Sunday, February 14, 2010

For The Love Of The Day

Readers, friends, and family sometimes ask me to write about a particular issue. Last week, on our way home my daughter asked me to write about shopping. So I did. I was pleased with the result and it flowed somewhat effortlessly. I prefer to write purely from my own inspiration and am fortunate now to have a monthly column where I can do that. However, in my business writing I write only about what others ask for, so honing this skill is necessary. Let that be an invitation to you. A few days ago came a new request from a friend.

Consequently, I have been tied up in knots the last few days trying to write about that particular subject. It was dropped in my lap, anvil style, riddled with the angst of the past and I have at best written a sentence a night. More honestly, I have written several sentences each night and consistently deleted them all. I have tried writing after exercise, writing after wine, writing while delirious with exhaustion, all with no constructive outcome. Finally last night with the benefit of a long midday bath I wrote several well connected paragraphs about the proposed subject of time travel and the idea of visiting one's past. Minutes before entering the editing phase of my writing, iTunes and Blogger decided they could no longer peacefully coexist and both dug their heels into technical ground. I was forced to restart and all was lost. Hours of writing vanished and the auto save feature of Blogger had betrayed me, perhaps for my own good.

This morning, on Valentine's Day, I had hoped to offer some thoughts on love - again a subject more topical than inspired. As I searched the internet for quotes that might jump start my writing on the subject I found one that sits well with me. It is by Neil Gaiman -an English born American Novelist, Journalist, Screenwriter, and Children's author. I am sharing it with you on this most amorous day. Enjoy.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”

I am mildly tempted to hunt him down, take his hand, and run headlong into yet another brick wall in hopes of changing his mind. However, at the end of the day, he and I stand in complete agreement on this matter and would undoubtedly instead share a toast to rough roads and hard lessons learned. Cynical, world-weary, dark and twisted though it may be; it is fact. Love stings. Having walked this often broken road, I am certain that it is through these dreadful experiences he writes about that we find ourselves and are able to recognize what we want, pass on what we do not, and live with what is, and with what will never be. Time may not heal all wounds, but its generosity does infuse our hearts with all we need to make it to the day ahead and the next. AH HA! And this is why I have no need for a time machine to the past. Shheeww, I knew I'd figure out the connection eventually! Happy Valentines Day.

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