Simplifying isn’t just about letting go of things but also people

I start with these ten points because I am still learning them myself. I am learning to let go of shame and procrastination and expectation and excuses and as I have been growing in the letting go of all these things holding me back, I’ve found also that I’ve been having to let go of people I love. A person I love. This is not an easy thing for me but I have seen that the time is not right for us nor seems ever right and i live the adage that good things come to those who wait. Instead of seeing the shedding of people as a disappointment I understand that this happens for the following reasons:

  • They no longer fit who you are becoming
  • They need to live their life without you so that they can learn their own lessons that maybe you would keep them from learning
  • They need space to figure out what they really want or need.
  • Knowing this I always wonder if their retreat out of my life was because of something I did wrong. It is unknowable really and I am letting go of torturing myself about what I did wrong or if I should have done this or that or the other thing. Loss isn’t about me. It is all about them, their best outcome and all I can do is love them anyway. And I do. Things seem emptier without them. I am faced with myself entirely and so I turn to writing as I have always done, to process life and loss and who I am becoming as my life becomes more about independence, minimalism, positivity and less about weighing myself down with guilt and shame and dread and the illusion I have power to change much of anything or anyone. It is better that I don’t. I can control my responses to things that happen. I can’t control people, nor would I want to. The people who I matter to will remain in my life, whether they retreat a while or remain actively engaged with me.
  • Sometimes the wrong people have to be cleared away so that the right people can enter. It doesn’t mean you don’t mourn the loss for a while. I do and I don’t deny or bury my feelings.
  • Loss doesn’t mean getting over having love for someone. It means learning there is a bridge over what we have lost and that nothing is ever really lost in the end. Love is that bridge. I love enough to let go and not control and show the respect and compassion we deserve in the letting go.
  • The ones who are meant to stay and support my growth will come into my life and stay and go perhaps; gain and loss is a circular thing that helps us learn about ourselves if we are open to the lessons people teach us as we live this journey.
  • I have gone where I feel most alive. I am home, by my Lake and gulls and boats, living how I want to live with a minimum of what I need experiencing life more fully, being more present, authentic and loving without reservation. Thank you for all of the people who taught me about who I am.
  • Nothing is ever lost.
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Quote of the day: Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet

The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Jon

I still think of you, you know

when the snows of a thousand winters frozen by melts softly into springs many springs pass now many times the trees have leafed out and reached out

and I am taken by breezes and sunbeams into years ago when

things seemed

simpler

when you were that shy and thoughtful boy I talked for hours with on any conceivable subject in that Burger King in Florida

and sometimes we even laughed.

I took you at face value

I knew nothing of masks then. There was just you and your sweetness and quietness I liked and sought

there was nothing in me warning me to question you no red flags unfurled and years flipped by at the speed of a paper calendar hurricane with the power to make us age and experience and learn about the power of futility

How differently things turned out than I thought they would–

Still.

I remember

the boy with the shy smile and

how he seemed to like me and I him and we were friends we talked nonstop on telephones with cords spanning years and years before

life

became complicated and arduous and we had to be adults in a world in which we never grew up in

we don’t know how.

and I smile a little

sadly.

If

only

Disillusionment by Abigail Larson

Love does not conquer all

This has been a season of all too brief hellos and all too soon goodbyes of friends who were friends for years and years. One I was reunited with. The reuniting was wonderful and a love long dormant in Me was expressed but to the tune of the wrong place and still the wrong time.

I was not the choice. As painful as that is sometimes you just have to accept it and move on. While the reason was all too clear in my situation, sometimes goodbyes are based on situations that are inexplicable and you don’t ever get to know why.

The door, after a goodbye or many opens. Sometimes we trap ourselves in situations because we feel it’s what we deserve and most of the time this choice is unconscious based on what has happened to us in life and what kind of protections we have developed. Even when we don’t need them anymore those same protection mechanisms can become a prison keeping us from growth and new experiences.

For me the goodbye was hard and unwanted but necessary so I didn’t live a lie and also to remain honest, even to a person who didn’t know I was around, who I personally can’t stand but who still as a person deserved my honesty. I was angry at the injustice of things and how the time is never right and I took my anger and frustration out on the one I said goodbye to a little bit. I am not proud of this and I tried to make amends but I leave with silence for an answer and a bittersweet taste in my mouth. Maybe one day in time, we can come around again in the right time and the right place, with understanding and love.

I am weary of goodbye. I am sad and drained and aged. I am now leaving my whole past behind while returning to the place my past occurred. The place has changed, as have the people who populated it…some have moved away, some have died and most have simply grown older. Enough has changed I think that restoration and a new life may take root and I can make my home my own and lay down deep roots, forge new friendships and find a love of my own unfettered by emotional baggage and closed doors and dead ends. Love does not conquer all: it often means, if we are honest, if we are true, that if we really love somebody we have to honor their choices enough to walk away and allow them the freedom to live their choices while sacrificing our own desires. I really loved him in the right way and when I am sad, as I am now, I am comforted by knowing I’ve grown enough to learn that letting go is an act of faith in doors that will open, other opportunities that will come, new people, new possibilities and new growth opportunities.

