This week I spoke with a dear friend who lost a relationship that she had believed to be, as they say, the one. I knew them both, and probably believed in it as much as they did. Its end pains me both for their sake as well as the memories it reminds me of in my own lost loves.
She spoke to me on the phone, seemingly unable to pause in the description of her state, not even realizing that I was previously unaware of their breakup, which occurred some time ago. It is striking to me to witness the feelings of brokenness and the paths it motivates us (or forces us in resort) to take. None of her words resounded more to me than “what do you do?” when the risk of love fails you and the emotional repercussions are all you’re left with. I have no answer for this, which breaks my heart as much as the reason its needed. All I can offer is my own feeble story and the hope that the places our experiences have drawn parallels has even the slightest ease on what I know she feels right now. That is all I have to offer, and it bring me here to this page, because it is the same reason I write.
I was asked tonight by a friend of a friend why the word intimacy is tattooed on my hand. My usual reply is along the lines of “the meaning of life.” Though his opinion differed, we understood of each other that words mean much more to us, especially words with which we would define life, because of all the sentiments a single word can bring with it in our own hearts. The sentiments included in the ink on my hand includes the sharing of stories, the growing, hearing, loving each other that everything within me points to, even if I fail miserably to achieve it. And so I can only rest in the sharing of hearts, doing whatever I can to share the pain of this friend who’s beauty has had considerable significance to me.
It is my own story and words like this that are all I can offer:
When love beckons to you follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
I hope that any of my readers out there don’t mind my occasional unrestrained honesty. Its often one of the few things I still have hope in.