I resisted posting this one, but it wouldn’t relent. So here goes…vulnerability in all its glory. A writer’s cross to bear, I suppose.
This is my surrender- an offering up of the thoughts that have been lodged in my chest, swirling around in my head and robbing me of sleep.
It’s time to let them go, to let him go.
In essence, this is the final spark, the one you see when the wick of a candle reaches its end, just before the flame is extinguished.
I’ll warn you in advance, there’s nothing revolutionary here. Just a girl, laying down her arms…with the hope of finding peace.
I woke up thinking about you.
Brushed my teeth,
Thought of you.
The cream settles in my coffee…
It never seems to stop,
This thinking of you.
For the light to filter through the blinds.
I wait, for you.
To open your eyes and whisper, boo.
You gravitate toward her, dimmed, craving light
Exposed, you retreat.
Love, truth…she is no place to hide.
That moment she realized,
she felt closer to him when he was 10,000 miles away.
You’re too colorful for those who live in black and white.
She loves more than she’ll ever get back.
…and still, she loves.
I woke up thinking about you.
Brushed my teeth,
Thought of you.
The cream settles in my coffee…
I wonder when this will stop,
This thinking of you.
You wanted a distraction, wild, beautiful,
But not to be kept.
You lost a treasure, rare, extraordinary,
Impossible to forget.
When he doesn’t ask you to stay,
…and you love yourself enough to walk away.
* all illustrations by Rebecca Dautremer
It’s regarding the subject I keep coming back to.
Not the “make shit disappear” kind, the other kind. Although that kind is a bit more difficult to define.
Here is Merriam-Webster’s attempt:
“An extraordinary power or influence seemingly from a supernatural source. Something that seems to cast a spell.”
I don’t think that does it justice, though…
I think it is impossible to define magic, just as it is to define love or evil or god. But this is what makes us human, I suppose. Our inherent need to define everything around us- to place all things firmly and tangibly into reality- I believe is one our greatest tragedies…magic’s nemesis.Most things clearly defined leave little room for the extraordinary.
– b. breazeale
For me, it’s a feeling or experience…or how an experience makes you feel. It’s electric, exhilarating- the sound of waves crashing against the shore. Or it’s soft, tranquil- a hummingbird in flight.
It disregards time, is indifferent to circumstance, and deems logic absurd. It’s elusive, fickle, fleeting- sometimes bold, sometimes mysterious- but always undeniable. It can be terrifying, detonating the safe place we created that lulled us into complacency.
But what is it, exactly?
My experience of it is the warm glow of a harvest moon, a flower drenched in sunlight, and a sky full of stars. It’s the call of a kookaburra, the wind dancing on the ocean, and the smell of morning in spring. It’s a rustle in the trees when there is no breeze or a whisper that brushes your cheek when there is no one to speak.
It’s love, feeling it, unabashedly, and seeing it reflected back in the eyes of the person you want to spend the rest of your days with.
None of these experiences are lost on me. I see magic all around me, constantly. Except for the last one. That one I can’t seem to find.
I’ve had glimpses of it. But it’s proven to be more of a disappearing act…not the kind of magic I had in mind. Now, I’m finding myself looking around for the little man behind the curtain. Except there are no ruby slippers or home to go back to.
Courage, though, that I have…and a brain. But a new heart, that one I’ll take. I think mine has permanently lost its shape- too many cracks, too many pieces left behind for those who didn’t know what they’d found.
Of all things intangible, magic might be the most elusive. It is a very real force that influences almost every moment of our childhood, allowing us to navigate our world curious, uninhibited, full of wonder, and open to every possibility. But this elusive force will inevitably succumb to its nemesis: reality. We all have to grow up, right? We all must face reality.
So, like most people, magic eluded me for decades, until reality had sucked all the life out of me, and I realized that the only one who could save me had gone missing.
