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Location: Midwest, United States

Friday, March 17, 2006

To Cherish

Cherish is a transitive verb whose common meaning is: to feel or show great love or care for somebody; to value something highly; to retain a memory or wish in the mind as a source of pleasure or ambition. Its synonyms are: to treasure, value, prize, appreciate, relish, take pleasure in, esteem and revere. Its antonym is: neglect.

I desperately want to shed the pain of the last few years (and this past year in particular) long enough to contemplate the import of this verb dispassionately (is that even possible?). It seems as if so much of what I’ve felt and experienced, so many of my personal failings and abject heartaches, can be traced to this one word…or its antonym.

I’m struggling here…really struggling. It’s not just the near-futile challenge of finding the proper vocabulary. Heck, that’s the easiest hurdle. No, the struggle is to confront the reality of who I am, my own heart and my own actions…and to somehow come to understand and accept the hearts and acts of others, as well. I have been both victimizer and victim and it’s damnably hard, and excruciatingly painful, to sort through the rubble of my life in order to make sense of any of it. The struggle is both to redeem my soul and to forgive.

A therapist would nudge me to explore my “family of origin.” It’s a logical starting point. I can readily state that my father cherished me, and my mother did/did not. My feelings for them are a reflection of their feelings for me. How’s that for clarity?

I cherished my first love. She did not cherish me.

I did not cherish my first wife. I will go to my grave feeling ashamed of that.

And now it gets far, far more complicated. I did/did not cherish my wife of twenty years. She did, and then did not (does not) cherish me. It was the tragic erosion of two souls.

Oh, but it gets worse - I fell in love with another. I cherished her (still do). She did not cherish me.

It isn't easy to write this. It isn’t easy to be honest with others. Harder still to be honest with one’s own self. It physically and emotionally hurts to bare one’s soul, to lay proof of one’s own failures on the table. It is, after all, a fetid mess. Still, if I am ever to breathe easily again, if I am ever to love again, to cherish another (and, should Fate be kind, be cherished in return), I must come to understand the how’s and why’s of my failures and purify my soul. I must come to understand, forgive and accept the frailties of others. I must tear down my defenses, reject my excuses, and open the doors to my heart or, surely, I am doomed. I am a sinner struggling to someday become a tarnished, minor saint. Let’s just call the process Hell.

* * *


Blogger Greenwoman said...

I have read this post two days in a row. There is so much in it that elicits a response in me. Mostly the response is to not give up on love...

And a cyber hug...hoping to sooth a little of the pain of loosing love.

I too once had much pain about loving. I realized some things about me at one point and went on a long search to discover how to love and be loved. It's been a long fascinating road of loving successfully and loosing at love some more. There are now two lovely men in my life and a huge family of chosen friends that I know I can count on when the chips are down.

I guess my over all message is I hope you won't give up and that you won't give in...cause it can happen for you...

Tue May 01, 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Why, thank you! Cyber-hugs are always appreciated.

Never fear, I shall not drown in cynicism or despair. My heart, though scarred and wounded, simply keeps on beating...

Thanks for stopping by.

Tue May 01, 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Sunny Delight said...

"I must tear down my defenses, reject my excuses, and open the doors to my heart or, surely, I am doomed. I am a sinner struggling to someday become a tarnished, minor saint."

I think, you have, or are very close to succeeding.

Sun May 13, 03:55:00 PM  

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