have to remind myself that I can feel, that I can be human with it all. I have to remind myself that I don’t need to be afraid, but if I am, it’s okay.
Maybe moving on means that I get to cry and I get to feel the loss. Maybe I’m learning, in the hardest way, to be full in who I am: caring, hopeful, hurt from loss, and a bit uncertain about how to handle a lost love. I have been strong and resolved lately, which has helped me move forward in hopeful ways. Still, there is the thing in me that deeply misses her and I struggle on how to deal with those things that are alive in me. The things that burn.
It’s hard to hear people talk about her, even in short passing comments. I thought I was over it. I kind of have this thing in my heart that I shield when her name comes up or she’s mentioned. I block my heart’s ears, sometimes fully, but often, just part way. My mind says that a little dose of those particular sound waves is okay. Her name and what’s going on are okay, and to let my heart hear just a little is okay. Maybe. Not. Maybe it can happen that I’d be okay to hear it all. Maybe.
It isn’t the strong emotions or feelings that are a problem. They are real, and honest. They are part of me. Where I go after things are felt, and how I respond to it all is important. I’ve realized that more and more, and I’ve had a lot of practice in all of it this year. I have been responding in really good ways, and for that I am humbled and grateful.
I don’t know if she would ever love me again. I know that it hurts, I feel it. But I don’t know if that’s the point. The point is exactly what I’m doing, and who I am now, in light of what hurts, what I long for, and what I’m growing into. In the wildest way, love, true love, actually is stronger and powerful enough to speak to me in the depths of the sadness. I long for the comfort of one who knows me, loves me, and tells me that it’s going to be okay. Love, come down.
So I (re)accept the gift of who I am. I accept all of me, in the fullness of my emotions, my leanings, my passions, my hopes, and my upbringing. I also accept the responsibility of the gift. To be anything other than myself is violent to my soul, yet it isn’t always so easy. I told a friend the other day that people are waiting for his leadership. I realized that I was speaking to myself. The lead is of love, not disdain and bitterness. The lead is of hope, massive doses of sunlight, and the darkness that will come. So here I am, take it or leave it. I’m taking it all.
Tomorrow always feels better. I may wake up tired, but the sun begins the cycle, and I can try to sing it again.