“Be with me”
– someone I love.
My world is beautiful today.
Outside my window, the snow lightly falling before a gentle, gray background of trees does not appear bleak or desolate, but brilliant and peaceful, a contrast of shadow and light, a panoramic scene, just for me, while I write. I do not know if this is because of the gingerbread Valentine’s Day houses I’ve been making today, or not.
What I mean is, creating is a positive action for me – inducive to pondering things of light. Creating is a drawing away from the ugly.
Because the world can be so damn ugly at times.
I have found the accelerated hostilities manifested in social media lately as gruesomely fascinating and compelling as noticing an auto accident, in which the bodies have been thrown and strewn up, entangled in electrical wires just above my head. Travelers are reacting not with sympathy, or even comprehension and horror, just defensive reaction – taking aim to shoot bodies down. I stare at my fellow passengers in disbelief. It seems to me that they hear no reason. Can it be because my own voice has become unintentionally garbled, and my own understanding – impaired?
Or have all human beings suddenly lost the ability to speak civilly, and to calmly read?
Yes, the world can be so ugly at times that we all embrace cognitive dissonance, at time or another, and choose alternative facts, or an alternative reality.
We just want whatever we perceive as good to be true.
I remember as a little girl loving a pink, stuffed rabbit that my father bought me at the Post Exchange while we were stationed in Heidelburg, Germany. I say loving, because I mean loving. I even argued this point with my mother.
She insisted that I couldn’t really “love” a stuffed animal, because toys weren’t real.
One day she washed my pink rabbit, but not before removing the straw with which it was stuffed. I came home from elementary school to find my rabbit gutted and its skin laid out upon her sewing machine to dry. The fact that she restuffed Bunny later did not mitigate my trauma endured, and it felt like a cruel lesson in reality, my mother wished to impose upon me.
I had a conversation with God too, about this rabbit.
I said, my love for it feels so real. You and I God, know my love for my stuffed animal is real. So please God, wink, wink, if Mommy is right and my rabbit isn’t real, could you please make it real one day, anyway?
And I hadn’t read yet, the story of the Velveteen Rabbit.
But almost half a life time later I was to discover that God had indeed granted my childhood wish.
For one of my very alive dogs, Cookie, has all the personality traits I imagined, and snuggling capabilities of my little pink rabbit, and not only that, my other very alive dog Kiwi, I swear is the reincarnation of a favorite stuffed squirrel.
I’m referring to the squirrel my Uncle Frank had given me, the squirrel that got lost on a long train ride through Germany, that I had dropped and slid down and back beneath the seats.
God is so cool that way.
But isn’t it funny how we long for things we do not yet possess, and sometimes cannot even see, as if we know in our hearts they are out there somewhere? I think the very fact that humans desire there to be a God, and we desire Him to be good, proves that there is a God all along, and guess what, that God is Good.
The conceiving in the mind, for a mere human, does not necessarily create a reality, but it comes before reality, foreshadows it, like God conceiving our souls in His mind before He wills them into existence.
We as mere humans can see (in a sense) what is meant to be, and what was always meant to be, if our desires are good.
I struggled with doubt in this notion with regard to my dating life, in the search for my potential husband. This “search” felt like a penitential journey across a barren desert with no sign of water, consolation, or relief.
I think the view o’ meter on Match.com flipped over at 15,000 views before I finally realized that there was no way I matched with any one of those 15,000 “viewers”. And 15,000, I had to accept, was only a tiny slice of all the people in the world, where my true love could be hiding.
Just about anywhere, hiding from me, like a cowardly, disgrace of a ne’re will show up, or a long since dead.
Do you hear me, boy?
Now, I had long since evolved from the cognitive dissonance and naivety that preventing me from seeing the red flags of a potentially abusive relationship. And (I’ll slap you silly if you think otherwise) I did not evolve into an angry woman, or one in possession of a knee jerk post traumatic rejection of all men.
