December 9, 2021

Love, Life, Longing—& a Kiss of Drama: What We’re really Looking For.


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“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.” ~ Marilyn Monroe


Love is the melody, the wail, the ache, the wound, and the balm.

A bit dramatic. But what is life without a little drama?

Nature is dramatic. Crashing lightning, plummeting precipices, screeching birds of prey who soar to astonishing heights.

We who are wild are fueled by drama.

Awoo! A wolf’s howl from a woman’s mouth. Wolves mate for life, many of them. At 41, I have yet to have a proper life-mate, but maybe I’m afraid to get too attached. Attachment often fuels drama.

Soft sounds bubble from parted lips. Mmm’s mumbled, sweet maybes, sighs that turn into ecstatic yes’s, and silent prayers.

I have prayed to be known in love.

No longer am I willing to pretend that I am, or can offer, anything less than the totality of my love. But that, I believe, is maybe where I f*cked up before.

My love—mine.

Maybe I was selfish when I needed to be more giving or maybe I was too giving when, at times, I should have been a bit more selfish. Selfish is a dirty word in our society. It carries with it connotations of narcissism, vapidity, and perhaps, arrogance.

The term that might be more accurate for what I wish to express is self-full. Being self-full is the opposite of being self-absorbed.

When we are self-absorbed, we are actually lacking substance and in order to fill that absence, we attempt to suck others into that void, into our drama. My anxiety causes me to function in this way at times. Yes, I realize it’s a bit narcissistic. It’s regressive narcissism, not a pathological kind.

When my anxiety is high, I feel like I need all the attention. I don’t even know I feel that way, to be honest. It’s more of an intense need to discharge energy and story than a conscious desire to hog attention. Regardless, it seems to come off the same to those who may be caught in the state of witnessing, and they may be able and willing to hold me or they may be overwhelmed.

I’m a high intensity, high sensitivity individual. I don’t particularly love drama any more than any red-blooded human does. However, if we honestly examine our relationship with entertainment, it’s easy to see how much people actually do love drama. The movie industry pulls in billions every year. After I write, I’ll watch Netflix. I am not immune.

In the past, when perusing dating sites, I always took note of the profiles that boldly declare, “No drama.” This to me is a clear indicator of something. Of what, I am not sure. I speculate though.

I imagine that the person who puts “no drama” in their profile is, in fact, far more addicted to drama than they are being upfront (even with themselves) about. The other possibility is that they have no real empathetic capacity for genuine human emotions—that emotions themselves are viewed as drama.

I can’t help but wonder, isn’t love a little dramatic?

I’m not talking about emotional abuse, gaslighting, or having to walk on eggshells. I’m talking about that titillating tingle when our lover calls or our person texts us. That thrill when we’re early in the game with a crush. Or the warm wave of relief when we hear from a familiar beloved or, especially, an estranged loved one.

Love is damn dramatic! Would we want it any other way?

I f*cking hate this New Age obsession with neutral as much as I hate khaki. No, wait, more. Khaki, though a truly unimaginative tone for fabric, walls, or anything else, can still be worn for functionality. And yes, neutral, in terms of functionality (on a vehicle, anyway) is necessary. I guess it’s necessary for life as well. We need a place to rest. We need a—oh, hell!—neutral zone in conflict and arguments and we need staples for our wardrobe.

The necessity of neutrality having now been thoroughly established, it’s not something that we want to aspire to, that is, unless you want to be an Eckhart Tolle clone. If you know who that is, and that is the case, you may as well stop reading now because I am inevitably, and delightfully, going to offend you.

F*ck the power of now. I want the pull and poignancy of yesterday. I want the promise of tomorrow, the rose-gold sunrise that is yet to come.

I want love that is still unfolding, like the orange poppy I watched peel back one early fall morning while sitting on this little schoolhouse’s steps. The bees swarmed round—tiny prickled pollen-collecting feet prying at its petals—wanting its nectar.

I want my nectar to be wanted, to be seduced by desire, itself. Now that’s what I call drama.

I want my memories—all of them. I want to remember the loves that were, even when we didn’t love well. That ain’t happening in the now, but you better damn well believe that it will still affect it. Our hearts, our bodies, remember.

Sometimes healing is remembering together, not with the one with whom we made the memory, but with one who is present now and is capable of care.

Too often, we treat care as if it is an exchangeable commodity, but real, genuine care is nothing short of the most healing balm in the world. It has the ability to transcend space and time. Though we are told over and over that compassion is something that we must extend to ourselves (and it is), it is also possibly the most precious thing that we can share with another human being.

In order to care, to truly care, we need capacity both neurological and emotional. We need empathy. We need to be able to stretch ourselves around another being. We need to be self-full so we do not absorb them into our own story—our drama. We can still let our stories guide us in relating. We don’t need to take the other in, to fix or save them. We just need to be with them.

To find someone to simply be with—gawd, what a gift!

The gift of simply being is something I’ve known in friendship, with certain family members, and now in my relationship.

As a woman, to have someone—a man, my man—both inside and all around me, and still know exactly what, who, and where I am—even in the process of the most exquisite dissolution—that is what I have yearned for longer than I can remember.

I am melting into and embracing my wanting, craving, and needing for the exquisite human drama that is love.


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