Old Faded Photographs

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A vast and empty white space. So intimidating and so promising.

The emptiness, it’s a beginning. And beginnings are intimidating and promising.

Now, I consider myself an adult. I’m 31, I can fully comprehend (some) complicated processes and I take my car in to get the tires changed. I’m responsible for a child and a herd of fuzzy and adorable animals. By definition, I’d say I’m an adult.

But, when I sit down to write in this vast white space, I find myself wandering back to write about what I loved when I was 14.  My 14 year old self delighted in poetry, travel, and love. I fervently took images of clouds. I could feel time start and stop in the ocean, my body fully submerged. I gazed down from airplanes and knew that the open spaces of the world knew my name and I knew of their hidden depths and secret beauty. I understood the language of the lonely.

Granted, when I wander backwards in time, I now have this annoying adult perspective. I see things with different eyes. More empathetic and relaxed eyes. The world is now this big grey mass, where there is no firm yes or firm no to anything or anyone. Obviously, fanny packs are a firm no, but other more nebulous things, that to a 14 year old seemed abstract and definite, are no longer definite.

Now love, the glorious love like in movies, I still believe it exists. It’s no longer a game with end – no “happily ever after,” like I initially believed. Love is the entire game itself, whose moving parts are still baffling and beautiful. There are infinite ways to love another human being, and there is no knowing how long or with what intensity you will love that individual. The game of love is a frustrating dance that destroys us while it fulfills us.

I’ve always been fascinated by love. Not necessarily the pure and simple kind of love; the kind between family and friends and animals. That love is so true and fundamental. It rarely hurts, and it typically feeds us the way a fresh loaf of bread feeds us. Warmly and softly.

No, I’m intrigued by the love that burns swift and bright.

The kind of love that buries it’s blade so far into you, that the idea of ever living whole again is an alien notion.

The kind of love that feels like a mental illness – and might as well be.

The kind of love that feels like an ocean swelling right under your rib cage, not letting go, ebbing and splashing and making your mind a mess with debris that it leaves in its wake.

The kind of love that nourishes and starves you in the same helping. It’s electric and it knows it.

It ends. It transforms. It moves on. It leaves you as it found you or it leaves you broken or it leaves you more whole than you could have ever imagined.

This love, that is both infinite and fleeting, why does it feel like it knows all the secret’s to the universe and shows you in brief bursts?

I hate it and I adore it as it runs up and down my spine.

Is it merely a manifestation of self? Some bloated belief that our consciousness and subconscious needs to cope with existence?

Does it actually exist beyond our physical death, floating in space, cradling the souls of those we love with it’s light?

Do we remember the love we’ve felt before like an “I know you” sort of memory? Not a soul mate. A love that is less soul mate and more like an old faded photograph. Like a feeling that was felt on that distant shore of live’s long past.

I think so.

I try to remember these feelings, these faded photographs, and look past a person’s skin and bones and see them for what they have always been and what they will always be. Magic and stardust.

When you find those flecks of stardust, that you recognize as part of your galaxy, remember, they might not remember you, they might be searching for their own particular magic. Let them be. Love them. And know, that not all stars shine side by side – sometimes you must seek your light and they must seek theirs.

Love is never wasted. No matter how small or how grand. Love with all you have. For when you’re dust floating in space among the light and love of millenniums, you’ll know, that your love mattered.

…and these thoughts are what I’m filling this vast empty white space with today.




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