Essay on Love: Of Ice and Men…Posted: October 25, 2012
Several Sundays ago:
I sat in church today and nearly cried during a song, song more than hymn. The lyrics were something about how we live through our times of sorrow, we live through our times of pain and we live though our times of fear. Theoretically, that is. We live through everything, until we die. Lately I feel hit over the head with philosophical sorts of thoughts. One is that hours go so quickly now, as if age has sped-up life and I am closer to death though in some ways I feel as though I have just begun to live.
Another thought is that both online and in real life, friends have said that they used to feel so small and lacking in confidence but perchance, karma, or complement, they married men who were strong and daring and thus these beautiful talented women became stronger and more self assured. I said to one such friend, over tea, that love gives us confidence. She knows that her husband ‘has her back’ and loves her unconditionally, so there is less to fear. We all want to love and to be loved, I said. She smiled and nodded.
And then we both paused, because of course no man has my back, loves or is loved by me. So she said, to break the sad little silence: “Someday when you find someone…” and I didn’t even hear what came next because I was so happy to hear that I Would (optimistically speaking) find someone, someday. And, that does not mean that I am not happy now, busy now, or am lonely and friendless. Well alright, sometimes I am lonely, but it’s because I know what love is. Of course I would choose to be in love!
When in love, there is someone around to share a laugh, someone you’ll freely tell the stupid things you’ve done, so stupid as to be funny when shared–with him.
It’s going to sleep or waking with the knowledge that there in the dark, there is someone who cares. And when you snuggle and spoon, drowsy and weary, it feels right, because you are where you belong.
The one you love is someone you can be yourself around, no matter how your self is.
You are special to him because he is better with you, just like you are better for being with him. Stronger, confident, more at ease. Not bionic, but your best self.
He even thinks you are worth one Sunday–just one–away from the TV during football season… unlike the man whom I dated and who proclaimed his Love for me yet could not spare missing even one game in four months though considering himself a fan, not a fanatic. It’s like saying: “You are not worth it. WE are not worth it. Football is more important…”
Do you notice that Saying you love someone is not nearly the same as Showing it?
The thought of this denouement makes me feel used and stupid. I guess his feelings for me weren’t really love then, were they? I still feel bruised over that little gem of a conversation. And, bruised over the selfless giving of love that could not be reciprocated. Love that picked him up at airports, attended funerals, toured his old haunts, sat holding his hand in the hospital… and yet, I could not ask for one afternoon for something we (or I) had wanted to do but that we had not gotten around to (I wonder why??) for two summer seasons.
One of my friends had said that expecting a man (a person? this man?) to clue-in to be giving or to reciprocate was expecting a mind reader, so I had better ask. Be specific, she said. Ask and you shall receive, ask and it shall be clarified, to him. Following her advice, I asked. I asked for one afternoon to go somewhere. He answered with scorn and scoff, as if I asked too much, as if it was my place to give but not his. Ouch, the pain doesn’t want to take its leave. It is all so clear now, so obvious. Obviously his wasn’t true love if it melted like ice when football season began…
May you know love. May we all know love, eventually.