So I sit in the coffee shop and think of the movie Begin Again:

The hawk and the King

Look back with longing eyes and know that I will follow,

Lift me up in your love as a light wind lifts a swallow,

Let our flight be far in sun or blowing rain–

But what if I heard my first love calling me again?

Hold me on your heart as the brave sea holds the foam,

Take me far away to the hills that hide your home;

Peace shall thatch the roof and love shall latch the door–

But what if I heard my first love calling me once more?

Sara Teasdale, The Collected Poems

I dream endlessly in the arms of the night.

First that hawk flying into my life announcing you two days

before

I tied a message to the bird’s feet and it came back with your exultant reply

Rainbows pour into my black and white existence and Music explodes trumpets and stringed instruments surprising me

this was my heart singing

I am home with you right and present and correct. Years and obstacles mean nothing and there is just us in that large soft landing strip

our world where nothing bad can happen and we inseparable

Then a hole in the sky opened up sweeping you into it and I left here alone again wanting perpetual sleep but

Even my dreams are haunted with you in them

I with a strange family in a large rich house with your two blonde nieces who catch us kissing and you telling them there is no need to tell their aunt anything while you touch me in secret places and leave me wanting and I wake up body responsive and electric

This is the third dream. The first was when we were young and at the end of the runway at home you kissing me endlessly I can feel the smooth roughness if your face under my hands and smell you as I drink you into me

Desire is red and pink and uplifting and I fly upwards upon it wanting you to lift me higher and claim me in upward thrusts at airspeed

The second was last night.

no words only the silence of years apart and we

speaking in the still fraught language of looks caresses and desire

my heart caught hold of my soul as we held each other tightly and burst into flames

Your hand held tightly to mine.

I awoke still feeling the pressure of it

Alone

tearful hard lumps of sorrow liquefying and rushing out of eyes no longer unseeing

I have dreamed three days and plus the last fourteen nights with you a hawk in the first dreams alighting finally in front of me sharp eyes searching

Trusting.

Jesses hanging from your feet no longer tied and captive

Slowly and tenderly I take them off your feet entirely and you allow me to fling you exultantly up into the air and you fly as you always were meant to

you are a speck disappearing then

You are gone. I then sadly scan the empty blue one more time and turn to go back inside exulting in your freedom accepting what is

but no.

You return to me a man, sauntering jauntily up my porch stairs as you do catching hold of me once more

my body breaks out into song

Miracles happen I hear whispered in the breeze

I wait on the porch eyes scanning the horizon

We are connected

Awaiting

Contact

awaiting

Flight

autopsy

four times you have dug me up

peeled the skin away from my extremities

Cracked my ribs open to peer at my heart

and not content with looking

sliced it open scalpel at the ready

you oh vivisectionist, reveling in my dry and rotted flesh watched

as the blood drained from me and

I grew progressively cold

and whiter

you could not wait until I was dead before you peeled the muscle from my bones

my screams of pain your face impassive I the

experiment

you will not find my humanity in my bones

torturer you cannot wear it like a second skin oh if you could disguise yourself

Hannibal Lecter of humans

eater of emotion

murderer

of loving souls

how many skeletons of those who went before me are buried in your basement deep abyss black pitiless intent your

mind their faces your face interchangeable

I see you standing over the bodies nightly in the dark

pondering your next victim

Predator

Dead letter

Dear Fitz

Nineteen years and it was yesterday

and here I am in the middle of my life and nowhere

in a different state

nothing

As I thought it would be

I’ve gone on and on.

I’ve loved and I’ve lost.

I’m living in a world where colors aren’t as bright they

went trailing out after you when you went to that other place and

left me here not knowing what to do my touchstone gone forever

Life yawns on in front of

Me and I might as well be blind for all I cannot see

I’ve given up mostly on things like dreams tired of them shattering like glass when I touch them tired of plans that implode tired of not having a true North to come home to

I sat at your gravestone last ten years ago and listened to the trees whisper you were not there you went home Over There

You’re okay.

I wish I knew that about me. I wish I could sit down with your bad coffee while you play Dylan and we could talk about things and you’d smile and search me with those warm blue eyes and tell me how you love me wandering like a gypsy and I could tell you I’ve seen Ireland twice and wandered Corkside and Dublin and they let me

See Joyce for free and I stood by Molly Malone on McConnell Street drinking a coffee to go from Bewleys

and you’d tell me to go see Budapest or Paris in the springtime

you asked me

Once if I believed in soulmates if I had a soulmate and all I could do was look at you

I wish

I’d told you

I was young then and I didn’t know that people lied because they could I didn’t know that they parade wolves in sheeps clothing and I believed the best of them all and so I was silent and you changed the subject and held me close

when it was time to say good bye

Where’d I go?

