I’m aware how easy it is to spin in theory and not ever move into praxis. I think about this all the time, but even more so since hitting “publish” on yesterday’s post. I’ve been palpably aware of where this hits me between the eyes – and smarts! Being alone. Being single. Not being in a significant-other relationship.
No platitudes or lofty thoughts about my worth, my value, or someday-my-prince-will-come choruses appease the monster that roars within me, longing for love.
Clare Campbell speaks of this powerfully in her post “Single, stunning, and not beyond love.” Kelly Diels speaks of it often and in cut-to-the-quick ways. I linked yesterday to one of many such examples. And music, music, music! Are there enough songs out there that remind me of what I desire, what I hope for, what I’m ready for, what I want? Even today, while doing a zillion other projects and working on this post: James Morrison, Sara Bareilles, Holly Brook, Ingrid Michaelson. And that doesn’t even include the R&B channel I’ve set up on Pandora. Enough already. Or is it?
Despite the part of me that is irritated by the constant reminder of what I don’t have, I can’t get enough of it. It’s as though desire breeds more desire, hope breeds more hope, and love breeds the desire and hope for more love.
This is my personal desert.
I’ve known others.
•The heartbreaking end of first love.
•The excruciating return of blood after the exhilarating hope for life, for fertilization, for pregnancy.
•The struggle and slow death of a 15-year marriage.
•The looks on my daughters’ faces when I told them of the divorce and the days, weeks, months, and years of their ache that has followed…and still does.
•The seasons of therapy where I wrestled with family of origin issues.
•The loss of my job.
•The more recent endings, failings, disappointments.
•The day-to-day wonderings of whether my writing, my speaking, my doing-what-I-most-love will pay my mortgage, feed my kids (and pay for their cellphones), help me thrive.
I’ve said it repeatedly: the desert is not virgin terrain for me. I know it well.
But this one haunts me.
David Whyte has said that “you can be sure you are not beyond love…” I believe him, somewhere deep down inside. It’s the day-to-day merging of theory and praxis (again) that causes me angst. Frankly, it’s the lack of merging, the gap between, the space, the rambling-around-in-my-own-head-and-body-and-heart that drives me crazy.
No answers. No respite. Just more sand.
…Time to go into the dark / where the night has eyes / to recognize its own.
There you can be sure / you are not beyond love.
The dark will be your womb / tonight.
The night will give you a horizon / further than you can see…
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn
anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
(From Sweet Darkness by David Whyte – House of Belonging)
I get it. I can’t settle. I have to hold out for the good stuff, for the best. Maybe not for the guy-on-the-white-horse, but definitely someone who is not too small for me, who brings me alive.
No, that’s not quite it either. I AM alive. I want someone who recognizes such because he’s alive too, fans that flame with abandon, and wouldn’t love anything/anyone less.
That’s not too much to ask, is it?
No. It’s not.
So I wait. I desire. I hope. I want. I build sandcastles in the desert.
And I think of the quote I used at the very beginning of this Lenten series:
…to create, to take what we find in the shadows of our lives and craft what never before has been seen.
Mmm hmm. Sandcastles weren’t quite what I had in mind.