You were in love with the writing once. A kind of love that churns the belly. The kind of love that wraps around you warm and alive and pulsing. Trusting kind of love. And you think that love will never leave you, nor would you ever leave it. You think it will be as strong and lively as it is in the beginning of all that began all the way to the what should never ever end because it’s too beautiful to die. Too perfect.
But things begin to change. Subtly at first. Insidiously. Oh, it’s little things here and there that don’t mean much—at least that’s what you tell yourself. But all those tiny things begin to pack together, sticky and mean, tightly, balling up hard and fast, until there before you is what you tell yourself is only a sweet marble you think isn’t so bad—it’ll still fit into your pocket! You can carry it around and won’t feel the weight of it at all. But it grows. And you can’t carry it around anymore. It first settles in the room you always wrote in, but it soon pushes out into the hallway, and into the bedroom, and the kitchen, and the living room, and the entire house becomes filled with it—it pushes against you, insistent to be noticed. It is a Moon, a Neptune, an entire galaxy right outside your mind’s window. It groans with its own weight.
Still, you think you can live with it. You think you can soldier on. You think that everything will be okay if only This Thing would happen, or That Thing will occur. “If Only” becomes raggedy with your use of it, what with your rolling the If Onlies around in your head until they are barely recognizable. Still. You loved! It all had meaning! Didn’t you? Didn’t it? Doubt sets in. Were you loved back? Maybe it was only an altered state of being that led you down into the most pleasurable of senses. Why, before the Galaxy of Disappointed Disillusionment, you’d even allowed yourself to become a little arrogant. Held your head a little higher—after all, you were in The Club. That Club with those heavy heavy gates—the ones that swing open randomly and without sentimentality. You often imagined the gates closing behind you, yet this time you are pushed back to the outside.
You want out anyway, you say. You want out and you don’t know when, or if, you’ll return. You want your space. You want time to think. You want to do other things. Find yourself, you say, wincing at the cliche. You’ll do: Fun things. Other necessary things. Things that don’t require pushing through that galaxy of hard knotted failings and failures and fails.
You soon forget (you say emphatically) what drew you to that love. You don’t remember (you think most apparently) the feeling of joy you had just by opening your laptop and your mind—flutter flutter went the beautiful creation butterflies—how lovely they were! Oh how you hate them now! Hate them!
The heart of you is crushing under the weight of the groaning Galaxy.
Who cares?, you say. I don’t!, you say. And you trippity trip about, laughing gaily on the outside, while on the inside you are slowly terribly dying. The Galaxy suffocates.
One day, you are alone. Perhaps walking in the woods, or down an aisle at the grocery store, or driving your car aimlessly, or most obviously of course staring at the darkened night ceiling. And a blinding light explodes while millions of hard knotted disappointments and disillusions Supernova. You are blinded for seventy-two hours; burned down to the bone for seventy-two more.
Then the quiet talks to you. You rise, walk through the house, glowing embers dying and ashes flying. Something gives way. A loosening.
You run then, opening windows and doors until every window and every door is wide, and out and out and out on a brilliant wind goes the ashes, and all that is left is You and You.
Something stirs. Something old and ancient. Something you recognize.
Fingers to keys. A letter appears. Another. Another. A word. A sentence. A paragraph. A page. Five pages, sixty pages, one hundred pages plus three.
Sometimes, you say, all else must be burned away so your new skin can feel anew.
You recognize, you say, that you never loved fully before but only with conditions. Love must Be, you say. It is its own and no other.
You say: each hard knot of disappointment must be kneaded and chewed and swallowed and digested and then shat out and flushed away.
A grand love. A passionate love. A true and honest love.
It finds you, grabs you by the beating heart and squeezes the life into you.
Fingers on the keys. Push. Push. Letter by word by paragraph by page. Five, six, seven, eight, open up the heavy gates.
(. . . and still, as you push the keys, the if onlies and the what ifs and the why can’ts ind the little nooks and crannies of you and settle in. You push the keys and try not to notice the hard knot you couldn’t swallow as it falls to the ground and quivers.)