Australia that time I think

Life went by and took you with it and now I am in the empty place waiting

for the pieces to unshatter for my heart to be unbroken for the colors to return to the rainbows

you said to see Dublin in the winter and I know you loved the snow

you were the only decent man

I ever knew

and sometimes I know you reach out to me and show me you

love me

And this a dead letter

I travel on

Illusionarium

out there where the cherry blossoms fall drifting out over the green grass like pink snowflakes there we were in

a perfect moment lovers

dreaming spun from

us like magic and we lived in this world where the sun always shone

and even the rain was blessed

and we made plans for futures I did not know then were unreal

when did it all shatter like glass

when did the beach cease to exist and when did the god-voice stop being holy and started taunting us to be what we never could be a constant voice of criticism and disdain

what we never were

and when did you change into a stranger or maybe that is what you always were disguised as something familiar and warm. I wore you like my old green sweater and loved the comfort of your words and embraced your truths as if they were my own

when did I morph into you and lose myself in the process of believing in misty web-dreams

when did we separate

I know when the bell jar cover was lifted and reality rushed in like a hurricane

destroying the dream washing it from us

colors bleeding until we were

no

more

art by 0ctavio Ocampo

Narcissus

Everything is quiet now

like the day after

The earthquake

nothing is as it was nor ever can be

and I am left staring at the detritus wondering if I lit the fuse

or you

what if id just gone along and

been still

what if id stood up for me

who were you really jumbled up in my mind remembering how you told me God came

To you

Spoke to you

like some Old Testament prophet

promised you we would marry you said

how you held me remembering how we planned our wedding our secret plans for Florida remembering how you wanted me constantly calling you hours on the phone hundreds of emails love bombing me move in with me you said

when I got there then you picked me up and

hurled me over the precipice

suddenly

watched impassively as I fell.

God took my love for you

You said.

Don’t go you said.

I heartbroken shattered

confused

Bewildered stayed

where did the love go not understanding it was never there oh no God took it he will give it back when you’re ready

I believed

You

twenty five plus years of knowing nothing about you

suddenly revealed

what you knew about me an unending supply of ammunition

weaponized,

you stopped one day while we walked you’re fat you said

words punching me in the stomach so proud of the weight I’d lost losing more

Insignificant you said

triumph seeing my anger and confusion

and that was the beginning of

the end I with no defenses while

Daily the bombs fell.

I hate how you eat you said

I hate how you look you said

I hate how you walk you said

I don’t like the way you talk you said

I don’t like your sense of humor you said

I don’t like where you came from your family are hillbillies you said

you’re uncultured you said

can’t have you around my family you said till I teach you to walk and talk and eat and act like a lady you said all dancing around in my head simultaneously remembering how smart you thought I was once how funny and vivacious you said I was beautiful we made loverunning into remembering late at night I on one side of your wall you on the other all leading up to the day when you said

You’re mentally ill and

we’ll never have anything until you’re fixed you said.

and you were going to wait and have faith and pray for me while God fixes me

You saint.

You saint.

poking away in my past pushing buttons doing all the things that hurt me I the child you the parent controlling what I ate what I drank how far we walked how I talked while

convincing me how different you are how good you are how healthy you are how while taking me apart brick by brick day by day

until

I am pieces I try to reassemble during the day when you are not there

when you gone is a relief

When you gone means I am free

until

I am nothing more than invisible to you nothing more than someone you used to know nothing more

nothing more than

nothing

I’m helping you, you said.

You’re too sensitive you said.

You should be grateful you said.

I give you everything you said.

Funny how words are worse than atomic bombs how they destroy the soul shatter the heart wound worse than shrapnel

“You’ll deserve me one day,” you said.

was I saved from you or by you or

was I dumped by you

God knows better than I

He set me free

He said.

the snowy day I remember

you were walking into work snow falling lightly around you like big soft white feathers falling from a bird

you saw flight in words, ideas

you lived ideas

thought clouds your head immersed

in walking

you and you alone were the universe the largest infinite all these ideas

that make us human and the stories we live daily in novels and

poetry

I remember you wore your navy pea coat

and no hat snow coloring your shoulders

your hair unruly as always

drifting

down over

your forehead

as if

your thoughts had run over and spilled across your face

silent

Everything silent and white and beautiful and you beautiful in it then

you glanced up as if you’d heard me looking at you and through the snow

the sun broke out on your face in your boyish grin

and my heart opened and flew to you

you held it gently

so as not to break its delicate wings

your blue eyes dancing with mine

so glad to see one another the snow seemed to waltz across us as an entire conversation played out in the silence between us wrapping us in its embrace

while the snow fell

enshrining