“Don’t be so judgmental about life” she said as she reached with her pointer finger to my nose and let it land right on its tip. I looked at it unfazed or maybe it was a stunned wondering. Like being taken out of a daze but still being in the dream.
I asked her after a couple minutes, “how do you think I am judgmental?”
A weight not heavy but muggy, a sorrow that permeates the atmosphere without really provoking an immediate, intense gash of pain and fear and anger. A slow, accumulation of disconnection and disappointment A reality that we accept. And we know we most move forward. And I know I must move forward in love, in hope, in striving for light. How do we turn the mourning into dancing while making sure to witness the mourning?
I am mad. But the anger is not one of blame and shouting, it is more one of energy lost and of striving to ponder “what changes?” “what speaks to hearts?” “what is true?”
Does anger speak? There needs to be a space for it.
I am mad at a culture that defines life, as a unitone emotion. That cannot suffer the bringing up of difficulties, of dissonance and standing with them. That cannot be responsible for actions, that was not taught that one can love and still mess up and fight and still be united.
How many friendships lost because of a fight that did not see a reconciliation because we are afraid to fight? So we do not face the annoyances, we do not face the dissonance…
To me we are not loving.
We are afraid of relationship.
Because relationship is not a fairy tale dream (even that analogy makes me mad) that everything is going to be perfect, and of course there is a balance to strike because everything shouldn’t be messed up either, but relationship is about good and bad.
Relationship is about sticking through it.
How many friendships, of your closest friendships are ones where you have let your worst shadows be revealed and even have perhaps been disconnected as a result. What is the strength of this relationship? Is it different?
We are afraid of showing our cores.
And with reason.
Is it because we live in a culture that has acclimated us to expect to get exactly what we want, how we want it, in the packaging that we want?
One of my closest friends told me the other day on the phone “I’m disappointed in life. I’m disappointed in people. That it’s okay to be mean.” This feeling echoes some of mine at this point.
Can we be vulnerable with people? There is amazing beauty in this vulnerability.
Still, I have found, and continue to find that maybe we are tricked. By our own selves.
We show our hearts and find excitement in each new encounter. A connection.
Is this honoring our sacred space? The garden I spoke of much a year and a half ago. A beautiful garden whose flowers we tend to, that strangers can come and speak to us and we are happy to speak to them and maybe after a few times of speaking we can invite them in. I know, we all want to just be seen, to just connect. But do we know each others gardens? Distance is not a bad thing. It echoes a reality. Is something special special if all other things are special? Is someone your “best friend” if all other people are as well? Do you honor your special love with that individual, all you have encountered, lived, overcome to be at this special place of intimacy and knowledge of each other if you are interacting with others in this same manner?
I think a lot of it has to do with the reality of the moment of history we are living in. We are in a time of transition, I see a long term transition like a 60 year Kondratieff cycle. We are connected throughout the world. Yet we have not really gotten to understand how to build and sustain relationships. Before, we lived in smaller quarters, our families knew each other, we relied upon letters of recommendation from people we personally knew. Had links and ties to. Time was different. Life etched into it in a different manner. I remember in a poli-sci class in college, an elderly man came and guest lectured about lobbying in DC and spoke of the change that happened when 24h news coverage hit. Pace of life used to be different, now, the world spun differently. Decisions are made differently. Relationships are made differently. Our souls are not yet knowing how to calm the desires of our hearts. Before, we sent letters to our loved ones. We continued our lives. Now we send a text, call and break down if there is no response (oh, is that only me? )
The heart calks itself to the expectations of this world: instant response, instant gratification, instant friend, instant love. There is intense pressure. And different parts of the transition. So maybe some relationships have adapted, there is a unity of life and pace. Maybe others have not. Some too fast, some too slow. A lack of communication because we don’t know what it is we should communicate about.
There are so many things that come into play in the concept and construct of relationship. Still, I see my friends falling for people in days and building plans in a month and falling a part in a year. I fall in love every day. And yes, there are different types of love, and I have still to recognize and define my affections and appreciations.
I want to build relationship. Through time. Through patience. Through trust. Do I do this? I try. Often I wonder if I am cutting myself off from the world and not participating in life and relationship with others. The pains and lost loves remind me of why. These days, as I remain grateful for those connections and losses, I wonder if life isn’t just about continuously losing and loving and losing and loving.
Breaking and molding and shattering and walking forward.
But as I reflect on this, I appreciate the peace though it often comes with sorrow. Because at least it doesn’t come with the gnawing pain that makes me burn and ache and toss and turn and break.
I’ve been calmed from the first storms of revealing of this world as a world of pain and untruth. It used to cut me so so deep. I was so certain. I would never love again. So certain. How we grow. I think of who I was, back then “You’re only 18” he had said. That doesn’t matter I thought with defiant knowing, in the strength and power of my love. In how this was the only thing that mattered. I look back now on who I was and I watch. I feel like a child now. A sweet child, ready to grow. Grateful, five years from when he said, I am not married to that man. I wouldn’t have grown to who I am now. All of the trials and pains and findings. I think, with a sweet fantasy, of a relationship that would be one of sweetness that builds and supports and how the parts of him I loved and still see in his smile and eyes, could bring that forward.
Tears come forward as I think of that intimacy shared. “I will love you forever” he would say. And that assuredness in the aftermath that I would love no other as I loved him. It’s still true in a way. I don’t think any other has cared for me as he did, shared life with me as he did. Or perhaps, as I allowed for in the blinded assuredness of my youth.
I am thinking of him, because I loved a part of him that he did not show to the world, or perhaps only when in my midst.
I am thinking of him because I loved how he brought a smile to those around him. And how I know, that love leads us to our better selves. At least, the fire that is brought on by that initial igniting.
So if this love of mine became as he did through this interaction, at least in my eyes, than how do we conciliate all of this? That relationship bring pain, that we have expectations that are immeasurable, that we need to be able to face dissonance and discord to grow in relationship, that no matter what, when you surrender to it, love brings forth beautiful fruit.
Still, let us recognize different loves, different places of intimacy and sacredness. Let us not be afraid of time, of time passing, of time missed, let us reach out in trust and express out of fear, and be lost and be shy and be fearless.
“Was the pain beautiful? Like a work of art, that looks f*ing torture but divinely beautiful?” she messaged me.
The pain isn’t beautiful.
My life is beautiful, I am beautiful.
I am grateful for how it has shaped me.
But the pain isn’t beautiful.
The pain is painful.