This is a part of Twenties Unscripted Writing Challenge, #WYAOApril. Musings on love. Enjoy!
Memory no. 24:
The texture of tepid mists that ripen the tomatoes and make okra lilies bloom
Make me blush shades of the rose quartz near my womb
Your nails firmly pressed into my palms
keep calm in fits of laughter
delighting in fresh picked strawberry arugula salad
duck attacks by quiet manmade creeks
How many birds have we frightened now by being genuine
but my favorite feeling is a tie between
reverberating effervescent silence warmth vibrating in my blood
and the cadence of that knowing watermelon smile when you chuckle at my feigned ignorance, my melodramatic silliness
I’ll remember, I’ll remember, I’ll remember
When love paused on a damselfly’s back and illuminated her lacey wings
I’ll remember reciprocating with tea and witty banter & closed eyes
what three words in English verge inadequate to communicate:
This remains new.
She calls us the most likely least likely duo. Ha. I recall having sentiments that really defied any particular label toward you. Song of Solomon made a bit more sense–you know, when she says she wishes her beloved was her brother so she could shower with affection without judgment? Yeah, I overstood then. At the same time, I just really desired to be your best friend–we flowed pretty well; I processed my thoughts quicker and more accurately; i recharged, and so did you. Vibes flying and curiosity building–I think I probably always loved you, but ego, denial ran interference.
Love, I learned, we learn in context, sharing ourselves with other people, who are also flawed, temperamental, capricious, rough around the edges; they polish and refine you. Those people that break you down have the potential to show you the depths of your own compassion, resilience, and faith in the midst of immense pain.
No, I am not advocating for Stockholm syndrome. But you haven’t truly lived until you’ve been betrayed. Passed over and around, kicked to the side in favor of the pursuit of riches, status, sex, their own interests.
And given the opportunity to repay the evil, I didn’t kick back.
Are we least likely because we can’t see it coming? Are we most likely because we are so alike, we mirror each other?
I realized while you deliberately broke me down, as acutely as it hurt, that I HAD to feel more than just arbitrary fondness or infatuation. Self-preservation instinct screamed at me to retaliate. Finish him! Ruin him! But I couldn’t dare be so hateful. I realized as I braced the flaming sword above your head, I couldn’t lop off your head. Oh, no, I thought, you are actually this significant to me; your mind, emotions and will matter to me. I mean, maybe I actually love my mortal enemy?
Even while unpacking that,
Love is quieter and more conventional now, haha. I have a range of exuberant expressions (gifts and lyrical declarations) and some practical things, like bringing a sick friend soup. Love isn’t just good morning texts or liking the same music, not that cut and dry, as five hour phone calls. Love is praying together for one another. Love is studying Scripture, then waxing poetic about how awesome God is. Love is protecting even when it’s difficult, and telling the truth at the risk of being on someone’s “bad side.” In fact, love is risk-taking, trusting, believing the best, hoping in the middle of worst case scenario, reconciling, humbling, transforming.
I loved at deeper levels, more profoundly, after I understood “unconditional” as without condition, clause, extenuating circumstance, or time limit. Desiring the best for someone’s physical, social, mental, spiritual well-being, even without being a part of their lives. Love is generous, hopeful, unwavering, as strong as death.
I love others, and you. Love is so much for than what we attempt (and often fail) to describe, signify, or settle for. It is healing inside out, refreshing, resplendent, radiant, transcendent.
- You can continue to love someone without being reconciled to them. What a glory ache it is to love somebody from a distance! But it’s a protective measure.
- You can love someone exponentially more, appreciate, value, demonstrate, and persist in love after you’ve gone through the testing, the forgiveness and restoration. You accept (not merely tolerate) the endearing and the not-so-cuddly aspects of their person, and decide to literally love the hell out of them.
- If Love lifted me when nothing else could help, then by electing to love when I don’t feel like it, I lift, uphold, empower the “irredeemable.” That is radically great power. That is being godly.
- I not only wield, possess, and embody that restorative power within myself, but I have great responsibility to love unconditionally.
- Don’t dilute the strength of true, pure, noble, righteous, praiseworthy, excellent love with the impure motives of lust.
- Love is holy, of one, sacred–not because it’s associated with an edifice, or chubby winged babies, or splashed with Florida water and anointing oil, or fueled by mere passion alone.
Holy is love, because it plunges in deep waters and goes through fire, yet emerges intact, purer and truer than 24-karat gold.