When you’ve been deeply in love
and then left that love behind
the imprint of its memory
can crash through your body
like a tidal wave
Today it was during my banjo lesson when my teacher started to play a Tom Paxton song with the lyrics: “Are you goin’ away with no hint of farewell, to leave this old love behind. Well I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind, you know that was the last thing on my mind.”
This is the song Gavin sang to me two months after I left him, five months after he lost his mind, six months after we started living together, twelve months after we traveled to France together, two years after we backpacked in the Rockies together, three years after we first kissed.
Emotions do not bear the weight of time.
When old love swoops down like a hawk
claws poised but not yet clutching prey
there is no sense of time or movement
that can be perceived by us.
My confession is this: That I have forced my heart into dating other men for fifteen months since leaving the man I thought I would marry, and to this day tears still well up when I think of the life we could have had. Furthermore, no one compares to him. And if it needs to be written for all of the world to see: I still love him. Dave was my summer love affair. MGL was a liar. Evan didn’t know what he wanted. Keller is “multi-tasking.”
Gavin – Gavin was my mountain man. And yes, he still wears Carhartt’s and Old Spice deodorant, my parents still want me to marry him, he’s still my best friend, we live only a few miles apart, and I miss him when he’s gone. [Dear Readers…He has not entered the blog thus far because he is so close to my heart and I have been trying, for over a year, to “date” and see the other side of the mountain. My endurance is growing thin.]
And now to try and sleep on a night when the earth so obviously swells with the bursting roots of various greenery – hah! Would that it were so simple. It feels as though every tentacle of plant and tree and shrub and sedge on this five acres is bursting at its seams and connected to some host-tendon in my own heart, which is also dealing with unfathomable amounts of uprooting.
Do I dare dig down to the heart-roots myself? Hold them in my own hands, pulsing with sap and water, the blood and sugar of new life? What color and shape will they be when they emerge? Have I nurtured them? What flowers have I yet to show – one for Gavin? A bundle for the men I’ve yet to meet? An orchid for my writer-self?
Spring! “Ay, that’s the rub,” (Hamlet, Act III).