ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Surrender to Love

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What are we running from, or running to, in the name of love?

Are we running into the arms of our destiny, or do we flee from the embrace of our fate?

To what end?

Do we say goodbye before we leave, or do we escape under the cover of darkness without saying a word?

To abscond with the missing beats of our heart is to rob ourselves of true happiness.  Akin to living without feeling alive. It is to look at the clock without acknowledging the time and realizing we don’t have much of it left to us.

Any moment could be our last.

And so, it is imperative that we savor each kiss, linger in that gaze a little while longer, swim in that embrace like we have nowhere else to be, live in that dream as though we don’t have to awaken.

Surrender to love.

Love.

Love like you’re saying goodbye.

Love like you’re going to lose each other.

Love like it’s the last thing you’ll ever do.

In the end, it will be the only thing you will have done that truly mattered.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: The Space Between Heartbeats

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“When it’s gone, you’ll know what a gift love was. You’ll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.” ~Ian McEwan, Enduring Love

The space between heartbeats is filled with the echoes of the past.

The laughter and the “I love you’s” that made us feel as though we had all the time in the world to say what we wanted to say and do what we intended to do, but never did.

Those moments that we prayed would play out like a scene in a movie that never came to fruition. Except life is not a movie, even if our lives are our personal stories that can become our happily ever after, or not.

All of it can change in the blink of an eye, forgotten like a whisper in the dark. All that remains is the ache for that embrace that brought us comfort. The craving for that kiss that sent a ripple through our souls. The presence of that one person who made us feel complete.

Some would argue that it’s never to late to start over, to go back and say, “I’m sorry, I love you, let’s try this again.”

That’s true, but the sad truth is that for some it isn’t possible, because the fragility of life and the finality of death is capable of stealing the moment away from us.

And so I dare to encourage you to take that chance. If there is even the slightest flicker of love still burning, then do it. Say “I love you,” say “I’m sorry,” say “Let’s try this again.” For even a candle is capable of igniting a blaze.

When you do this, when you return to that love that was lost to pride and anger and pain, pour yourself into it entirely. Fill that space between heartbeats with the echoes of laughter and “I love you’s” that will grant you the time to say and do what you had always wanted to say and do.

Love each other as though you may lose each other, and you’ll find that you won’t lose anything at all…except the regret.

 

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Be Open to Love

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“Love … It’s a nice little trick if you can find it. We had found it. But now I knew finding love and holding on to it were not the same thing.” ~Mary E. Pearson, The Beauty of Darkness

There’s a song you once loved, but now you skip past it when it comes on.

There’s a memory you once held dear, but you push it from your mind when it creeps into your thoughts.

Avoidance is how we choose to deal with heartbreak. Not always, but often we do and we think we’ll be okay.

The truth is, it’s okay to not be okay.

It’s okay to hurt.

It’s okay to cry.

There’s nothing wrong with missing someone.

There’s nothing wrong with clinging to the memories of what made you happy.

There’s nothing wrong with still being in love.

Regardless of what drove you apart, the feelings simply don’t vanish. Anger or hurt may act as a veil over what you feel, but it won’t hide what’s in your heart. The breeze of time will push the veil aside and reveal those emotions.

There is no wind capable of snuffing out that fire. There is no cold bitter enough to steal that heat.

Why would you want to lose it anyway?

Given that love is the only emotion that defines our lives, it stands to reason that although the heart has reasons for which reason cannot understand, you need not avoid what you feel simply because you don’t understand why you still feel the way you do.

This is love.

Unending, unconditional, and unforgettable.

It is that quiet corner of your soul where the endless possibilities of what could have been are preserved, either as comforting thoughts of what once was, or as a fantasy of what may yet come to pass.

So, listen to that song. Relive that memory. Indulge in the hope it offers for tomorrow, and then tell me about that closed door to your heart that you haven’t opened in years…and let me wander inside.

Chances are I may find solace in that room and never want to leave.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Better Half

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She’s the beat of my heart
The emotion in my tears,
She’s the moment in time
That turns seconds into years…

I swim in eternity
When I fall into her eyes,
I’m at the shores of forever
When her lonely heart cries…

I caress her face
With gentle fingertips,
I die of desire
When I kiss her lips…

She’s my weakness and strength
In a world that is cruel,
She’s my life and my purpose
And I am her fool…

I’m her heart when it’s broken
Scattered all over the place,
I’m her words left unspoken
I’m the sadness on her face…

She’s my sunrise and sunset
From the west to the east,
She’s the life to my death
She’s the beauty to my beast.

