Monday, February 4, 2013

On Love and Broken Hearts

Francesca Woodman


Love clouds memory, overpowers. I can’t seem to call her forth from the deeps. I see her, a half-silhouette in the waning light of August. She is older now. Not old, I mean, we are in our twenties. Grandma is still alive. The cabin, still someplace we want to go, a place longed for. I don’t think I’ll ever return to that cabin, the lake cabin our grandfather built. The place he and his four children our mothers and their two brothers, and his wife, spent their summers. Truth is that cabin is tainted in every way, but I can’t get into that here. What do I mean, love clouds? I am looking through the window into the windows of my back porch, through which I see trees that I can describe in my mind better than I could ever explain if I were really seeing them. It doesn’t matter what we are really seeing, it is just the emotion we long for. The trigger that shuts down the thinking mind, lets us live there in the currents of the underworld, the past brain, place of ancestry, of mythic imagination. I can never explain to you how much certain moving clouds, on windy days, in blue fielded skies, mean to me. But I can say, in the rivers of the soul such clouds give us glimpses of the Beyond, whatever that means to you. I can say, the color of the sky—blue, like the veins of the skin—tastes of salt water and sun, it smells like the sea when you were a child and you ran into the waves, dove with them until your eyes stung and your head burned from the sun and you were so tired and hungry that all you wanted was to sit in your mother’s warm lap eating mint chocolate ice cream, dreaming of the hour you’d catch the wave just so and it would pummel you towards shore.

The Beyond, to me, is many things, one being a place where time folds in on itself—shuts down—and we float free, soul and body free. Looking through the windows and trying to remember her, to recall her to mind, all I see is her walking in an oversized red jacket beside a tall thin man near a lake that stretches beyond the horizon. A lake that when you look at it, flows all the way to the sky. I want to see her with her son again. Remember that her love for him moved her through this world. I know she thinks she has lost him. She has, but no one can say what the future holds. And yes I am writing this here for you. I know I can’t reach you. But I can go on loving you as if everything in the world depended on it, knowing it will never do a bit of good. This is broken heartedness. You see. I know you think you’re the one with the broken self, but your broken self has broken the hearts of dozens of people who go on loving you because they can’t stop and they won’t and they never will. But you could, you really could, save those hearts if you were just willing to try and love yourself again.  

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