Friday, April 20, 2012

Love vs Responsibility

My grandma lived to be 99.  Jed's mother lived to 100.  People who live this long probably get wise.  Once I asked my grandma what it was like to get this old.  She said boldy that, "there's no difference at all, except all your friends die."  I was young and didn't see the wisdom in her statement, but it has stayed with me these many years. 

I don't even remember what my grandpa died of.  I was seven and he just died.  He was the first dead person I had ever known and I really tried to cry.  I mean, I really tried.  I sat in the church pew next to my cousin and begged for tears.  My cousin and I, who had spent hours together in our grandpa's office playing with his important papers (he was a county judge), we tried to cry, but we just couldn't.  We were seven.  Seven year olds don't cry unless they are hurt, and we weren't hurt.  We were just confused. 

Sometimes life is like that.  You can't decide whether you are hurt or just confused.  You're supposed to behave a certain way if it's one and another if it's not.  So, here we are years later all wrapped up in another drama.  Are we hurt or just confused.  Should we beg for tears or is that just a waste of good time and energy?

We are about to enter year number four.  Next week will be three  years since the ladder wrote our history and created a new life for us.  Ladders are rather omnious things.  One must take them seriously.  We are neither hurt nor confused.  Most of the time.  But, there are dark and ugly times when neither seem to give justice to the power of the moment. 

Being thrown, or fallen as is our case, into a new life, one has to reevaluate everything.   Everything comes up for the jury call.  So when times are dark and energy is low the questions come.  Is this caregiving or is this love?   Is this committment or is this intimacy?  It this real?  There's more.  It's the questions of life.  Can this go on?  Will the committment one day end?  Can love handle this?    All questions of capacity.  Capacity to keep on keeping on.   Life and the way things are.

It's hard.  Our life.  Lifting.  Feeding.  Giving.  Taking.  It's hard and it's remarkably easy.  Sometimes we don't know whether we are hurt or confused.  Sometimes we don't know if we're angry or grateful.  Sometime the toilet doesn't work.  But we're pretty clear on the love thing.  There's rage, there's anger, there's vulgarity and even doubt.  But, the love thing...we are blessed completely with that seeping oil.  Flowing through vulgarity and doubt and confusion and hurt.  It's not responsibility, it's love.  It's the one who filled the other who feeds the other.  Responsibility be dammed.   

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