"I am large. I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Terra Firma

"Love is friendship on fire." ~ Jeremy Taylor

It's been a long, long time since I lost myself in punch-drunk love (it was a one-sided intoxication) and now that I've been on emotional terra firma for quite a while, I thought it would be good to reflect, rethink and re-evaluate something that I thought was gospel truth: love is best started as friendship.

I've actually moved away from that. It's not that I believe that love without friendship is possible. On the contrary, I do think they go together and that the healthiest and most fun marriages contain those two ingredients. But maybe it's not a case of causation but correlation. Years after engraving the misguided lessons of "When Harry Met Sally" into my brain, - misguided only because they were clouded by my need to believe that friendship's the only way I wanted love to enter my life - here I am, 37 years old, alone, unattached and surprisingly not thinking of harakiri, contemplating where my heart stands on the issue.

Here's the thing: I actually consider myself very adept at this friendship business. Sure, I may be delusional to think that of me, but I reckon for everyone there are things you are somewhat certain you are good at. Some say they're good at swimming, some say conversation. Maybe it's parenting, or burping or carrying a tune. I feel I am good at friendship - and I have a trail of failed ones that will attest that I have learned this the hard way. And a number of great ones that prove that there really is a God with a wicked sense humor who loves me to bits.

I've come to realize lately that even if I prefer to stumble into amore through friendship, it's not the only way to fall. I'm not familiar with the other ways, but it's high time I let go of the assumption that friendship is its best prerequisite. I choose to live in doubt and not knowing, because on this front, I am certain of nothing, really. Except this: that love exists. In many forms. And though there are times I long for it to surprise me, I must be rid of the notion that it can only surprise me in a limited number of ways. I must let go of the idea that just because it has yet to visit me, I have less of a stake at this wonderment I call my life.

I am getting there. In an I-feel-it-in-my-bones sort of way.

And while I'm on this topic, a big thank you hug to Zippy who had a front-row seat to my rollercoaster ride. Thanks Zippy, for encouraging my always to master my fears.

(Photo credit: jon-e)


benjiedlp said...

not just front row, but spitting distance seat.

i'll be waiting for the surprising turn of the plot in the next act. and, as always, I will be cheering.

love you, chim!

Mayang said...

right back at ya, zippy. right back at ya. :>

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