Thursday, April 5, 2012

Time Enough for Love

Time Enough for Love

Time is an avalanche,
the work of a single snowflake,
fallen. Its weight settles
on some unnamed mountain’s peak
where the scene shudders at its touch.
Careless in its perfect snowflake symmetry,
time rumbles down the mountain
as if it too followed the law of gravity.

Time is a magnet,
the powerful pull of opposites
growing stronger as they draw closer.
It is an avalanche of force
become irresistible as one hand nears the other.
Minutes and hours surrender
to the seduction of North and are,
for a time, a compass.

Our time comes. I feel it
as though I am the avalanche,
as though the cascade of my years summons me
to the valley where you wait.

Our time comes. I feel it
as though I have walked away from the North pole
and my direction becomes clear,
as though time twists
the time and space between us
and makes it small.

I’ve had the idea of that poem eating away at me for days. I just have this inexorable feeling that something is coming. I talked about it briefly in the “Foretelling” post. You are welcome to think I’m a little crazy, letting myself trust my feelings and something like tarot cards. I might think so too, if I cared. I can feel it in my chest, like a warmth around my heart, as though that space was expanding, growing, opening in a way it never has when I’ve been alone. I find myself coming to love new people, more people and speaking as I mean to without fear. Let the consequences be damned, the woman is beautiful and deserves to hear it. -wink & a smile-

This feeling has settled on me like the first sip of coffee in the morning. I can feel it spilling down over my tongue, down through my chest and spreading like the delight and heat of a mocha. Whether it is simply hope that has seized me in my arms and holds me closer than a lover or if this is the caress of Fate herself, I am content to linger. I am ready.

There is no calendar, no clock involved. Just time. Time that shrinks and fades, time that disappears into past as the present is born anew. In one of those presents, I will feel her lips on mine, I will taste her, breathe her, love her, live her. She will see me, love me, forgive me for all the flaws that I wear so boldly and cherish me. The time comes. She comes. I can feel her.

I love the word cherish. It has the taste, the comfort and warmth of this feeling inside me. It has a meaning that transcends the word love. Even the dictionary definition is beautiful because it is a list of words that are all a tiny part of this word. Love is one of them, but there are so many. Cherish, I think, has a component that makes it about the one you cherish. Love, in one or more of its many incarnations, can be selfish. I’m not certain that cherish can. It can’t, for me.

The word, cherish, reminds me of another concept I’m fond of, caritas. Caritas is a description of love that I would like to blatantly acquire from a certain religion and affix my own definition to. It is similar to the Greek “agape” and can be defined as “altruistic” love. That definition bothers me, however, because I’m not a big fan of the idea of altruism in the first place. So rather than cheapen the definition, let us instead call it intrinsic love. Love for the sake of the one loved. Love that gives and asks nothing in return. Love that is a pillar of strength and not a pedestal. Te caritas es.

For the record, I don’t know Latin.

I do know what it means to love like this, however. It’s not always the most comfortable form of love, because sometimes it means hurting while you encourage someone else toward a happiness that doesn’t necessarily include returning your affections. That’s not always at a romantic level, either. It doesn’t matter. That’s the point of caritas. If you ask me, love isn’t SUPPOSED to be so concerned about whether not it is returned and in what quantity. It’s simply enough to love. Do I want to be loved in return? Obviously. Has loving someone who doesn’t share my feelings in the same fashion ever stopped me from loving them anyway? No. Nor will it ever, I suspect. That’s not who I am.

If you’ve been reading me for a while you’ve heard the following (and probably much of what came previously), before, but I want to share again one of my favorite Robert A. Heinlein quotes: “The more you love, the more you can love--and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had Time Enough, he could Love all of the majority who are decent and just.”

I think this is one step down the path of a life of caritas. Don’t limit your love, don’t be afraid to love many and well. I wrote a post about how I see the heart as an object that exists in many dimensions, and I believe that perspective is not only accurate, but allows a person to love in this way, while still loving morally. There is no room for infidelity in the concept of caritas, in the concept of love. Infidelity is by nature, selfish.

Perhaps it is important to state that in spite of my support of loving in a way in which you cherish and love intrinsically, I still place a lot of significance in loving the self. Just as others must be loved for their self, so must one respect and love one’s self. It is the foundation of loving others. I’m not certain that one can give unto others what one is unable to give unto one’s self. In order to achieve the kind of emotions I’m talking about, it’s necessary to be able to respect and love yourself and seek your own happiness while at the same time respecting, loving and encouraging others to seek their happiness. Whether that happiness is with you or not is beside the point.

This may seem confusing, or contradictory, but I find that most real things are. You need two shores to build a bridge and if one of those shores is weak or the ground is soft the bridge will collapse. It’s a simple thing, really.

And now for a terrible conclusion. . .

That’s enough on that subject for now.

And a thousand words, goodnight.


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