and now, a dazzling declaration of
love, I've written leagues about it. My poems could fill at least 104 leather-bound books and result in the absolute waste of 104 leather-bound books. I have been writing about love since before I knew what it was. Perhaps that has stunted me, perhaps it has turned love into a limbo stick where each contender has had to bend their spine to the expectations I set. Perhaps I am very good at loving people but not very good at love because I feel as though the more I see of it, the less I understand. The more I zoom in, the less sense the pixels seem to make. This is the essence of love. Being lost. I am no expert, surely, but I am a survivor. I am a POW of it and a perpetrator. I am the prisoner and jailer. I have played both parts (some better than others), but I am no expert. I do, however, wish all of my readers the best of luck in their love journeys and would like to offer what wisdom I have gleaned (like picking pieces of gold chain out of ash, whatever is of worth in this smoking heap)
Here are the evidence tested, steel and tear forged facts I have learned about love:
1.) When real, it can make nearly any situation better. It can also make it worse. Love is a swinging pendulum. The harder you feel it, the more powerful it becomes. This is both comforting and terrifying.
2.) Love's strength can only be judged on the worst day. The four hours of traffic day. The everything-goes-wrong day. The day that you hold a match under their finger tip and let it singe- that is the day we must judge the validity of our love. Wait until your person is hoarse and congested with dry skin under their nose and sleepy eyes. Wait until the stomach flu makes a mess of your love. Pick the moments that they are bleeding from their hand with anxious eyes, looking to you to save them. Wait for their weakness, wait for your weakness, wait for love's weakness. If you are not sure how you feel about someone, think about them at 2 A.M, too drunk to properly ask for a piece of bread, covered in sweat. Think about them at their worst, at their cruelest, would you still want to hold them? Then it is strong.
3.) Falling in love happens over several moments like pebbles in the palm. There is not one moment where suddenly, fantastically, you are over the moon. There is, however, a single moment in which you realize it. Like remembering the word that had been on the tip of your tongue two days ago. In the booth of a dark bar with Christmas lights draped above like pretend stars. In a bed that is too small and too soft, staring at a bookcase. You fall in love when they round that New York City corner with a too-wide smile. You fall in love, staring at the 6 train. You fall in love in a park, eating a bagel, across a table, in a Duane Reade, in front of an ocean, driving in the car late at night, in front of a corn field.
4.) Love is the most important thing a human can do. I'm not limiting this to romantic love-no, but rather the overwhelming and encompassing adoration of something with every ligament of your being. That is most important. Money is not love, property is not love. You can make love a verb or a noun, a smoky haze or a rock-solid commitment. You can make it all of these put together. That being said, love is always worth it despite the outcome. It will teach you more about yourself and humanity than any book. Humans do not exist to make money, they exist to survive. To procreate, to love, to bond... that is the key to the continued survival of humans. To care, to dedicate. Money and self growth are keys to this empathy for the universe but not the only ones. Humans were made to exist, being quite fond of something or someone makes that existence infinitely more fulfilling.
5.) Love is strong arms on a weak day, love is soft arms and crumbling corners on a weekday. Sometimes you lose love, sometimes you do everything in your power to destroy it because it's too powerful or dangerous or scary. Sometimes you succeed. Sometimes, you will not have the chance to repair the damage you've done, this does not make love any less worth it. Some love will stay forever, this I know for sure. I have seen such love in my Father's eyes when he looks at my mother. Sometimes love only goes away when you ignore it, when you shoo it from the table like a begging dog, when you throw rocks trying to scare it away for months and months and months. Sometimes this is necessary, sometimes this is the worst mistake you will ever make, sometimes this is very stupid, the three are not mutually exclusive. Something can be necessary and stupid and not necessary. The fact remains, it is always worth it.
6.) The most comforting message you can give to someone falling in love is also the most comforting message you can give to someone with a broken heart: "hold on, it'll be over soon".