Water Won’t Extinguish This Fire


There are no coincidences because what you see, hear and do are part of something greater than us. It is tied into something larger that can be described as both mystical and magical.

Don’t ask me to explain this because I can’t tell you how or why. All I can say is that I know because I have experienced it. I have seen it. I have lived it. I have been there and that is all the proof that I can provide.

It won’t be enough for some of you. It won’t be the kind of thing that you can accept because you can’t buy, touch or taste it. Actually that is not true, you can but only if you open your mind and let your soul seek its match.

I know this because for the longest time I didn’t do it. I spent years not buying into it or believing that it could be real. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to because I did. I desperately wanted to believe that this thing was something tangible. Because I just knew that if I could feel it in my hands and see it with my eyes it would prove that there was something to this dream I had once lived.

You see I fell in love with a girl and I loved her fiercely. I loved her madly. I loved her passionately. I loved her in every way that the poets wrote of, spoke of and dreamed of.

I loved her with all of my heart and all of my soul. I loved her desperately and somewhere in that madness I lost her.

Some of you can’t feel what I am saying. These words have no meaning to you. They are figments of imagination that you can’t feel, see or taste. So they never grab you. Your heart, your eyes and your mind are closed to them.

I can’t fault or blame you because I used to be like you. I used to look at this sort of writing and roll my eyes because I didn’t know. I hadn’t seen. I hadn’t felt it.

But that was long ago. That was in the time before I became who I am now. That was before I understood that love is a drug that can make you soar to the highest heights and or drop your ass into a pit so dark and dank you can’t remember what it felt like to see sunshine.

Some of you are nodding your head. You don’t even realize that you are doing it. You aren’t even aware that your pulse has quickened and you can’t see anything other than these words and even those are growing faint.

That is because we are running with the moon you and I. We are partners on a journey and you want to know more about my story because you hope that maybe it holds some sort of key insight to your story.

You want to know about the girl I loved and what happened to her. You want to know if there is hope for us because if there is hope for us there might be some for you.

The thing that is ever so interesting about this is that I haven’t given you much in the way of detail. You haven’t heard about how we met in the most unusual way or how crazy it all was. You don’t know how it is we fell in love. You wonder if I am exaggerating or maybe you don’t.

Maybe you know what it is like to have that kind of passion where you can’t stand not having that person in your life because there is a gaping void that aches and burns without respite.  Maybe you too were surprised to discover that the kind of crazy love you experienced the first time you ever fell in love could come back. Maybe you were shocked by the passion and overwhelmed by the loss of the friendship that you had.

Because that friendship threw you for a loop. It wasn’t just about love or lust. You liked them as a person. They filled the gaps and made you believe that you could be more than you were. They made you believe that all that hokey stuff you read in cheap paperbacks or saw on television might be based in reality. You understood that you could be naked in every possible way with them and be confident that they would caress your soul and cradle your heart.

It doesn’t have to be a dream. You don’t have to keep running with the moon. You don’t have to feel that enormous sense of loss or wonder whether you can ever love and be loved like that again because if it happened once it can happen again.

There are no coincidences. You can live your dream. You can find a way back. All you need to do is let go, submit to the reality of the possibility and accept that there will be opportunity.

It is not poetry or fiction. It is reality. It can’t happen on its own but if you ask and if you believe you will find the answer. You don’t need the old gypsy woman to sell you Love Potion number 9.

There are no coincidences.

Because I found you again.

depth of love
But I didn’t know what it meant to ache until I lost you.

I ached and ached and ached, lived alone and apart trying to figure out what happened.

We stole fire from the gods and I danced and dodged the lightning bolts without fear or reservation because I had complete trust in you and in us.

I knew if I fell you would be there but I never really worried about falling because every time I ever had I jumped right up and resumed the dance.

Until it happened.

You left.

And then I who had won every battle I had ever been in, climbed every mountain and figured out the answer to every challenge sat against the wall in the dark trying to figure out what the fuck had just happened and how I could have been so damn dumb.

Took me a while to sort through it all and figure out what had happened.

Days turned into months and I wondered when I would shake the images of you from my head. Told myself I had been through heartbreak and that it would pass.

Then I woke up one day and felt better than I had in forever. Felt like a weight had lifted and I smiled because I figured I was back.

Figured that time had passed and I was good again but things weren’t exactly the way I thought or expected.

“In every heart there is a room
A sanctuary safe and strong
To heal the wounds from lovers past
Until a new one comes along”
And So It Goes- Billy Joel

My seventies girl once told me that she thought that most of my music sucked. I laughed and said seventies girl sucks too. She tossed her hair back, smiled and turned towards the sea.

We sat in silence and watched the waves roll in and out. As we sat there, our fingers intertwined I felt our souls smile and let my mind wander where it would.

Water gives life. It also takes it away. Wind and waves. I told her once that I could see how the ocean could become my mistress. The sounds of the sea called out to me and touched the wanderlust within. She took her hand and turned my face towards her and stared into my eyes.

I knew her thoughts before she spoke them and promised to take her wherever it was I went. “You are the song of my heart and what happens to you happens to me.” A soft kiss graced my lips and we sat again in silence.

We who had never known such happiness never knew that one day we would know such sorrow. It had seemed impossible that two people could meet under such circumstances as we did and not end up together. Signs and symbols serenaded our souls healing the scars of the past and opening up opportunities of the future.

