May 17, 2017
Many years ago the Bee Gees asked the plaintive question “how can you mend a broken heart?”. The same question has been asked over and over for eons, since modern romantic love came into being, some say in the middle ages, when romance began being celebrated in songs and stories. In the 12th century, people were encouraged to have a more emotional and personal relationship with the holy, when the church went from an uptight, austere image of God, to a new focus on the humane sweetness of Jesus. (I believe he was in love with his muse, Mary Magdalene, but that’s another groovy story for another blog)
Each time I’ve had my heart shattered by a man I was in love with, (or thought I was – it sure feels the same at the time) the pain was scorching, as if the flames of agony singeing my entire self would never, ever, ever stop burning red hot. Even though intellectually I knew they would at least simmer down and become memory embers, the suddenly empty heart ached for his touch, smell, arms, his true, true love encompassing me like no other.
Still, after my last break-up, I was stunned by the piercing grief, unbearable loss, and futile misery that followed. After all, I was very much a grown woman, a busy, active, successful female with much on my crowded plate, places to go, people to see, planes to board. When he walked out my door the last time as my beloved lover, I lost myself. I was gone. It was shocking to feel so un-me. Who was I? I was part of a pair, wasn’t I? One half of a complete couple. Where had my other half gone? Out the fucking door, that’s where. He had turned me on to Ray Price for God’s sake. Would I ever be able to listen to that exquisite silky voice again? I sank into my couch, the same bloody couch where we’d made love, where he’d taken out his guitar and played the songs he’d written for me, where we’d gorged on endless Forensic Files, where I’d served him countless plates of yummy breakfasts, lunches, dinners. How could I even sit there anymore? How would I be able to stand my own couch? Everywhere I looked, he’d been there. Looking at me.
“And this too shall pass,” said my sweet Lord Jesus, a phrase I clung onto like a freaking life raft as the solemn, tear-sodden days and tossy-turny, tear-stained, wet-pillow nights passed in a gloomy oblivion. There were things I had to do, and I did them, but I don’t remember what any of them were. I do remember when the realization hit me that not only had I lost my true love, I had lost his music as well. I loved his goddamn music as much as I loved him because I have a groupie heart. And back then it was beating in time with every single one of his songs that I had memorized. Each note, each nuance, breath and syllable.
Every building we entered together he told me I was the most beautiful woman who had ever passed through that particular door. Very heady stuff. Very heady indeed. There were times when we gazed into each others’ eyes for literally 30 or 40 minutes; ethereal shit that is impossible to put into words passed between us. For years. To this moment, I can conjure up his eyes whenever I need a shot of adoration. I know I’ve done something right because a man once looked at me like that. Directly into me. The me that we all are.
In fact, that’s what I’m here to tell you. Jesus was right. And this too DID finally pass. It took a motherfucking long time. Yes, indeed, time does heal all wounds, and the drenching acid rain agony slowly dissipated. It was a sweet relief when I felt a little butterfly of life come out of its cocoon within my solar plexus and spread its damp and dusty wings. Ahhhh, there I am. Whew. Not gone forever after all.
Today we are friends. I will always love this man.
Happily, I am friends with all of my (living) exes. To share such glorious moments with another and excise them from your life is a cosmic crime. Even in the throes of heartache withdrawals, I knew I’d dance to his music again. And while I’m dancing, my heart will beat in time with his songs. I can’t help it.
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