 

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Forever Love

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“You are enough to drive a saint to madness or a king to his knees.” ~Grace Willows, To Kiss A King

We don’t remember everything.

We experience so much in our lives: our first breath, our first word, our first step, our first kiss, our first love and our first heartbreak.

Most of it, in the beginning, is beyond our capacity to recall.

The rest of it we forget. Whether by choice, or by chance we may never know, but we do nonetheless.

Why is that?

Does it even matter?

The why, I mean.

Are we meant to remember everything, or are we destined to only remember specific things, minute details that define our lives?

Love, for instance, is something we recall like a memorable song.

The lyrics, the melody, the feeling that it gave us in the moment…we recollect specific aspects when we hear that song, but our perception of it is altered with time.

There are instances when it takes us back to that moment, but no longer fills us with the jubilation, or the sorrow of that moment. Instead, it is merely a shadow of what it once was…and we reflect, either with indifference or with insight and we think about how far we have come.

I, for one, prefer to reflect on love.

Love.

The unforgettable storm of emotions that floods our hearts and rains through our eyes. The raging sea of our emotions that is capable of destroying us and cleansing us all at once.

Love, in all its glory is the only emotion that defines our lives, for it is known that what we do in the name of it echoes through eternity.

And it is for that reason that love is forever.

Everything about love changes us.

It is the reason the poet opens his or her heart to the world.

That action alone has an impact on the heart of another even centuries later.

Love is the reason one trades innocence for experience, and leaves us with regret.

Yet, love is the reason one will forgo the attention of many for the affection of one.

This is the beauty of love.

We can’t unthink, we can’t unsay, and we can’t undo what love has given us.

We can’t unremember, we can’t unfeel and we can’t unhear the whispers that warmed our hearts.

Truth is, we can’t unlove.

It is the Pandora’s Box of our lives.

It was never filled with the evils of the world. In fact, it is our inability comprehend love for what it truly is that prevents us from appreciating what it is meant to be.

This is our curse, and this is our blessing, because the immortality of love equates only with the immortality of the gods.

No one will ever appreciate something that will always be there, but when it is finite there is a genuine understanding that what is and will never be again may be lost to eternity. Akin to losing a tear to the ocean that will never be recovered, or tasted on parched lips hoping for the kiss that will satiate our thirst for affection.

I may someday lose my memory. I will even someday forget my first kiss, or my first love, but even the gods will never have the power to defy the Fates, because I was destined to love you and my love is the love of a romantic.

Forever.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: A Love Story

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“So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love.” ~E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

It’s so easy to live in memories because you know how they begin and how they end.

They are the sweetest chapters of your life, akin to your favorite chapters in a book that you can re-read at your leisure. They are safe and require no amendment to your recollection, because they truly were the most perfect moments of your life.

I revisit them often, more often than I should, I confess, but at present I am left with nothing but the memories that completed my life.

She was the muse for whom I had written the pages of our lives. Her whispers were the turning of the pages. Her affections comprised the prose. Her affection was the cover that shielded me from the worst version of myself, and her presence was the spine that held my life together.

Where I once watched my favorite romantic comedy: Nottinghill, Holiday, and The Story of Us, I know close my eyes and replay the story of us.

Despite the happy ending found in our most memorable moments, our story did not conclude with a happily ever after.

Now she’s the closed book sitting on a shelf that I dare not open.

She’s my favorite ballad, but I won’t listen to the song.

I couldn’t prevent her from leaving anymore than she could prevent me from loving her. And God did I love her.

I confess that I still do.

The moon will have to cease returning at night before she leaves my dreams.

The snow will need to cease being a ubiquity of winter before she will cease to exist as a part of my soul.

This, my friends, is the epitome of love.

No song can be sung, and no story can be written without her living in my heart.

She wandered into it against her better judgment and has become a prisoner of heaven while I linger in the depths of hell.

I’ll dance with her in the dark, in the shadows of memory, where no one else will know how to navigate the terrain of my existence as only she did.

She was the love that lured me to the heights of passion and released me to the depths of sorrow. My heart never broke in her embrace, yet it shattered into a million pieces when to galaxies collided and I lost.

