Love in Balance
Love in balance. Love in the balance.
I learned recently–watching my father die–that the other side of Love–the other part of it–is the searing and excruciating pain of not having its object–life-changing ecstasy at having, life-changing pain at not having.
Love is like water, it flows inevitably, obeying not its own sense or volition but merely flowing pursuant to the demands of external motions and forces–along paths and channels laid out before it. If you stop its flow, it flows elsewhere, or it rages against the banks and shores–
Strength and discipline–control–the control of love–it is like the good strong earth that holds love, that channels it, the banks of its rivers, the basins of its oceans, the gravity that pulls down the air and the water in it and holds it close–
My baby–my six week old baby–True Thomas–he rages and flails his hands and legs, his movements, uncontrolled and uncontrollable, by him, wake him up, distress him–he seeks, and he does not find, and he pains–and when he finds, he rests, and appears happy–
When he rages, when he flails his hands, I go to him, I hold his hands for him, I hold his arms, I wrap him tight, as my father and mother did me, as my love did for me last night, when I cried in her arms, in sorrow, in pain, at all I have lost and all I will lose–
Today is the Third Day of the Omer. Love is in balance, the beauty of a love comes in how it is restrained, how it is channeled, where it lies, what it seeks, what it refrains from. Balanced with its disciplines, harmonious in its proper places, in its cycle of forms, its stations–
My father, when he was a son-less son who had never loved, found my mother, and my mother found him, and with their youth and perfect simplicity, and fresh hearts, and eager eyes, chose to love, again and again and again and again, and like the poem about the jar, placed that love in a little field and watched all the world come around and whisper well-wishes and sing its joy–
A great whirl–Love. Beautiful perfect love, made beautiful by its limits.
My love for him. Made beautiful by its limits. Foreseen before he died, fulfilled when he died, preserved by his death. A love that proceeded him and survives him, a love that proceeded me and will–I pray–survive me.
I write again because I need to write and because my lover gives me no room to speak–but I love her anyway as I know she loves me. There is beauty there, beauty in us, beauty in our love, and beauty in our pain, and beauty in our loss, and beauty in what we will lose–
Oh, Oh, Oh–
It is the Third Day of the Omer.