Sunday, February 2, 2014

new things to burn.

last night i read a blog in which the writer said marriage is "NOT [his caps] about being in love." 

over the years i've noticed a lot of antagonism toward being "in love." poor, helpless emotion—what did it ever do to anyone to deserve this? or scratch that question. i don't want to bring retribution into the debate. so maybe love has landed a right hook or twenty to your jaw. love hurts. (i just googled to find the band responsible for that song: nazareth. thank you, nazareth, for stating the obvious, because clearly some folks are unwitting.) for those of you who will insist that love shouldn't hurt, i encourage you to try childbirth.

the problem with in love is the "in" part. who knew a preposition could cause such a brouhaha. being in love is distinct from plain old love, though not always and forever. in love is full of possibilities, although people tend to find this notion an affront to love. they're hostile. they reduce in love to juvenile status with words like "butterflies" and "giggling." as if such trifles have no place in the life of an adult. landing a great writing gig gives me butterflies--evidently this is bad, so should i stop working? somebody let me know soon, okay?

people say, of being in love, "it doesn't last." what? you mean i won't feel butterflies and giggle every single day of forever? OH NO. NO! i cannot believe my mom did not inform me of this at the appropriate time, like the day i started my period and ruined my cute teal underwear with the colorful squiggles at the church lock-in in seventh grade and was mad at her for bringing that curse upon me. now i'm mad all over again because she didn't get all the surprises over at once.

people assume—due to what i can only assume is deep-seated resentment, or, perhaps, abject myopia—that the presence of in love precludes the presence of other aspects of commitment, like candor, compromise, etc. i beg to differ. case in point: i get pretty darn giddy over pizza, and this does NOT [my caps] prevent me from eating it even when we order it from that joint whose sauce has way too much sugar. i remain a committed pizza-eater, because i respect that pizza cannot be everything to me, every time. am i the only one who believes that in love can lead to and/or stand alongside other valuable attributes in a relationship? am i, truly? 

in love has done some nasty things to me in my day. as a result, i ponder it, pick at it, poke it, and sometimes give it the cold shoulder. i also treat it as a muse, a marvel, and a maybe. i don't think "in love" and "strong relationship" are mutually exclusive. i do think in love is up to the individual to define.

my definition? it's loose. ever-forming. it's about deconstruction, wandering, wondering, beating odds, and creating new from old. 

the late jason molina of songs: ohia and magnolia electric company fame sang of love well, albeit in a different, dim light, the kind you might find in a quiet room late at night occupied by a contemplative, painfully aware writer. and just when he has you wondering if being in love is worth it at all, the last verse sidles up beside you, puts its head on your shoulder, and whispers, we'll make it alright.

being in love
by songs: ohia

being in love
means you are completely broken
then put back together

the one piece that was yours
is beating in your lover's breast
she says the same thing about hers

however i have gotten here
i have plans to be with you
and for the first time it is working

and i am proof that the heart
is a risky fuel to burn
yeah, we are proof
that the heart is a risky fuel to burn

what's left after that's all gone 
i hope to never learn
but if you stick with me, you can help me
i'm sure we'll find new things to burn



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