Sunday, July 10, 2011

Falling in love

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.”--Mother Teresa

So you're thinking, wait, she just got her heart busted open like a pinata, why's she saying yes to "falling in love"? Well, there's more kinds of love than human love.

I remember I was on the phone one evening with some guy I met through the personals, back when the personals were in newspapers, and we'd read them on the subway when commuting to the city, and daydream about possibilities. So, I was on the phone with him, and he asked me if I'd ever been in love, and I started to go on about how I believed love was a state of being that had nothing to do with another individual--I could be in love walking down the street and if I was possessed by that state, everything that came across my path--tree, fire hydrant, puppy, a mother pushing her baby in a stroller--all would be the objects of my affection. I remember the man I was talking to did not like this answer, and we never ended up meeting, even though I thought it might be a pretty good match.

These days, I do believe that I have been in love with particular individuals--and particularly, a LOT of them. But today, in the wake of the sudden absence of a particular beloved, I'm saying yes to falling in love without a certain, sustained recipient to catch that love.

This morning, I was in the South Central Sierras, taking my morning run down the highway toward a mountain lake, and everything shone. I focused on my breath and I let my breath open me, my heart, and my body, to the astonishing beauty of the landscape, and then I cranked open my heart, as if widening the lens of a camera or a microscope, to get a closer view--and it was as if that particular leaf, that singular flower petal, that drop of water, that glint of sun on the water, had my complete attention, and offered itself back in an intimate fashion, and we loved each other fiercely in the moment that I passed the thing on the road. And then I loved the next, and the next, and the next. And it went on like this until I returned to the cabin--and I loved the porch stairs, and the door, and its handle, and my own hand, turning the knob, and walking in.

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