Her presence made me stand a little bit taller and made my muscles a little bit stronger. In turn I taught her to relax and let another carry the load. Her burden didn’t have to be borne alone and when she finally let go I carried her effortlessly.

We were partners. We were friends. We were lovers. It is hard to write these words, ‘we were” when my heart says that they should read “we are.

Sometimes I head to the beach again and think of the days when we sailed together. The sounds of the sea call out to me and I think of that day when I spoke of my mistress the sea and wonder if perhaps the time has come to set sail again.

I stand alone on the beach and watch the waves roll towards the shore. I wonder about what lies beneath the surface and absentmindedly turn towards you but you are not there. A wistful smile works its way across my face.

Had you been there I would have mentioned the tsunami and how incredible the power of the ocean is. I would have talked about the secrets that it keeps and how amazing it is that one moment the sea can be calm and the next it is raging.

Water gives life. It also takes it away. Wind and waves.

The contradiction of the water as deliverer of life and death would have made for a great conversation. It fit us, this contradiction. We who “were” or perhaps one day “will be.”

“So I would choose to be with you
That’s if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break”

I Found You Again

Somehow when I thought you had left my life forever I found you again.

Even now I am not sure how it happened. I remember being swept overboard and being tossed around by the waves, saltwater blinding my vision and choking the life out of me.

I remember sinking beneath the waves exhausted and spent but not quite dead.

The sweet siren song of the ocean depths called out to me and I almost answered but that fire in my belly wasn’t extinguished and the fight hadn’t been beaten out of me so I kicked my way back to the surface and fought the waves until I could fight no longer.

Found a piece of driftwood and held onto it and let the current take us where it would. Looked up at the sky and found our stars and our moon staring back at me and thought I heard your voice.

Thought I heard you calling my name and promised I would find you again.

Felt like a fool but figured if I had nothing but time to float I might as well find ways to occupy my mind so I closed my eyes and looked for my center.

Found you waiting there for me, took your hand and heard you promise to take it again if I could find you.

Opened my eyes, shook my head and swore I wouldn’t let the sun beat the sense out of me and floated some more.

Days turned into months and the current moved our life together further away until it felt so distant I wondered if it had been a dream.

It felt impossible to believe that what I remembered was anything more than a figment of my imagination. As the months stretched into years I convinced myself that it wouldn’t matter if I found you again because it had never been as good or as pure as I remembered it to be.

That made sense to me and I figured it would to you as well. Practical and mature people would recognize how absence makes the heart grow fonder and figure it to gloss over any challenges we had once faced.

Reality was what I should be looking at and it was clear I wasn’t because I knew that two people couldn’t be as my memory showed we were.

And then lightning struck and that puckish rogue life sent me out to sea again.

It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like That…Or Was It?

The same water that had sent me overboard and tried to drown me so many years earlier did it again. Somehow I was swept overboard again and forced to fight the waves but this time there was no siren song trying to lull me to sleep.

This time surprise was replaced by anger and I was too fired up to anything but find another way to swim to shore.

And that is when I found the biggest surprise of all…


You were there. I saw you but you didn’t see me.

Watched you walk across the room and was amazed by how hard it made my heart pound. After all this time and all these years nothing had changed.

And then I understood what Rick meant when he talked about all of the gin joints in all of the towns in the world.

It felt like dawn broke inside my head and the sunrise melted all of the doubt that had lay in the shadows.

Wind and waves had forced us apart and now they had brought us back to the same place, but not quite together.

Not together because you didn’t know I was there. Didn’t feel me staring at you or see me try to melt back into the shadows because I felt like I was back in high school.

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We weren’t ever supposed to have found each other the first time, yet we did and we felt the chemistry between us almost immediately.

We weren’t supposed to lose each other yet we did. In some ways it felt like it happened as fast as we had found each other.

And yet just when I thought it was nothing more than a memory the wind and waves swept us back together in the same place and I began to believe that maybe there was more magic in the world than I had once believed.

I didn’t plan on thinking about you. Didn’t expect to see your name show up on my phone or on Facebook.

Never expected any of it, don’t care if that sounds like a convenient truth or coincidence because it is mine.

But nothing about us was ever conventional, traditional or based upon the things you see on television or in movies. It was unlooked and unsought for but it was the most remarkable and real experience.

And because life had taught me that sometimes the smartest thing you can do is open your heart to chance it happened.

Chance turned into possibility that morphed into opportunity.

So the unexpected meeting led to a meal that was never supposed to be more than that. It was going to be a quick hello and goodbye.

It was going to be the closing of a chapter and a chance to move on.

Except I found you again.

It was chemical.

Your scent wafted over and I felt something click and shift inside.

So did you.

We fought it for a bit because it seemed like the appropriate thing to do but if life has taught us anything it is that plans don’t always go as expected and that water can’t extinguish some fires.

Our heads went one direction but our hearts went another. They seized the moment and though I can’t confirm it I think our souls did a little dance and nothing was ever the same again.

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  1. Damien Riley January 30, 2015 at 10:31 am

    I waffle back and forth about a higher power. Good thing I’m not an addict because they have to imagine one to get through 12 step. I think it’s random mostly though. Nice post.

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