Friday, July 29, 2011


I think the 7th post is the perfect place to talk about love. I think about love a lot these days. Perhaps it because of my clients at the hospital, where love is such an omnipresence. I see it mostly in the stories people tell me about the ones they have lost or whom they are loosing. You see the intensity of love most in its loss. It is when it is taken away from us that we feel it most profoundly.

What does it mean to really love? Do I go all Tolle and speak of true love being given with expectations of nothing in return, just an outward flowing of connection to the world around you? Or do I go dark... very very dark? Hmmm I think I will go dark.

There was a man who came in the other day. He was a gay man whose lover had killed himself rather than make his partner suffer seeing him through terminal cancer. It was a love story that came through the door. He told it to us with tears and romantic embellishments that gave us glimpses into his idealized memory of his boyfriend. He offered short vignettes of moments of shared love with this man, their most intimate expressions of their devotion. Stories of washing each others hair in the rain and the spoiling of their dog. He was devastated, overwhelmed by love. Why did he kill himself he asks out loud and then answers, because he loved me. He is tortured by this feeling, not believing that it would gradually fade until receding one day into a small corner of his heart awoken only occasionally by birthdays and anniversaries and certain smells.

Why love if pain in inevitable? I told a lover that the moment I loved him my heart was broken. It sounded sad at first. It sounded dark and painful. It was not what I wanted to convey. What I wanted to say was that if my heart was already broken, broken open, then I did not fear him breaking it again. By choosing to love him, I chose to accept all the feeling that comes with it; freeing me to let go of worry as the worst had already happened. Any pain was just a sign of my love. This pain is not pain, it is feeling. It just hurts. Hurts in the way your heart aches when you see your daughter go to her first day of kindergarten or when you hear the song you slow danced to with your first crush. The hurt is just the reflection of the intensity of emotion. Ask a bottom about pain. Ask a tattooed man about pain. Ask a woman in labour about pain How we frame it is how we live with it. I choose to live with it well.

Holy shit. Did I really just go there?

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