When doubt arrives at my house with his suitcases, I know trouble is brewing. He is not an easy guest to host. Sometimes I survive him by reading poetry. Lines of sentences on a page, a word here catching a word there, can be grounding to a soul steeped in never ending suppositions. Poetry gathers all the pieces of me that life strews allover the place, bringing me closer to myself in those times when the only thing I need is healing. It pulls all the parts of me together. It makes my heart start beating again and slowly I can recognise my limbs, my face, my lips, my voice. There is nothing more nourishing to my soul than words that fit. Words chiselled to hold me tight; to make magic inside of me.
And doubt quietly slips away. I watch him turn the bend down the street, his back hunched and his suitcases almost grazing the ground.
I struggle with life.
I struggle with death.
I struggle with the in between.
I am in a perpetual state of struggle. Like a living, gaping wound that is always healing and always festering.
What a tragedy, you might think. I agree with you. And then I also don’t. Because maybe the places where we have our biggest struggles are the places where we have the most to give. My struggle lets me see the things that people are too busy to see, to describe the things that people are too busy to describe. So I reflect. I write. I observe. I feel. And I write some more. Then I die a little bit every day.
If I had a choice, I would choose anything else but this, I tell myself. I would choose frivolity and per chance, a life lived on a sunny beach somewhere where there would be no humans and no heart break. Just me and an expanse of land and sea.
Sometimes I wish people came with a manual. A how to book that was as detailed as it was precise. Maybe embossed in silver or gold for emphasis. But people don’t come with how to manuals. They come with hearts that beat against ribcages and arms that fold you into them, curves that beg to be touched, and lips that whisper sweet nothings.
People are intoxicating and people are devastating. But we learn to not devastate one another. Loving comes with that responsibility etched allover it.
The deeper we go into love the clearer this becomes; that everything that hurts love must be cast aside. Bundled together and thrown away, forsaken and never to be desired again.
Of course it takes a lifetime to learn this because when it comes to matters of the heart, people tend to learn by making mistakes. And so we stumble our way through love.
So the other day, love broke my heart. A beloved friend drew her last breath and left me poking at my wounds.
What do you do when death visits?
You walk around the house numb. You want to come out of your skin. You want to puncture something to make it all go away. You want to turn back time.
What do you do? I don’t know.
But I watched the sky. I watched as the morning light came bounding from the four corners burning the edges of the sky crimson and banishing all of the darkness. It was quiet, it was powerful. There was no sound but everything that needed to be said was spoken in the silence.
Love remains. It survives doubt. It survives life and death. It overcomes all three. We go round and round in circles to arrive at this simple truth: true love makes everything alright, because where there is love there is freedom. And freedom…well, it is what allows us to be free.