“Thing is, I hadn’t learned,” I’d say to you if you were listening, “I’m just learning, right now this second, how I used you like a mirror to see myself.” The harder and more crystalline the person, the better, because if you’re too soft, I have nothing to reflect on. I mean, isn’t it why you liked me too? I always reflected your desires, sometimes really basic ones like cuddling and talking about books, but sometimes looking into my eyes was seeing your own spirit wound tightly and lovingly to mine like ancient tree roots.
That’s probably not how you’d express it, you don’t say it in words, you just hold me like you’re about to fall off a very steep embankment. You tried to make space for me by clearing off a table and buying new sheets, but that’s not the kind of space I’m yearning for; everything you do is a closely controlled surface sweep. I want to go deep. I had a hard time asking you for what I needed because performing the minimum seemed to be so difficult for you, I didn’t want to ask for, or be, “too much”. You thought kissing passionately meant I was counting each and every kiss! That’s an absurd idea — like, duh, I just wanted to tumble headlong into ecstasy because although I do believe in the searching, fearless work one does for oneself before truly loving another, loving another is the only true means to restoring a state of oneness. It’s the immaculate will, life’s longing for itself.
So yes, to answer my own question: I believe in love.
It’s a revolution to see myself and hear my own voice, to love myself. She says ‘yes’ to difficult conversations, she asks for what she needs, she also says ‘no’ when enough is enough. She looks in the mirror and says, “You are enough.”
We have to look into ourselves to understand what plagues us, what follows us, what has made us, and why we may be stuck performing Sisyphean feats that fatigue us. You once told me you have a very active internal dialogue — what’s it saying? Does it spin in eddies or flow forward? Open the door on the past and honour it by looking closely. There will be many, many stories contained there. Read them. That makes me think of all the little roadside shrines in Japan where people light incense to their ancestors saying “thank you for bringing me here, I will try to honour you”. I hope you use your exceptional will and power to unearth whatever’s gripping you —dislodge that sludge and move into it. Don't be afraid to change. I love you, I do, but I need a year. 365 days without you. Can we see where we've grown then?
What follows is the rest of the story. This is how I got here.