– b. breazeale
Love and magic, the elusive duo I have risked so much for, lost so much for…and hope is quickly following suit.
But it does exist, right? I mean, you’ve heard about it, haven’t you? The sweet, elderly couple who still dance in the kitchen, the guy who flies across the globe to win her back, the seemingly impossible love that persevered against all odds…the chance meeting that turns into that epic love story.
I understand it’s rare. It means risk, vulnerability, potential rejection, and unbearable pain. It’s terrifying, really. We now know the stakes, and they are high. We have tasted heartbreak, and it is brutal.
But we can make a choice. To take the risk, to heal and grow, love better, feel more. Or, we can retreat, build up our walls and remain in the realm of comfortable, safe…ordinary.
I know you skeptics and non-believers out there are shaking your heads. This isn’t a fairytale. No one is going to climb up my balcony and whisk me off to happily-ever-after. This is reality.
I’ve heard you, I’ve actually dated you. You have adequately presented your case- a convincing one to be sure- and your actions have been deafening. Your work is done here. So as you were.
But for you believers, can you help a romantic out here? Because she is, in fact, starting to feel hopeless.
Show me it exists. Tell me your stories, or stories of someone you know, or ones you’ve heard- whether they be epic or seemingly small, day-to-day things you do to sustain it.
Please, for all of us who refuse to settle, help us believe…magic is real and love can be extraordinary.
Because honestly, why waste our time on anything less?
I’m admittedly sad this is my last day to share the words I love most. I want to thank my dear virtual friend, brandewijnwords again for the inspiration he always finds a way to elicit.
I’m of course breaking the rules, again. I couldn’t decide on one..so I picked five. There are just too many. (more of my favorites, visit @summoningmagic)
My response got a bit intense, but I guess I’m a little intense, so…
“There are no half measures in love, only all or nothing. And if it doesn’t make you tremble and go mad at the very thought of its absence, you should move on.”
~ Beau Taplin//Move on
“I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, “For the same reason I laugh so often- because I’m paying attention.” ~ Glennon Doyle
“She loves deep and fast. With all of herself, or not one bit. She’ll give people all of her light, in turn struggle to understand when they don’t pay that back. She wants you to think she can’t be hurt, but truth is, she gets hurt easier than most. She is fierceness and tenderness, within the same breath. This is her beauty. In her total lack of in betweens.”
~ Carson Patrick Bowie
“I have this terrible urge to be reckless…and I am dreadfully frightened of becoming old and having no memories at all. And I know climbing forbidden fences is wrong, so I’ll stick to falling in love with the wrong people and falling off metaphorical trees. I am just dying to do something worth remembering. I suppose there is no logic, not really…only that if I bleed now, I’ll have a lifetime left to heal.” ~ Sue Zhao
“It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”
~ David Jones
I’m not sure where to go with these, other than to address the underlying theme- feeling…to a point that defies logic. It is, in fact, a blessing and a curse.
The blessing-when I feel love or joy or see something beautiful, it fills me up completely, every part of me. You can see it my eyes and hear it in my voice. I’ve been told it’s infectious, affecting, even altering the mood of those around me.
And this is exactly why it’s also a curse. When I’m hurt or sad or angry, I wear it like a cloak. It penetrates every part of me…as it does those around me.
It doesn’t last long. I can usually find ways to avoid getting caught in it…most of the time.
I wish it was something I could manage better. But I’ve always been like this. I’ve always seemed to get hurt easier than most and take on the pain of those around me. But this never stopped me. I risked it every time. I’d feel a connection with someone and immediately love them with everything I had. And I got hurt over and over again.
I get hurt, over and over again.
Except now, it has intensified. I was too reckless. I got hurt to the point that something shattered. And it still feels like there’s a gaping wound in the depths of what is now my foundation. I can’t see it, but I feel it, always.
Now, every time I feel something, good or bad, it grazes that part of me that’s now exposed. It’s become sensitive to the touch, so much so, almost everything brings me to tears.
