“Warriorship is so tender, without skin, without tissue, naked and raw. It is soft and gentle.
You have renounced putting on a new suit of armor. You have renounced growing a thick, hard skin.
You are willing to expose naked flesh, bone, and marrow to the world.”
~ Chögyam Trungpa
This is for you, my love.
I’ve been sitting for days, it feels like—weeks, or years, even.
My mat, freshly powered by the full blue moon sits beside me as I work; every time I walk by, I can feel her whisper, It’s time to move.
Tonight, I could hear her, loud and clear; despite the heavy of my body and the weight of lungs, full of grief and exhaustion—I knew she was right: now was the time to move.
And so, this moment that I had been anticipating, this moment that I had been avoiding, down to the tear drops I knew would fall the moment I stepped onto her sacred surface, was happening.
I stripped myself bare, down to my flesh and bones and beating heart, and unrolled my mat, turning up my latest musical love affair.
Here I go, I thought. Here I go, on my own, alone—me and my tears.
But they didn’t—the tears, which have been leaving little puddles everywhere I go, didn’t fall from my eyes and my body didn’t crumble to the ground.
Instead, I felt myself swell with strength—my body moved, my breath took over and I could feel myself shed the layers of grief and sorrow that had begun to weigh me down.
I took myself by surprise, of that, there is no doubt. I moved and moved and played with standing on my hands and standing on my head—I could smell my body and watch my rolls as I moved, my eye at first critical and then softening into my marks.
I took myself through backbend after backbend, spending longer and longer each time, begging my lungs to shake themselves free of the quicksand of grief that was clinging on as if it was the end of the world.
The truth of is this is the end of a chapter; the end of my world as I know it and everything is both an ending and a new beginning; it’s terrifying.
I thought that great love, real love, true love, was the kind that would sustain and hold us through every storm that would pass; I thought that what it meant to be in love was to hold on for dear life and to never let go, no matter how violent the waves.
But what I am learning is that even in the goodbye, we can love like the ocean.
And that maybe, this love, the love that starts the process of unwinding two lives, two beating hearts; the love that slowly starts to separate books that have hugged together for some time on the shelves, a thin layer of dust marrying them together; the love that stacks dishes and cutlery that have become the best of friends—the love that talks about where the four-legged beast that I jokingly-but-very-seriously call our kid is going to live, is the biggest love that there is.
Goodbyes, though full of sad nights relearning how to take a starfish shape in the bed at night, of awkward conversations and the random explosion of tears, are when our love shines through in its purest form.
The day I find a new place to lay my head, I will dream of the creak in the stairs and the dance of light through the windows in this old house; I will remember the weight of you sinking into bed beside me, late at night or early in the morning, our four-legged love carving a space for himself between us.
I will remember each moment, for they are imprinted in my heart, that beating, broken, bloody thing in my chest.
I will dream of you happy and free—of your hands in the dirt and your eyes shaped like a camera, a jungle of garden surrounding your silver-headed self.
I think of this all, as I move, slower now and sink deeper, now.
I settle my body into stillness but for a moment; the grief is not gone but the anxiety has lessened enough for me to stop moving and to feel this vibrate through my heart:
We will recover from this, I know; some day soon, I will laugh out loud at more than animals on trampolines—and light will bounce back into your eyes as we speak. Our story will always be ours, and we have learned, through this surreal, foreign land, what love truly is.
For now, I will learn how to say goodbye in these sweet and sorrowful days, and continue to love as fiercely as the sea.
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