To Those Loved Without Labels.
The universe seems, against all rationality, a perfect sphere
outside whose soft perimeters our hearts beat.
Though within that smooth circle
dust rises, settles; fates are stirred; people, like planets, orbit,
events ebb, and flow like tides,
and life ticks on,
in the recesses of my heart,
where solitude should be considered celebrated reflection,
I think hard on just how to satisfy the space between us,
just how to compromise
To Those Loved Without Labels
Some say there are those of us who mistake intensity for intimacy.
Some would confuse obsession with love.
Others have taken shallow breaths after missed-heartbeats,
and lived long after
suspending their disbelief to replay the magic of ones-gotten-away,
reliving the uncertainty, prolonging the unresolved, taking a sweet pleasure in the pains of what-if.
Not all relationships are practical. Not all love is reciprocal. Not all soul-mates are meant for the long-haul.
Some come to us and spark something elemental;
if we strike while the iron is hot, a beautiful, alchemical process molds a thing of beauty.
And those bits of beauty might be enough to sustain a magical life.
There is pleasure in the pain of creation of beauty, and pain in the embers of the power of change.
Some styles of love strike at us, and some, we generate.
Some start as raw elements, some as actions.
Some as nouns, some as verbs.
Some transmute from one to the other.
Each form needs both, at some stage, in order to avoid causing suffering.
There are those we love through friendship, a sense of kindred compassion,
those who inspire in us a compulsion to inspire others.
Then there are the unexpected. Those who evoke in us sparks, and intensity to create more beauty
whether through action, words, thoughts, or art.
We would not forget those who have always loved us, and who we have always loved. Those we are devoted to
and who have loved us when we would have forgotten to love ourselves.
We would not forget those we would not be capable of feeling this new love without in the first place.
Without those stable foundations, we wouldn’t be in such a position to expand our love in so many directions.
But fear of misconceptions and deviation from social norms prevent us from revealing all of our love, at times,
to some of the inevitable, unexpected hearts we find along the way.
From fully sharing and fully being present for those unexpected others. They have us questioning ourselves, our boundaries, our intentions, and the very hearts that feel so much.
It is the boundaries that are the most chaotic. This is where I fall short.
Between intensity and intimacy,
Between being needed and being respected,
Between respecting and wanting,
Between being attentive and admiring and desiring attention and admiration,
Revealing, and pulling back.
In the giving and receiving of confidence and confidences.
In being rescued and being relied upon.
There is a compulsion in a heart that feels so strongly about so many things—any heart—to search the hearts of others.
And when one finds a heart similar to one’s own—it can never be the same. But what could once produce a thing of beauty,
becomes a dilemma. An array of new boundaries and definitions.
There will always be those who come into our lives whose roles, love, influence, who we don’t dare label.
The loves that can not quite be properly credited. And yet they shape us in ways no one can begin to imagine.
They create beauty and inspiration.
That is one of the most profound pleasures and pains of life. The space and boundaries between hearts.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran