“It ought to be easy ought to be simple enough
Man meets woman and they fall in love
But the house is haunted and the ride gets rough
And you’ve got to learn to live with what you can’t rise above
if you want to ride on down in through this tunnel of love.”
Tunnel of Love- Bruce Springsteen
“Time in New England
Took me away
To long rocky beaches
–and you, by the bay
We started a story
Whose end must now wait
And, tell me
When will our eyes meet
When can I touch you
When will this strong yearning end
And when will I hold you again?”
Weekend in New England- Barry Manilow
“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion –
I have shudder’d at it.
I shudder no more.
I could be martyr’d for my religion
Love is my religion
And I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
~ by John Keats ~
The problem with opening that box of memories is that once I do I am compelled to relive it. I stand on the riverbanks and stare at a sky full of images. It is a tapestry of hope and fear and loss and love. The pictures go scrolling by and I do my best to absorb every detail. I look for answers to questions I dare not ask aloud and I wonder.
Thus is the life of a dreamer whose feet are still rooted upon the ground. My flights of fancy are not simple in nature. Oh sure, I have them. Simple desires that help to make me smile are mixed in among the lot. One does not preclude the other. The dreams I have are often no different than that of mythology.
Do you remember when I told you that I would be your Orpheus? Remember, the story, the woman he loved died from the bite of a snake and was taken to the underworld.Orpheus was heartbroken by her loss and refused to accept it.
It is an incredible story. He made his way into the underworld and convinced Hades to set her free. A love so strong that not even death could keep them apart. Since it is a Greek tragedy there is another piece to it. Orpheus overcomes death to bring his girl back and then loses her again.
But, we won’t talk about that. If you are going to dream big you don’t settle for a moment in time. You don’t fight your way into death’s domain and then lose her. Not me, no way. If I faced death to bring you home I would find a way to make sure it stuck.
I’d use force of will, my wits and a size 12 boot. I’d bring you home, I would.
Maybe the tragic ending is why I also told you about the Tolkien story of Luthien Tinuviel and Beren. Luthien was the most beautiful elf to ever live. She fell in love with Beren, a human. I promised to read the story with you. A chance to read about another great love that wasn’t supposed to be, but succeeded against all odds.
I love those stories. I always have. Don’t know if I ever believed that they had any basis in reality. Not sure if I ever imagined myself being a part of them. I may be a dreamer, but that is not really the sort of dream that I used to have. The thing is that I can’t remember.
I can’t remember a time when you weren’t a part of me. Intellectually I know that it existed. Intellectually I know that there were years in which I was a boy and then a man who had no idea that a girl/woman like you existed. I think that I might have dreamt about you. I think that I must have, but I am not even sure.
There are moments that stick out, little fragments of time that I think foreshadowed your arrival. I remember nights in Jerusalem where I felt like there was someone waiting for me, felt a presence that I could never identify. I remember a time in Yosemite hiking through the hills where I felt like I was going to find someone.
We didn’t meet in any of those places. It was elsewhere, a secret garden that we built. Our private sanctuary in the world that we created. We laughed and cried together. Sometimes we screamed at each other. We let loose the arrows and slings and unloaded all that lay there.
The trust we had was incredible. No one had ever spoken to us like that. It would have been intolerable and unforgivable. But we were more than that. Incredible and extraordinary. Our fire burned brighter and hotter.
I have heard people suggest that this sort of passion isn’t sustainable and that it is the beauty and burden of the relationship.They say that this is what makes you love another more deeply than ever before and that is the reason you can’t stay together.
But I never paid attention to that. I jumped into the fire and burned but wasn’t hurt. You protected me. Your heart and your soul kept the flames from consuming me. And while you sat in the boat I pushed it through the river of flames.
It was part of my promise to you. When I saw the storm coming I said that I would find a way to get us through. I told you to focus on the things that you had to do. I told you that your love would be enough. You are my air and my heart.
And so here I am engulfed in the flames. I burn and I ache in ways that I cannot describe. The normal lines of communication have been severed. I move ahead on instinct and the belief that my gut will lead me to where it is we need to go. I have paid a severe price, but I would gladly pay it again.
“Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prove,
That valleys, groves, hills and fields,
Woods or steepy mountains yields.
And we will sit upon the rocks,
Seeing the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of roses,
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool,
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and ivy buds,
With coral clasps and amber studs;
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my love.
The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning;
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my love.”
The Passionate Shepherd to His Love- Christopher Marlowe