The inescapable gravity that pulled me into the darkness of her absence has redefined my existence, and what I thought I wanted has become the antithesis of what I need.

Her.

My muse, my memory, my love story.

 

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: The Ghost of Memory

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“You can love someone so much…But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.” ~John Green

There’s something special about falling in love.

It is a unique experience onto itself. Nothing compares to it save for when your children are born, and that’s because it is another way of falling in love.

Which brings us back to the uniqueness of falling in love with someone else. It’s something you’re never truly prepared to experience. You find it when you aren’t even looking for it, or perhaps it finds you. In any case, it always takes you by surprise.

Though falling in love is a process, a slow and beautiful transition from the self to the unification of souls, it is one you may not even realize you’re falling into until you’re actually in it.

To undo it is an arduous process because it entails extracting a part of whom you have become to be less than what you were before it began.

Imagine waking before dawn and watching the sunrise. Now, remove the sun from the sky and try to forget what you witnessed.

There was nothing there, and then you saw the sun, but then the sun has vanished.

What becomes of the day?

I still remember what it felt like to be in her arms and lose myself in her embrace.

At first, I was alone, and then she wrapped her arms around my heart…and then destiny yanked her away.

Now, I can only reflect on the glint in her eyes when we stood a handsbreadth apart.

Loving her is all I’ve known for the better part of my life.

From our first date at the theater one mid-summer night, after which we took a long walk through the town square. We later sat on a bench near the fountain and spoke under her reflection in the sky—the moon.

We discussed our hopes and dreams and first made plans of a lifetime together.

It simply felt right.

Before we parted at the end of the night, we held each other so close that our bodies lingered on the edge of reason. She later confessed she’d had a “moment” in my embrace, and I knew our passions would reach heights we never had, or ever would experience with anyone else.

We didn’t kiss though.

That didn’t happen for a few more weeks, and when it finally did occur she fled into the darkness. It was a slow and passionate kiss in the middle of the night that she confessed shook her to her core and awakened something in her that she’d long thought dead.

A few weeks passed before our bodies touched again and our souls bled into each other. Driven by desire, inspired by love, I guided her along the path of passion to be seared by the fires in her heart.

All these years later, I reflect on how it used to be that we kissed and made love to memorize each other’s souls. Now, we don’t speak, perhaps to avoid memorizing the pain in each other’s eyes.

Though they say the depth of love equates to the pain in the aftermath of heartbreak, I confess that I do not regret having fallen in love with her. I do not believe myself capable of climbing out from this shadowed abyss where I search for her among the veils of memory. Like wisps of smoke leading me from one moment to the next chasing a dream from which I shall never awaken, pursuing the ghost in my heart.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Memories Lost

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“When the sun has set, no candle can replace it.” ~George R.R. Martin

How do we define love?

If by feelings, they are fleeting.

If by actions, they can be misleading.

The problem with defining love by memory is that sometimes we only remember what never happened.

Do we define love by heartbreak?

From experience, I will attest that heartbreak leaves us with a pain that is unbearable. My recollection is that the tightness in my chest made it difficult to breathe. I found myself lost in thought. Except my thoughts were clouded. I found it difficult to sort out one detail from the next. Food had no flavor. Sleep provided no comfort.

My lost love haunted my dreams, elusive as ever.

During my waking hours, I initiated conversations with others to distract myself from thoughts of her. But I never talked about her. I couldn’t. And it wasn’t out of anger or resentment, but because I could not risk letting the break in my voice, or the sadness in my eyes betray me.

The silence, however, when I was alone with my thoughts was perilous. It felt like a shadow that pulled me beneath the surface of a frozen lake and threatened to drown me in sorrow.

The definition of comfort food was lost on me, because I had no appetite. I forced myself to eat for the sake of my own health, but I did not feel satiated. That is because I hungered for her.

I’d consume a glass of scotch or bourbon or whisky every now and again, but after a time, I no longer felt inclined to drown my sorrows.

Instead, I let myself feel the pain.

I memorized it.

I needed to, because it was the only way to break free from the chains of heartache.

That is how I managed to move forward. Not out of want, but out of need, because until made the conscious decision to leave the past where it belonged—on some far away shore in some distant land where exotic rains washed away what remained of forever—I would have been trapped chasing the echo of what never should have been.

