When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him.
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
A month ago I lost my mind.
I can’t remember if this is the fifth or sixth time now. I’m not sure that keeping count of the times my brain has lost its grip on this world is particularly helpful or constructive. I used to try and hide it, insulate myself from the world for two weeks and wait until the storm passed and I could emerge as if nothing had happened. Since I am not the most sociable of creatures, often it could be concealed to all but those closest to me.
Every episode has common features: reality becomes elastic, time reveals itself as nothing but an illusion and the walls between worlds feel thinner. Thin enough that if I were to find just the right spot and I were to push hard enough, I could slip through into an alternate reality. I always thought that in that other world our love was a certainty.
But now I am not so sure.
Something changed this time around. This madness blew in on a different wind. Or maybe when it blew in I was a different person. This time, along with the chaos it has brought clarity. Our story was never our story. It was never about you and me. It was about me finding myself. You were just the conduit by which I entered the labyrinth. You were the sledgehammer that destroyed the old version of me so that I could build myself into a better, wiser person.
Perhaps there is even more to it than that.
When we found each other again the last time around, the final time around, I was just beginning my study of philosophy. My books were talking to me of Jung and synchronicity and then you were back in my life and talking to me about Jung and synchronicity. In my head 2 + 2 = 5. I thought that everything was pointing to you. But what if you were just there to point me to the message the universe was trying to tell me?
If you were the white rabbit, I was so busy chasing you that I completely failed to discover Wonderland.
But now you are gone and Wonderland keeps calling. I think that perhaps it is time to find out if I am the right Alice.
Pride has stopped me taking this path. I thought that without my friend beside me, the journey was meaningless. The truth is that the journey now has more meaning. This was a path that could only have been walked alone. I clung to you like a child to a toy. I clung to the pain of losing you as proof that I wasn’t strong enough to face life alone. My sunken dream was all the evidence I needed.
My sunken dream is evidence that I was on completely the wrong path. You were a minor detour to teach me harsh but necessary truths so I could become who I needed to be. I set my sights far too low. I moulded myself to your beliefs. You were the chrysalis that bound me.
Now the blood is pumping into my wings and I’m fighting to break free.
No more running away from who I am. No more running from what life is trying to teach me. No more pretending to be someone I am not.
Each madness is a moment of transformation. An invitation to leave myself behind. A time to strip myself down to the atoms of my sense of self. A chance to rebuild myself as the person I want to be.
Eden version 7.0
Who am I now?
Someone who still believes in magic.
Yes I do.
Of course I do.
Above all things, Love.
The truth is you have broken me. It’s been almost nine years since I last saw your face and your voice caressed my ears. Nine years since the thrill of your drug raced through my veins. Nine years of building a wall around my heart to stop it being broken by love again. Thinking about it, I wonder if I built those defences to stop the pain getting out. The pain of your absence is the only part of you I have left.
It’s not like there haven’t been other men. My marriage was destroyed, that was inevitable. So I chased other prey. Once a hunter, always a hunter. There was the cliched relationship with a younger man, a couple of shameful one night stands and a particularly appalling situation where I was left feeling dirty and used by someone to whom I never should have given a second of my time. The inescapable truth is that each and every time I was trying to chase the high you had given me.
I should have listened when we walked under the stars and you warned me of the dangers of love. Maybe I should never have contacted you again at all. Now I walk like a wraith in the wreckage of my life and I wonder what would have happened if our story had ended twenty years ago in that field. If San Francisco had never happened, if I could delete every word we had written to each other, would I be happy now? You took me higher than I ever believed possible. Is the devastation of that loss worth the fading memory of the ecstasy?
The night we first slept together ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘ was playing in the background. If I could erase and rewind it all, would I?
I want to love again. I want to feel something again. Anything.
I don’t know how to start piecing the shattered remnants of my heart back together. I don’t even know if it is worth trying anymore. Before you, I believed that love was the only truth worth discovering. Now I think perhaps ignorance is a kindness.
Plug me back into the Matrix. Let me take the blue pill. Wake me up when it’s all over.
And yet, somewhere deep down in my soul there is the tiniest glimmer of hope that tells me to take a chance at life again.
You are gone and these ramblings are the last fading echoes of our story. The final purging of a tale that must find an ending. One day I’ll stop writing and begin to live again. Every tap of the keys is a step towards being clean of you. I long for the light.
Silence will fall.
I remember a night when we walked under the stars. We talked of love. You had been its victim and I was a dreamer seeking adventure. You said that you had parcelled your heart up in a cage, put it on a train and you were running as fast as you could in the opposite direction. You didn’t care where you were heading as long as it was as far as possible from the pain and chaos of love.
I begged you to reconsider.
I told you that love was the most exquisite drug, the only high worth chasing. You said it was like heroine, a temporary fix that would wreck destruction upon my world.
I said love was the air in my lungs and its breath set me free. You replied it was the sickness consuming us from within.
I thought love was the divine spark that set our souls on fire. You told me it was it was an inferno that burnt everyone to ash.
‘That’s your pain talking,’ I whispered. ‘It doesn’t have to end like that.’
‘Love is pain. There is no alternative ending.’
‘I can’t believe that.’
‘You will. One day you will.’
‘Love is worth the sacrifice.’
‘You don’t know what you are talking about.’
‘Then show me’
‘You don’t want that. I don’t want that.’
‘You don’t want me.’
‘You have no idea,’ you sighed.
‘You don’t want to believe that I love you.’
‘You love the idea of love.’
‘You love pushing me away’.
‘I’m saving you from yourself.’
‘I don’t need your protection.’
‘If only that were true.’
‘Why are you being like this?’
‘Love did this. I’m trying to stop it doing the same to you.’