I’m wishing

I wish “I Love You” would be enough. Not the words of course, anyone can say them. I wish MY love would be enough. For you and me. forever. I wish your love for me would fulfill all the requirements that forever desires. We love each other deeply, I wish that were enough.

So many souls are wandering alone without a friend to hold. So many people have made the commitment to spend eternity together. So many have said “our love is enough” and foolishly rushed into mediocrity. But I love you isn’t enough. And you love me isn’t enough. And all the nights we spend falling asleep together laughing peacefully in each other’s arms…and yes, all the peaceful moments that we share….the way you relax my anxious mind and allow me to be…the way you silently caress the back of my neck while accidentally missing your turn…the way we keep on driving and singing or talking or in silence…it…isn’t…
Why isn’t our love enough? Why can’t it be guaranteed? Why?

Lighting just struck outside the window of this plane that I am on. And lighting strikes remind me of how people fall in love. Quickly. With a flash. And often followed by loud rumblings. A moment of perfection in a time of desperate need. Bright lights shooting through the soul. Electric connections buzzing in every inch of your body. A storm of emotions drawing two people together. Protecting each other until the storm passes.

Followed by quiet…

But we didn’t flash. We didn’t find love in the lights we found each other in the slow. Walking. Drinking tea. Daily texts. That’s the love that lasts. That’s how we know we can be forever. That’s how…

Life dictates what lasts forever as love stands right behind. So I can hold your hand in Ohio and I can long for you deeply from Oregon and still life whispers in my ear, “distance”.

Life give us please, that chance. Let us prove ourselves.. to ourselves… and find fulfillment in forever. Don’t take her away. Further than she is.

I wish our love was enough. I’m hoping life gives us a chance.

I’m wishing

Always Yessing Me

I just wrote: “I feel like I’ve lost an entire year of my life but gained my entire future”.

What a complex feeling (by which I mean, shitty and confusing, of course). This last year has been a blur. A painful and heartbreaking year chock-full of mistakes…or growing pains, I suppose. A year in which I never thought I would survive yet now I am nearly thriving…nearly.

I want to to look back on our 16 year marriage with fondness. I want to tell people that we “just grew apart”. I want to say, “we are still such good friends”. But we aren’t…and I don’t want to be. And we didn’t grow apart…we never grew together. And there are few fond memories despite the fact that we almost always got along. And yes, I’d say that was one of the biggest problems and one of the things I have learned I need to work on.

I was watching The Americans and this scene comes on where a separated couple (Stan and Sandra Beeman) have a fight. Stan tries to do something to connect with his estranged wife…she isn’t impressed…he lies about his feelings and she calls him out on it by saying  “This was the big problem in our marriage.  You were always “yessing” me to avoid conflict and you weren’t being yourself“. He then tells her exactly how he feels and she walks away.

I watched this and felt like I was watching T and I having a fight…except that we never had that fight…because I was always yessing her…which means that clearly this past year has also brought growth for me. I can recognize issues that I brought into our marriage and work to not repeat them with others.

I’ve also spent time looking at T and asking myself if I am better off for knowing her? And…sadly…I struggle to answer that question…I hope in time that changes but for now…all I see when I look at T is the same insecure 17 year old girl who always plays the role of victim and desperately needs attention from everyone around her. And please don’t get me wrong, she has a number of great attributes I’m just not sure that any of them helped me grow.

So as I continue to reflect on this past year, and as I inch closer to the seemingly never ending struggle to get paperwork signed off by a judge to make this divorce official, I see a year marked by pain, sadness, and fear. And yet, as I look towards the future, I see a life full of joy, peace,  and growth. Continual personal growth.

Yes, I’ve lost a year to divorce…but I’ve also gained a future.

 

Always Yessing Me

The difference a year makes

Looking back on the past year, I’m surprised at how much I have changed. How much growth I’ve seen and how much sorrow I’ve survived. The most surprising thing though is how different my 16 year marriage looks to me now…versus how I viewed it when T first decided it was over.

As I go back and read through early journal entries I see so much fear and weakness in myself. I put so much of my identity in trying to be a husband and father that I was unable to see how miserable I was.

T saw it..I’ll give her that.

She said we were done and I thought I was done. I could never find someone to love again…as if I knew what love was. I would never make it on my own…as if I had any idea of what “on my own” would look like. I was destined to die, young and alone. And then a funny thing happened…I moved on pretty quickly.

T said she wanted to see other people and I knew she already was and somehow, despite my complete lack of self-awareness, I found enough pride and personal worth to dust off my shoes and walk away. It still hurt, don’t get me wrong, but my perspective changed. Suddenly I didn’t want to be with her anymore. She found someone else that she was happy with. She didn’t want me…so why sit around and mourn her? I wouldn’t. And it was only a short time later that I didn’t.

