The beginning of time as he knew it was in early April of 1985. Before then he clung to absolutes. Everything was as it was supposed to be and everything had its place. He was not happy, but he walked on through what he imagined was the purpose of life. Soon he would stumble, but there were events that would change everything about his life. Everything he saw and everything he imagined as true became clouded. Plans for the future, as he put them in motion, had been mechanical. His goals were ones that could be clearly written down on paper. Progress could be tracked.
Life is not so simple.
There was nothing in his life that resembled faith. There was no faith in anything other than one building block leading on to the placement of the next building block. Everything fit neatly into its slot. He had even chosen a girl to become his future partner. This was a girl he did not love. It was a girl who made sense within the parameters of the definitions he gave his life. He told he her loved her because that was what he believed girls wanted to hear. She had the right ingredients to meld with him and become a formidable team. This would all work out just fine. Once he became an adult the pieces would fit nicely and everything would be perfect.
He considered himself an adult at the age of nineteen.
It was in that time where all young people believe they know the answers and they know exactly how everything is going to happen. He was wrong and it would cost him. He talked in absolutes. He talked about what was true and what was false. It would take many years before he realized that there is no black and white.
There are only shades of gray.
You know when you have been blindsided in life and yet it takes you a long time to understand how and why. It can be a wake up call for the youthful belief that you know far more than you even realize is possible to know. You think these things make sense. You frame them in the context of the present. Yet, you know nothing.
They will mess with you for the rest of your life. They will mess with you more so because you believe you know exactly what they mean. You know nothing. I know nothing. No one knows anything. We see things only through one pair of eyes, if we are so lucky to have a pair of eyes, and we believe those eyes can see everything. We believe what we see. We see nothing.
If you browse the landscape of your life to this point, how many times can you remember. How many times can you remember thinking "This is it. This is how it will be." How many times do you laugh when you remember. How many times do you laugh when you think about how those beliefs look in the present tense. You've accumulated more information. You have learned more.
There is more to a glass of water than just the water and the glass.
There are things that do not change. They are not stagnant in your memory, but alive. They remind you of things. You write about them. You think about them. You dream about them. There are things that stay with you all your life. These things are precious, and regardless of that stand you made, defiantly crying out that you were right about something you now know you were terribly wrong about, there are things that remain. There are things you cannot forget and things you cannot reinterpret in your mind. These are the true things. These are the things that matter. You didn't change the world, but you believed you could at one point. You believed you had the magic formula. You believed you could make something happen that would stun the masses. You truly believed. Your ideas and your visions were real, but they changed. You began to understand that you were not the only person with ideals.
There was a time...
Our relationships with people are on another level. They can rise to a higher level or sink to the most base and cruel level imaginable. We destroy people. We help people. We praise people. We tear people down. There are more things that we do to each other than can be measured by any level of mathematics or science. We throw dirt on each other's graves and we dig each other up to see if we are "okay." What does it mean. We orbit each other like wayward satellites looking for a home. We seek distance. We seek intimacy. We seek friendship. We seek understanding. We seek closure.
She came to me.
It was nothing like a dream.
It was like going to the candy store and finding they were sold out of everything. It didn't matter. She was there. I didn't need any candy. I needed something else. I needed to learn something. There was a lesson. It changed me forever, both through torment and actualization. She told me who I was without any words. The words were what she used later to remind me. She tore me down to show me who I was. She never wanted anything from me. She cried silently in the night wishing she could take something from me. She could not. She told me to question myself and to learn from my mistakes. Everytime I slipped she was there to tell me why I slipped. Our relationships with other people are not defined by a moment of passion or a short-term understanding of common interests. They are determined by the ability to teach and to learn.
We seem to try to avoid learning. We laugh at those who point out our foibles and shortcomings. We become defensive when others tell us we may be wrong or may need to re-examine our beliefs and our lives. We don't like to admit fault or weakness. We struggle with the image we have of ourselves and want so much to be validated through the eyes of others. We are always doing wrong and yet we hate to be reminded of it. We build walls. We build defenses. We hide behind them and pretend. There is too much pretending.
Years go by and some things become trivial while others rise in importance. We know we let truly important things slip away while we concentrated on what mattered on that particular day. We take the easy way out. We are tired and we don't want to fight anymore. We want acceptance and we want to be loved. All too often we gain that by not being who we truly are.
She came to me like no one ever had and no one ever will.
She came to me.
She walked in.
She changed the color of the room.
I struggle with it every day.
She loved me and yet could never admit this. I was too weak to love someone who carried so many burdens and so much pain. She loved me too much to hurt me and did everything she could to make the road ahead smoother for me. She did what she could. She could do no more. It was something I could neither comprehend nor abandon.
Love is a strange and inexplicable emotion. It fires triggers throughout the heart, mind and body. It burns us. It tears us apart. And yet it rebuilds us and it puts out those fires. It does all things. It changes our beliefs and our vision. Everything becomes unhinged in the face of love.
We pervert the name of love.
Frequently and for our own purposes.
Because it is so easily done.
She might be dead. She might be alive. She might be sick. She might be well. She might be struggling. She might be flying high. If you know someone for fifteen years and they change your life on every level then you are tied to them. It is not something you can escape. There are things here than cannot be explained with logic. There are things that defy definition. They keep riding on into the night. There is pain in the kingdom and we keep it under careful guard. We smile upon the world. We wake up and we greet the day. It is a series of tasks to be done. The tasks take our mind away. Yet, somewhere, somehow, there is a dream unfulfilled and a wound that continues to bleed. She remembers. It is her curse that she cannot forget. The longing is hollow to her, but it resonates, and it will last.
You must find a way.