Love’s Last Embrace

Love’s Last Embrace

The moment is so vivid, so real, even today.

I was getting ready to head back home, and we were outside, having a very hard time saying goodbye to each other. The cool autumn winds blew around us as we whispered our final words.

We embraced, and when we tried to let go, neither could find the desire to push away.

Love’s Last Embrace

In our last embrace, when the sun fell too fast
And we tugged at time’s tick-tock to stop and rest,
We let the warmth between make that moment last–
In ways where no words of poets have ever professed.

On my chest you placed your gentle hand,
And we blushed as we stared, eyes hazel on blue;
Lock’d in love, in light and in sight in our stand
That love triumphs over all things, old and new.

That would be our last embrace, the final touch of love
That I would ever again feel so strong, so right
For in my foolish ways I acquiesced to others above
And set aside conviction, strength, in light of fright.

This memory, double-edged in gratitude and sorrow
Bleeds my heart daily in the throes of living alone;
“To have loved at all” means nothing in these tomorrows
Spent in regret of decisions chiseled in Sisyphus’ stone.

Yet, to life’s last day, I will carry with me your touch
Of Love’s Last Embrace, a soft hand upon my heart
Slowing time to the pulse of our passion, ne’er too much–
For you, or I, a transcending love, together or apart.

~js, 2/18/17

This is the moment I understood the timeless song and poetry of love, shared by centuries of bards who have battled with words to capture the essence of this ineffable experience. I am forever grateful to know it; I am forever regretful to lose it.

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Love Letters

Love Letters

It started with brief notes of kindness… Wishing each other a good morning, a stress-free afternoon, a peaceful night. Then the letters began to carry a greater weight as we became more trusting, more open in our thoughts, our dreams, and finally our desires.

Notes turned to letters, and letters turned to journals filled with devotions to each other. We usually had two journals running at the same time, so that we would always have the chance to write words of love, of fear, of hope to each other. We had amassed nearly 50 of these journals, stuffed with cards, individual letters, fortune-cookie fortunes, and words of love scrawled on dinner napkins. Each entry began with “Dearest,” and each ended with, “till to-morrow, may our love find new ways to grow. Ever love, and ever always.”

A few years ago, I threw them all away. Every journal, letter, and note. I stuffed them into three heavy industrial-strength trash bags and threw them into the nearest dumpster just before an early spring’s midnight. I cried driving them to their final resting-place. And on the drive back home, I nearly turned around to climb back into the green bin and rescue each and every word that we had penned.

But I didn’t. I headed home, and sunk into a despair I previously thought impossible.

I had convinced myself earlier that night that ridding myself of the words would help me “move on,” take control, embrace the present.

All it did was make me feel as if I had plunged a dagger deep into our shared hearts. There was no relief; there was no closure.

Every now and then, I come across a picture, a letter I neglected to grab, a book with her inscription. I cling to them as if they are relics, treasures of a long-lost civilization.

And maybe they are. Maybe the kind of love we had is gone forever. And I know I can never bring back the past.

Yet, I know, as well, that I will never be able to forgive myself for letting her go. I should have waited.

Even if waiting meant a lifetime of being alone without her, or anyone else. At least I would have remained true: then, now, and forever.

I will never know, though. Because I didn’t wait.

I didn’t wait.

When We Two Parted

When We Two Parted

I’ve often connected with Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Keats, and others of the Romantic Period. This poem by Lord Byron, “When We Two Parted,” captures so much of those final moments that we shared, and the painful moments that followed.

“When We Two Parted”
Lord Byron, 1816

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow —
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me —
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met —
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee? —
With silence and tears.

How many hundreds of times — if not thousands — have I whispered your name, staring into the night sky under Orion’s Belt, and hoping that, just once, you were whispering my name, too.

Just once.

Long, long shall I rue thee, too deeply to tell. . . .

js.

 

A Risk

A Risk

Hi.

I’m going to be blunt here. I have a love story to share with you — one that was supposed to stop 25 years ago but never did.

Well, that’s a lie. It did stop; but I never stopped loving 2284, and to this day I regret the decisions I made, the opportunities I turned down, and the fear that I let grip me.

We will get into all of that in good time.

This is a risk, though, and I know it. Truth is, I’m getting old. I don’t want this to die with me. I have to share this love story with someone, somehow, to validate it and let the larger world know that my love for 2284 is as strong today as it was back on that snowy day in December, 25 years ago.

As risky as it is, the story is essential, even necessary, to be shared before I die. With it, I will offer original poetry, love letters, and offerings of compassion for 2284.

For the first time in these 25 years, I am ready to share this love story with all of you. This is the raw, personal truth.

Thanks for following.