dinner time conversation, lovely things, miscellaneous, drivel, potentially useful information, things I love, tom being tom

…love, from a different perspective…

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Someone once said (and I am paraphrasing), that writing a book is like taking a long distance trip at night. Your headlights only shine so far – a very scant distance – and yet you go, without really knowing all that lies ahead. You can see only a little bit in front of you. Really, that is enough, because if you trust the few steps in front, eventually you arrive someplace.

I know it doesn’t just apply to writing books, but about every aspect of living a genuine life. One never really knows and can only ever see a few steps ahead at any given moment.

As usual, I’m on the cusp of spiraling off on a tangent. I’ve always thought love is easy and natural to fall into, and that we spend more time, exert more effort, falling out of it than staying in, let alone cultivating it to any degree. I still believe that. I still believe I love cooking, drawing, exploring as much as, if not more, than my cat and real humans… I suppose in many ways that’s the biggest thing I wonder – how can I actually love something that isn’t really anything other than an idea, a craft, a medium of expression?

I am fortunate in life to have certain things come along at exactly the perfect moment. I will never actually know if these things happen all of the time and my eyes and my senses aren’t fully aware or capable of seeing them, or if they are truly one off experiences which just happen in some magical, serendipitous fashion. I had one the other night. It was small gathering of some butcher shop people on the beach – a birthday party for the head butcher – that seemed only fitting. We had a lovely fire, some steaks, some bread. Drew – the new grill bitch – cooked it all over embers and charcoal; hanger steaks, a large 3″ thick ribeye. It was beautiful, rustic, smoky and happy. I was actually renewed by it all. Not because of the food, though it was great, but because of the way it played out.

No one was in a hurry. The party was the fire – waiting in anticipation for wood to turn into intense coals… Steaks tossed over them upon a single grate, flipped with permanently blistered fingers, touched and poked to determine how rare they still might be…

Maybe we fall out of love – or talk ourselves out if it – thinking that it must always be exclusive, that it is somehow, in someway a prison. I just don’t see it that way. One is as capable of as much love, if not more, than they can possibly imagine. Every version of it is unique to the parties involved. It is limitless and real love is always a liberation of sorts.

I think of that immediately as I watch Drew lift steaks out of a fire with bare hands and hold them up by one end while others poke at them and agree they need a bit more time, and I fall in love with the whole process of making food all over again. I begin to understand the whole thing in my head with a different clarity, in spite of (or maybe because of) the beers I’ve been drinking, the conversation…

I understand a different and fuller dimension of love, of what it means to fall in love, to stay in love. It is probably easiest for optimists and imaginative types to understand. At that moment I am certain I know what it is that makes love easy to fall into for me, what makes it so scary for some …

Love is simple in my mind now; it is dynamic. It is change.

It isn’t change in the sense of a spouse nagging you or frightening you or imploring you to behave in some way. Those are all the versions of love gone totally awry. Real love, why it is possible with strangers, with ideas, with crafts and arts is simple now to realize; They challenge me.

They make me want to change, and make me ponder, and become better at being who I am. Real love is just like that; it is that simple; it makes you want to see yourself become a better, more genuine version of yourself. It makes you realize that you have so much more inside you than you ever knew, so much more to give out, put out, take in…

Because falling in love is really nothing less than seeing in a different way; deeper and further into things, about places you want to go, things and iterations of what you wish to become. It makes you want to venture beyond where you exactly are. It is sometimes just like a set of headlights while driving at night. Sometimes it gives you enough to see a few feet ahead and know you’re not going off into a ditch and sometimes you just have to trust that eventually you wind up someplace that exceeds your wildest imagination…

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