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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More on letting go

I've been sorting and cleaning again. I thought it was a simple task and scheduled it on my list today. The reality is if it was simple, it wouldn't have taken me years to get at it. Since I'm not working or writing much these days, I've run out of excuses for not getting on with my chores.

I have a collection of wooden boxes that contain mementos from long ago. I have carried them for almost thirty years and today they are still hard to toss. I did let go of the hospital wrist bands from the birth my eldest child and the umbilical cord clip. Yes, I kept everything. I boxed up, for donation, dozens of earrings I no longer wear but can't bare to trash. I confess to owning quadruples of lipstick, mascara, and eye pencils and palettes. I pitched the bulk of it, keeping only one lip color I love and making sure the eye pencils I saved were useable.

Now, to that letter. I will tell you that I believed every word written when it was presented nearly thirty years ago. Things changed. I spent years angry and pissed off about how that relationship turned out. The betrayal was overwhelming. After years of therapy, I walked in to the therapist office and cried through tossing the remaining items I was saving (for someday) - gifts I had tucked away, until... That hurt has passed and I have certainly lived though more and worse, but still I am holding this love letter. As a matter of fact, I have a rather large collection of love letters from past relationships. In and earlier purge, I sacrificed nearly a year of written correspondence that rained love, compassion and understanding. What a pity!

I have decided that I am going to keep my love notes, cards, letters, post-its, CDs and cassettes (remember we used to make those, before playlist?). I honor that I opened my heart, repeatedly, and allowed another to get close to me and me to them. I celebrate the dance of our time even when we stomped off the floor and ended the evening in a public row. I was prone to intensely passionate loving expressions. I maintained that same fervor as our patience, tolerance, and compatibility faded.

The intervening years have cleared my interest in that level of interaction; I live free of chaos, crisis, and confusion. And while my memories are sufficient to recall many a boisterous disagreement, I prefer to relax and enjoy rereading our expressions of love. I have a broad collection of published poems and essays. I read the poetry of Rumi and Hafiz. But, how very personal are the notes that were written for me.
A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more than you love me?
Beloved replied, I have died to myself and I live for you.
I've disappeared from myself and my attributes,
I am present only for you.
I've forgotten all my learnings,
but from knowing you I've become a scholar.
I've lost all my strength, but from your power I am able.
I love myself...I love you.
I love you...I love myself.

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