You might think you know what love is. You might consider those sunbeams and rainbows and general giddiness (not from too many cocktails) to be love. Of course, She is there in her own nuanced way, bringing individuals together with a slender hand and Galadriel-esque beauty and calm. Love is calm. She is the tall, stately woman we all want to be, she is androgynous, she is glorious. To some, She is blonde, others view her as dark complected. But She helps when she needs to, smiles softly and knows when to step back, and She fills hearts with warmth as they sleep, like presents left in the soul instead of under a pine tree.
Love is complicated.
When you think She looks one way, it transpires that She is different. One day, you notice She is carrying something, walking towards you. But this gift is swathed in smoke, obscured and unfamiliar. You shy away from it, and retreat back into a shell of obsession, compulsion, the need to count, step, sit, measure, obliterate. You can’t Be. The worst thing or the best thing in the world could be protected in her pristine palms; it is the ultimate in tantalization, either the apex of the worst imaginable nightmares, or the peak of something beyond compare. Eventually, something forces you into forward motion, striding, arms outstretched towards the mysterious offering. It would be worse. It could be better. Everything was ok with Love’s blessing and guidance, you didn’t need Her gifts. So you walk forwards beacause inaction is no longer possible, but you screw your eyes shut and hum tunelessly to drown out any form of external stimuli. You lose sight of your partner. You forget what you look like. Sometimes, you don’t shower or eat, or eat too much and clean all day long because something, anything must prevent the inevitable: discovering what Love is carrying.
Because Love’s invisible twin, Fear, is keeping time with you, step by step. By step. You don’t know She’s there at first but then the chest tightens and you don’t sleep. You are silent, angry, your ears open but you don’t see your partner. Your eyes are blinking but you don’t hear a word your lover says. You’re cold, you’re hot, you’re there but mostly gone, and it doesn’t make sense.
Until your fingers touch the clouds in Love’s hands and there’s an explosion of purple smoke and lightning. There is fierce sunshine and there is rain. There is a stormy sea and a glassy lake, and turbulence in the skies, and winter’s first soft snowfall. There is your partner’s hand. And then finally Love’s fingers caress your intertwined hands and She embraces you both, bringing you to something bright, something spectacular, and something utterly beyond compare. This is Love’s true home. And together, with your mutual understanding and soul-connection, you have both arrived, strong and unafraid.
“I didn’t need these things. I didn’t need them.”