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Friday, December 02, 2005

What Remains

Although I’ve touched on a number of subjects these past three months, there is a decidedly melancholy tone to many of my entries. I am not as morose as I appear to be, but there is grieving to be done. How can one not mourn when love burns to ash? Losing the love of one’s life hurts with indescribable pain. I am, unfortunately, somewhat experienced in this regard. I have had four grand passions in my life and I have lost them all. I’ve now lost the most amazing woman I have ever known. So I grieve…and I’ll be grieving for a long time to come.

I experienced my first heartbreak when I was very young. I thought the pain would surely kill me. It was touch-and-go for a while…a long while…but I survived. I am not proud of the fact that I’m getting to be an experienced hand in all of this. One heartbreak per lifetime is more than enough, but my life is what it is, and I must accept the consequences (self-inflicted for the most part).

I’ve learned a few things along the way. My wounds run deep, and I’ve learned that they never quite heal. Blood continues to seep from the fissures in my heart. That is not altogether a bad thing. The lingering pain serves to remind me that love comes at a price. The ache provides incentive to love steadfastly, courageously, and with utter devotion. There may even come a time when I finally get it right…

I’ve learned that the pain subsides with time. What remains is the love itself. That’s right, I’ve learned that love never truly dies. It morphs into memories and reveries. Although my loves lead different lives today, I still love them all…quietly and at a distance. I’ve learned that there always comes a time when that love comforts them as they struggle with their own heartaches. I’ve learned that I could never forsake them in times of need. They, in turn, have learned that my heart, as incredibly confused as it is, still beats for them.

A few years ago, I compiled a mix of songs to give as a gift to those I hold most dear. I sent a copy to every woman who once held me close (there weren’t that many). I wanted them to understand that they once meant the world to me, and always will. These were songs of remembrance, hope, joy, and gratitude. It was a labor of love.

Several nights ago I found myself reaching for that mix. I’ve been listening to it ever since. It comforts me. It reminds me that love is worth every tear…every drop of blood. It reminds me that the women I held so dear changed me in so many ways, and always for the better. It reminds me that love appears when we least expect it, and that it is precious. I listen to this mix and I know that I will heal. I know I will, someday, become a better, happier and more loving human being.

I’m not saying these are the greatest songs ever written, but they resonate deeply within me. I thought I’d provide the play list here. If you, gentle reader, are so inclined you may wish to find these songs and give them a listen. You may be disappointed, I don’t know, but these songs reflect my hopes and dreams, what love has meant to me, and how I feel about all who once loved me.

Cat Stevens How Can I Tell You
Van Morrison Crazy Love
Van Morrison Into The Mystic
Cowboy Junkies White Sail
Nick Drake Northern Sky
Kathy Mattea Asking Us To Dance
Linda Ronstadt/Aaron Neville Don’t Know Much
Tara MacLean More
Eva Cassidy Fields Of Gold (live)”
Richard Shindell My Love Will Follow You
Jenny Bruce Music To My Ears
Marc Cohn Healing Hands
Lucy Kaplansky Broken Things
Mary Chapin Carpenter This Is Love
Aaron Neville I Owe You One
Natalie Merchant Kind & Generous
Joan Osborne How Sweet It Is
Joan OsborneThese Arms of Mine

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mary said...

okay-- I was going to keep reading quietly but the song playing on my I-tunes while I was reading this post was "This is Love".. it was on a mix and totally coincidental, preceeded by Fake Plastic Trees. I was reading your post and thinking, I bet he doesn't know this song.

Great mix!

Wed Apr 15, 07:22:00 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

One more post and I'll shut up. Your post brought this to mind.

What Survives

Michael Blumenthal

Over the dulling years,
you write poems for hundreds of women-
about love, the impossibility of love,
the way light bounces off the edge
of a table. Those survive best-
the ones about light, that is.

Very few write back.
It's like a long correspondence
with an autistic child: Every cry's
a cause for ecstacy. The ones who do
always say something about Chopin:
How it is difficult to sleep to his music,
how the dance of your tongue to his nocturnes
seems insincere.

It could go on like this forever.
You develop theories about Jungian typology,
the specialized function of the sides of the brain.
You begin looking at furniture as if it mattered.
You reflect upon the multiple meanings of silence.

There's one consolation-
You know all this must be teaching you something.
About love.
About language.

About the light on the table.

Wed Apr 15, 07:31:00 PM  

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