Love?

Heartbreak?

Perhaps one cannot exist without the other.

Inhale and exhale, light and dark, need and want, yesterday and tomorrow…the yin and yang of our existence, hers and mine, yours and his, it is a delicate balance. A dichotomy separated by a line that is blurred with tears.

All we’ll remember is what never happened, and all we will forget is what should have been.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Purest Pain

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“The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live” ~Norman Cousins

There is something profound about love and heartbreak when you realize you ache for another person. It’s the kind of pain that hurts your soul. You find it difficult to breathe, and so you hold your breath hoping the pain fades.

You are unable to talk about what happened. Not in the interests of keeping secrets, but because you’re incapable of speaking without revealing the details with tears.

Some days you’ll sleep well. Others, not so much. Then there are those days when you sleep longer than usual. Probably a result of the overwhelming rush of emotions that bombards you when you cry yourself to sleep. The broken breaths lull you to bed, akin to falling in love…slowly at first, and then all at once.

You need it.

That one good cry every other day. It’s the only way you’ll get the pain out of your system. You must get it out of your system. You have no choice, lest you become emotionally septic.

The depression can kill you, or lead you to a slow death. I’m not referring to the finality of a mortal death, but rather the sort death that kills your spirit. Do not succumb to that shadow of loneliness. It leads you to nowhere good.

Cry.

Cry so hard it hurts.

Let your face soak.

Let snot run freely from your nose.

Howl like a wolf at the moon and let your body convulse.

Just let it out.

It is merely a demon being exorcised from within.

You must do this if you are to heal.

It may take a while, and you may have to go it alone most of the time, but the freedom you’ll feel once you’ve completed the journey will be worth it. I say this from experience, and I assure you that I have felt your pain.

I’ve seen the lost love of my life in the aftermath of heartbreak. Lovely as ever. Her long dark hair falling over her shoulders like a waterfall in the night. And I avoided her eyes. I wouldn’t even gaze upon her face…the stars and the moon.

I still won’t.

I refuse to do so, because some hurts you just never get over. And sometimes, it hurts to be that close to someone you loved with every ounce of your being and to know it is lost.

I dare say this is what Lucifer felt at the gates of heaven, forbidden entry into the kingdom of God…beyond the warmth of perfect love.

Remember always, even an angel can hurt, but life is too precious to spend it in pain.

ROMANTIC MUSINGS: Crazy Love

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“Unless it’s mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it’s a waste of your time.  There are too many mediocre things in life; love shouldn’t be one of them.”

It is when I pen these romantic musings that the pain subsides. Akin to when the sun peers through the clouds and calms the sea. The irony is that she was my moon. My light in the dark, my keeper of midnight secrets.

I had convinced myself, and perhaps it is my own fault for having bestowed upon her the qualities and virtues of perfect love that she would be my epic love. I clung to the hope that we would grow old together. Despite the many deceptions, the numerous times my feelings were dismissed, and the myriad of instances I had been cast aside while she considered the prospect of love with others…I remained faithful to her and to our love.

Where I had given up on others for lesser offenses, I did not give up on her. When love endures all things, believes all things, and hopes all things…

It pains me to discover I adhered to that understanding of love, alone. But I must ask myself, where was she in all that time we shared together?

Because in retrospect, it felt as though she was there with me every step of the way. The way she smiled at me with her eyes provided me with a sense of security. The way she allowed me to guide her with love and passion, and the way she met my desire for her with what felt like her desire for me, gave me peace of mind that what we shared belonged exclusively to us.

It was all those moments between us that inspired me to be a better man for her, and to find ways to provide her with the security she needed. For every obstacle that arose, I found a solution to keep us moving forward, to keep us moving toward our goal of sharing a lifetime together.

I gambled on love, because love is supposed to last. Instead, I learned that nothing it wasn’t love, but rather the illusion of it, and instead of being my last love she became my last heartbreak.

Despite my desire to fight for her and for what we shared, I’m convinced it would be a futile effort in the face of silence, absence, and distance.

Even if it is true that: “When love is not madness, it is not love,” as relayed by Pedro Calderon de la Barca…

The insanity of such madness—by repeatedly pursuing her and expecting a different outcome—is merely something that would drive her further away. Perhaps it is best that I live in this asylum alone.