At one moment in my youth, I lived briefly through rose-tinted visions, nineteen and reeling in the whirlwind of discovery, and maintaining some assemblance of mental order. I had met and loved a few men my age, equally dazed and confounded by this paradoxical newness of purpose and devotion to reckless abandon.
The 1st taught me the disillusion in obsession. The 2nd taught me that there were actual men who lusted after me. The 3rd gave me the ability to admit I had a lot to learn in lovers' arms. The 4th taught me unrequited love is a sickness to be cured by abandonment. And then, there was you, my 1st true love.
I will always feel your trauma inside of me. No apologies can ever do it justice. You were a trembling lover who only let go... as I brushed the hair back over your ear while you slept. The French have named it a little death that left you excising demons in my arms, You caught truth inside the words of Emily Dickinson.
"The heart asks pleasure first,
And then, excuse from pain;
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;
And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The liberty (privilege) to die."
By means of writing our names in strange signatures, you scribbled that passage of her poem by the side, and I felt it my duty and privilege to mend and sanctify your struggling and suffering. Your kind of insanity was prudent, necessary for your survival. You thought you were lucky to have me. But I fell from the grace of our exaltation.
I have no reason other than the confusion within between my mind, heart, and flesh. Split from reason, voices around and inside myself beckoned me to try rekindling my obsessions, my lust for more than sanctity and safety. I betrayed you, and I can't forgive myself for the ignorance and lust for more than what I had always dreamed.
I never did and won't ever deserve you. I do this, go through this... daily. But if you should need me, for any reason, other than the love I yearned to have for decades, seek me out. I will not bite at the chance to return to your love. This yearning wishes not to be forgiven; that isn't how life and the unknown play out mankind's destiny. I can't promise a perfection in time. To know that you are safe and relatively sound, that is my bond... for whatever it is worth.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
– Harper Lee
To Kill A Mockingbird
Many parts of my life fall under this definition of courage. Without courage, confidence is impossible to possess. There is no reason to persist if you don't gain confidence from what you have accomplished, and then by that means gain the ability to believe in what you will accomplish.
Love takes courage to carry on and to see it through. There's another quote by an unknown author that says that sometimes courage is a quiet hope at the end of the day, of a voice saying "I'll try again tomorrow". Too many times I backed down when I shouldn't have, withholding my truth and apologizing for making things too difficult for my lovers. It would have been wonderful if I hadn't. That's one of my faults: lack of courage in dealing with my partners of the past. Compromise is the truth learned with age, but learn from me and don't sell yourself short in love.
Determination to pursue your passion in your vocation also takes courage. I can't count the number of times that I've put down my passion as silly or pointless. Like the quote at the beginning of this rant, that's not the point of doing it. All success should be celebrated, but it's the difficult work that's most worth doing.
Another of my faults here is not surrounding myself with helpers. I was encouraged to stand alone and be self-reliant, but to the point of turning away others when they tried to be there for me. When they tried to help me see that everybody needs help in some aspect of their lives at most times. My life's work is one place where I should have learned that earlier, and I only have myself to blame for it. I squandered my opportunities with inaction, when my current partner professed his belief in me, in so many aspects of myself and my life. I don't intend to make that mistake again.
So to you, the audience, please take these ramblings of a madman, what I have professed... keep them in your mind for those moments when you find yourself in similar situations. Love is meant to be love with courage. Life is meant to be lived with courage. And your life's work is meant to be pursued with courage. I hope you've found something that will help you this Spring, and possibly beyond this moment in time. Class dismissed.