But I did grow into a woman, who at fifty, had earned and learned the hard way the ability to discern what social, emotional or mental disorders and scars my admirers might possess, or what traits made us incompatible, all before the second date.
No dating site could provide the man who fit me like a puzzle piece to mend old wounds, or create a beautiful, new picture of life – with me.
But I longed for him.
Sometimes the desire was like a dull throbbing, an inner ache, or a subconscious dissatisfaction with what was and what is. Sometimes my desire manifested into blatant loneliness, a sorrow of tossing and turning in the middle of way too many dark nights of the soul. Sometimes I reached out in my dreams for him and he wasn’t there lying next to me when I awoke, although I thought I had caught the scent of his essence, like a rare cologne that was there, but not there, at the same time. And sometimes I imagined my desire for him as painfully sharp as a razor’s edge, tearing through my flesh right around the heart somewhere.
And yet all the time I was aware I was desiring, and needing, that whom I did not even yet know.
This reminds me of when I was pregnant with my son and with my daughter. Pregnant women love the child to which they cannot yet connect a face, but when they behold that face they say “yes.” They say “oh”. They recognize that whom they loved all along (of course, I should have known!) We instinctively pre know who is missing from our lives, and whom God intended to create or has conceived of from before the beginning of time.
But it doesn’t come as any surprise when I first spoke to him (the man I was meant to love from all eternity) by phone – I didn’t recognize him as The One. Even though I had heard quite clearly in half sleep silent words “You will meet him in the midst of battle.”
Not on Match.com, a wine glass in hand, looking lovely?
My life at the time had indeed become a battlefield, a raging fight with powers indifferent or intent to abandon or harm my mentally ill mother, whose life I was simply trying to save. I had discovered that broken systems are designed to hide that they are broken, not help their innocent clients – particularly those most in need. And I felt like I was the only one in the world who had stumbled upon this dark truth, this knowledge like an invisible but very real and suffocating burden, that I alone possessed.
So when I read his email, his words, his kindness, when I heard a voice that sounded in a strange way very much like a reflection of my own, when I noticed that this man actually listened to what I said and shared my own insights, it’s as if I didn’t believe that he existed at all.
He was an enigma to me, an anomaly to everything else with which I had always been presented.
And when I first met him in person close to a year later, when the man God meant for me laid eyes upon me in person for the very first time, he too reacted like he had been a doubting Thomas, who had to all but put his hands through my side, before believing I was real.
Jonathan said something to me which I will never forget. He said:
“Thank you for being real.”
The love of my life had foreseen me in a dream.
I think those of us who have trained ourselves to stay in touch with the real world, so often hideously unpleasant or cruel (because someone’s got to stay awake for God’s sake) often have trouble comprehending life – when it is good.
When it is miraculously good.
An apparition – not?
Sometimes I still feel like I need to put my hand through Jonathan’s side, for he is too good to be true, but he is good, he is true, and he is real.
So this is my heartfelt Valentine’s blog of the day.
It is an entreaty to all the lonely, the weary, those who long for, something – or someone – they cannot yet see. If God in his brilliant generosity of design has really created a man for me, a man whom I desire with all my heart (because I would not settle for less) there must be a he or she is really out there, waiting for every one of us, who will not settle for less, whether we meet them in this life, or the next.
Don’t give up, folks.
We desire what’s good, because goodness is true.
Though there exists the wicked, there also exists the good in life, and though there exists dark, there also exists light, like a panoramic view outside my window, a very study in contrasts.
Even the dangerously mentally ill, even psychotics who try to kill us in our sleep, really can be good deep down inside.
Life is like a fairy tale, in which only darkness, evil and sorrow will be undone, and our heart’s desires (if they are good) will really all come true. So if we could take away the human stumbling block of time we would say, oh, now I see Lord, love was real all along.
We would see that love and relationships are the only things that are really “real” – after all – because Love came first, always was, and always will be, and it is through this Love that all good things exist, and therefore will never end.
In fact, love stories are the only stories that never end…
so I say, we would all do well to live them.