Every time I think
I’ve smashed them all
I find another fortress
Occupied by some juvenile
Version of myself
In eternal battle
With who I was
The dark child trapped in battle
Green plastic army men
Hand painted Vikings
Lining the walls
Of stone basements
Bound in blankets
Piled on boxes
Pillows on all sides
Of the shared fulcrum
A house of cards
By those who would command it
The brothers battling
To occupy as much space as possible
Before inevitable annihilation
With thoughtless tactics
Dancing at prom
In a hand me down flesh suit
Driving hand me down cars
Dating hand me down girlfriends
Who become second time wives
Or just don’t give a damn
Jobs that lead nowhere
An attitude that leads to despair
A life that leads to solitude
Until I set the men myself
Upon walls that remain
Strong and well guarded And the house of cards
I have spent years disincorporating the trappings that most people suffer from. I have no bills. No material needs. No responsibilities except to my dog, my self, and to those that I love. Because of this I have been able to live without judgment or expectation or hurry. To focus only on those things that matter most to me; love and gratitude. And I am free to love. Completely.
While this may sound ideal, even Utopian, and so long as I was single I must admit that it was, these traits, the very same traits that attracted the woman I love, can be detrimental in a relationship.
Example: I have no credit. Until very recently I literally had a non-existent credit score. Not a bad score. None at all. I paid cash or bartered for everything I owned. Before making my move South I owned all the same things anyone else might own; a boat, camper, motorcycle, car. All without credit. More than others, I owned my home. Yes, it was a cheap home, but it was mine, debt-free. I created sacred space there. Free from all negative influence. It was comfortable. Peaceful. It was my retreat.
Sounds nice, doesn’t it? It is. Very. So long as I was single. Now, not so much.
Living like that has it’s benefits but it is not an easy way to live. It left very little room for savings and none at all for mistakes or accidents. It is a way of life that is very hand-to-mouth.
In the last few months I have rejoined the world, as far as is necessary to be in a committed relationship, and I now have the credit score of a teenager. Not bad for a couple months effort but not so easy to buy property like that. Less easy to reassure my Beloved of my financial responsibility when I can’t even afford to take her out for dinner.
How strange to find myself diving back into the material world after spending so much time dissociating from it. Especially so late in life.
Things will change. They must change if I am to have a successful relationship. So I am back on the grid again. Doing so has taken much time and effort and caused more than a little stress and is the main reason I haven’t written much lately. This is not a bad thing. Not at all.
I will maintain balance in this change. I will never become attached to material things but I know that I must admit them into my life if I am to coexist with my Beloved. I will push myself to those limits I know exceed others because I know that in doing so I will provide a life that my Beloved deserves. Desire, other than the desire to make my Beloveds life better, plays no part in this decision. That is how balance is maintained. What I do, I do for Love. Same as ever.
So now I am like a horse that spent it’s life at the gate, ready to run but without a race to run in. There, at the gate, I lived quite comfortably. I had nothing to prove. Nowhere to go. One might grow fat and lazy living like that but I never lost sight of that gate. I remained prepared, I learned the course and the wind and the best days to run behind the sun or chasing the moon because I always knew that one day the gates would open and I would have to run like the wind. I have never doubted for a second that I would place.
Such faith and hope, the same I so often try to convey here, is also utopian. It is beautiful in word. Passionate in poem. But in real life it requires that my Lover also have faith and hope, and in the world she lives in, the world you live in, faith and hope are things experienced only briefly in flashes or desperation. They are ephemeral. Intangible.
If someone had told me several years ago that I would drive into a hurricane to be with the woman I loved I would have smiled at such a romantic notion but denied the possibility. I had, after all, sworn off love. I was not ready.
So I spent those years preparing myself. Learning what love is. How to express it. To share it. I took the time to learn what it is that I wanted from love and from life. To become the person I am now so if I ever had the chance to experience real love I would be ready.
Last week I drove into Hurricane Nate to be with the woman I love.
At the same time, I also drove out of the hurricane that was once my life. Hurricane James. I left the last remnants of that former life with the furniture and bed, still made, dishes washed and left in cupboards, keys left to a friend as a gift of my former home in North Dakota as I broke free of the chrysalis where I transformed.
I spread my wings and, for the very first time in my life, knew exactly where I was going and what I needed to do.
It took a long time to get here. A lifetime. It is a journey I would gladly make again because it has led me to a place of love and of hope.
My future, while still uncertain in many ways, feels more sure than it ever has. Every step I make is made with faith. With courage. With the knowledge that those steps are no longer made alone. Every step is made with “Us” in mind. It makes a difference.
My heart feels large. Expansive. Enveloping. Full. It has been joined with another, my Beloved, in ways I could only imagine before now. Ways I knew existed but had never experienced.
I have travelled a long way to get here and I have a long way yet to go, but I am, finally, home.
It’s okay, Love
Lean back into me
Let me wrap my arms around you
Rock you gently
Kiss your neck
Silence the day
With wordless passion
As we watch the Moon
Now round and full
Light the clouds that gather
and will away the worry
by fear and myth and legend
by paths of my own invention
to the ends of my contention
nor with disguised intention
and found the soil lacking
those still same toxic words I heard
“fell this limb
it will grow no more” they say
no longer part of the tree
will wither and die