And now I look back and see how sad our relationship was. Again, I want to clarify, we both tried and did the best we could but it was an unfulfilling marriage. In my journal I listed off 7 things that I loved about T. 4 of the 7 were about her looks. 4 out of 7 were superficial pointless vanity filled reasons. And the other 3 had to do with her treatment of my children and her treatment of the girls she works with (she is a great mother and advocate). I sat there realizing how sad both T and I must have been if the things I admired most about her were her pretty face.

I also saw how much blame I put on myself. And realized how much time T spent tearing me down. Telling me how depressed I was and how rude/unsocial I was. And in fairness,  that’s how I acted when I was around her. What came first? The judgement or the actions? Hardly matters now that it’s over.

I now see T as often wanting to be the victim. It’s T against the world. It’s how she thrived…and I became her enabler. I never stood up to her. I never called her out. I was so afraid that any misstep would cause her to leave me that I was never authentic with her, or myself for that matter. And then she left anyway. In many ways I am grateful to her for having the strength to leave. She had checked out of our marriage years earlier and I was unable to see that I had barely checked into life.

One year later, I’m growing…trying new things…adventuring…and gaining confidence. I’m learning to communicate with others, despite the risk of offending (losing) them. I’m learning to hear my own voice, my own needs, my own feelings and finding freedom.

Now that she is gone there is a strange sense of relief. It isn’t a particularly pleasant feeling but it’s relief. It reminds me of when a migraine headache starts to fade away…there is this feeling of relief mixed in with a memory of the pain. It’s all still there…mashed together…yet  each time the pain fades a new feeling of strength fills its place. I’ve come a long way and I have a long way to go and I’m exited for my future.

The difference a year makes

Pretending

He doesn’t love you
He loves his reflection 
And you are his mirror

Duty calls
Commitment stays
And you are a shadow in his dreams
Following behind 
Pretending

Religion of youth
Led you to reject
The morals and principles of parents

And you aren’t wrong
But he isn’t right
Pretending

The story has not been finished 
An ending is coming to be sure
Happy
(I hope)
Sadly
(I am sure)

Tired of being a shadow
 

Pretending

I Still Love You

I’m in love with a girl
and love is so hard
but love is real
to know
to feel

Emotions are loved
and love isn’t emotion
But I won’t define
not today

I’m in love with a girl
She’s perfect to me
a beautiful soul
with amazing grace
and honestly broken
(we are)

With laughter
and tears
of love
of goodness
of patience
(so much)

And other fruits too
then so much more

And this is what’s right
To be free to love when love has been taken away
when love wasn’t there in the first place

when you are tired of being treated like something you’re not
a heartless robot?
when you are tired of being a trophy
or simply not being seen
when you become aware of  your value
and you stop, smile, and beam

to love and be loved
and it makes your soul Grrrr!
and your skin…
(sigh)

And still we love
those in the past
and we fear the future
because of that past

Love is so hard
and fear is also right
and I’m in love with a girl
and Grrrr!

I Still Love You

Anyway

“Get in the car and drive”
Love just pulled up and said to me

But I know better than to ride with strangers
Candy isn’t that sweet anyway

And anyway

Seat belt on
Let’s ride

Remove this bitter taste
Or crash
And burn
And lie to me about lies

I’ve become attached to our speed
The taste of wind flying free
As we drive slow and dangerously
Dangerous we

And anyway

Let’s see where this goes
Can’t get lost when you have a back seat
Naive is just another word for something we both need

Anyway

Four Strings

As music from our cello slowly fills the air, little boys go dancing in the street. All four strings tuned in perfect fifths of memories and songs of those in love. 

And only one could play this instrument as she knows who’s heart is loved. For this cello plays not song and string but magic of friendship and romance and pain. Its songs will pull your heart into lives unknown yet perfectly connected.  

And if you ask, this cello will tell, that love and pain are shared. For it is not love if it can not hurt and even in longing there is pain. 

And as I long for you I search to find this cello and it’s maker. And search to find and make it play the purest form of song. To listen to it’s magic as we embrace again. I would hold you tightly as we listen to its melodies as it sings us into old age. So many stories its strings could tell, of how we met and fell in love and how we loved each other so completely that no one, including us, would believe. 

Yet belief in love is a foolish thing and cellos hardly sing. So the music will be empty and the cellist will grow old. Dust collects, hairs gray, and cars are given away. Empty back seats are filled with children (and this always makes us smile) but passion is forgotten and trips to the corner store are just for milk and eggs. 

 Except for somewhere, when we find ourselves together again (and we both know this will be true) that our cello starts to hum and sing as magic plays its tune. It’s just one song that needs to play as music lasts forever.  

And mid song, mid life our eyes would touch…but for a moment…the glance of forever passing in a crowded room. And the world stops, at least for two, and tears roll as memories return. 

The music will not stop again, we promise to the other. The songs will play if we play them ourselves, though neither of us know how. And then one more walk as comfort surrounds us. One more kiss on your salt stained cheek. And finally one more goodbye.

Eyes grow tired and souls grow weak and together we have always been…
…years pass and boys become men and we were meant to be. If only in the music. 

Four Strings