So it’s not just when something hurts, but also when I see or feel something beautiful…a feeling I never thought I would experience again. But when it’s something painful, it immediately takes me back to that place, that time, when something shattered, and I’m afraid it really will take a lifetime to heal.
But what’s the alternative? I play it safe, detach myself, avoid the risk of getting hurt, even if there’s the chance that it could be something beautiful, that it could be magic?
I can’t. I won’t. I’ll keep trying, risking the fall, feeling everything.
Even if it means getting hurt, over and over again.
I sometimes wish my heart would callous. When it’s surpassed its threshold, an impenetrable fortress would rise, defenses firmly in place.
But it doesn’t…
It remains open, taking in everything at once,
with an intensity that maybe one day…will transform good intentions, into magic.
*Illustration by Rebecca Dautremer
“Do you believe soulmates exist?”
My friend asked me this as he was telling me about his impending breakup.
“And if they do, how do we know we’ve found our actual soul mate vs. just a deep connection or fleeting love? Is it really worth the energy and potential pain if we’re not sure?”
I answered the first question without hesitation. “Yes, absolutely.” But the second one gave me pause. How do you know, especially in the beginning, when it all feels magical?
But yes, there is definitely a distinction. Putting it into words, however, is the equivalent of trying to explain how it feels to be loved or to have faith.
But that’s hard to conjure up on a whim, especially while trying to avoid saying all the things that made me cringe when I was in the thick of a heartbreak.
My enlightened response?
“I don’t know…you just know.”
If that doesn’t make you cringe…ambiguities and sweeping generalizations are the last thing you want to hear when your heart is being ripped out. You want fucking answers.
So I decided it best to keep my mouth shut, nod my head empathetically and refrain from rattling off reasons why it’s for the best. All I really wanted to do, however, was encourage him to memorize how he feels right now so he’ll remember the next time this happens: the pain really doesn’t last forever…I think.
Thankfully, I opted to keep my mouth shut.
I saw his relationship unfold from the beginning. There were obvious warning signs, but he couldn’t see them, of course. We rarely can.
We’re too immersed in the present moment, relishing in the excitement of discovery. We finally found someone who fits, who can finish our sentences, celebrate our quirks, shine light on the beautiful parts that get lost when no one’s there to name them. We found someone to play with, to laugh with, to make our hearts fuller, lighter. We found our soul mate…
Or did we? How do we know for sure, if what we found is real, if it’s worth the gamble when the stakes are so high.
We don’t, I guess…until we do.
Okay, I don’t really know that “you just know.”
It makes sense that you would. I’ve heard that’s how it works. But I honestly can’t speak from experience. I’ve never met mine, not that kind, I don’t think. I thought I did. But, I would know, right?
The whole thing got me thinking. Not just about ‘finding my soulmate’, all of it- the different shades, degrees and patterns of connection, love and relationships.
But seriously, I’m still here? 101? I should have a Ph.D. in this shit by now. Or at least be making substantial progress. So why do I still feel like I’m learning how to spell?
Y-O-U A-R-E D-O-I-N-G T-H-I-S A-L-L W-R-O-N-G
No, this isn’t where I want to be- sifting through relationships that are frustrating and unfulfilling. And truly, as much as it might appear to consume me, I’m not on some mad quest to find the one. I’m fine with a break from it all, knowing that I’m still a bit fragile and borderline calloused…not a good place to start from, I’ve discovered.
Yet they continue to surface, and I continue to play them out: these impossible scenarios that turn into an insidious dance- one that gets replayed over and over, making sure I stay a little fragile and increasingly calloused.
So time for a bit more self-reflection (which I assure you, I’m super excited about).
However, I have additional incentive this time; my friend needs some answers.
So I’m doing a little research…
Next week: No assignments. Attendance encouraged, open-mind required.
Extra credit for any shared soulmate encounters.