Monday, July 28, 2008

How long would you wait for love?

Time seems to march all over your face when you pass another birthday. I just celebrated with my family this weekend, a lovely dinner party, pretty packages with bows. The only thing missing of course was Best Friend, but she will be here soon enough. I can't wait for her visit.

Then a woman writes and asks me to make her a Garbriel Garcia Marquez piece dedicated to Love in the Time of Cholera. I remember reading the book years ago and how much I loved to turn every page. The love oozed from the font and yet if you hadn't been in love like that, if you hadn't felt the mystery of it all it would all seem like a crazy obsession that would easily be cured the first time he told you something you didn't want to hear. The urge to scream his name and tell him you love him as he pulled out of the driveway would all fade to nothing the first time he grabbed his golf clubs and ran from the house while you wanted him to lay next to you and read the Sunday paper wondering what New York Time Best seller book you would go find and share. (This isn't a book he wanted to read at all and you know that far ahead of time.) You never fall in love with the man who wants to read the same book you've been aching to read. Never.

But what if you had. What if you had danced a little with someone who said the right things, thought the right things, thought those things before you put the notion in his head to think them just to shut you up or make you smile or do something very dirty he's wanted to do for some time now and just hasn't said the very right thing to convince you to try it? What if you loved the things about them they didn't even like about themselves? What if his never ending patience that one would find glad handing made every blood vessel in your heart open really wide and the blood flow like a river? What if?

And if you did find him and somehow in the swirling masses of ten billion people he found you and because of the way life works you couldn't love one another? How long would you wait? Would you get on with life and just do what life makes you do, taking your trips to the market to find the perfect in season musk melon, picking up the dry cleaning, packing the boxes you hate to pack, dusting behind the sofa, heading to the gym, all the those things that make our life work just waiting for the day when all the stars align right and you can have the quiet dancing in the middle of a busy room because eventually if you wait and wait and wait the world will quiet down and you can have what you want. You pay the dues and you wait? Or do you just put your life on hold, change the world, or as T.S. Eliot asks us, "force the moment to a crisis?" and change everything you've ever known just to love someone? Is love that powerful?

I've always said no. Love is never enough. Love is just a component, an accessory, the right necklace with the right blouse, the perfect hair comb. The rest of it is just loving yourself enough to get through the day. Then you read Love In The Time of Cholera and it changes your heart just a little.

To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Would the every day life stuff ruin the magic? Would it take away the hope your heart holds on to with both hands when things aren't going right and you are JUST SURE that love would change it all? And if so, how long can you hold on? Until your finger nails are bleeding and you are sure the 25th floor fall will crush you? In one of my Favorite Ani DeFranco songs she sings,

she went over to his apartment clutching her decision and he said did you come here to tell me goodbye she built a skyscraper of procrastination and then she leaned out the 25th floor window of her reply and she felt like an actress just reading her lines when she finally said yes it's just really goodbye this time far below was the blacktop and the tiny toy cars and it all fell so fast and it all fell so far and she said you are a miracle but that is not all you are also a stiff drink and i am on call, you are a party and i am a school night and i'm looking for my doorkey and you are my porchlight and you'll never know dear just how much i love you, you'll probably think this was just my big excuse but i stand commited to a love that came before you and the fact that i adore you is but one of my truths

maybe your crush is the strong one, the stable clear thinker with a life coach and a history of doing what makes all better in the world. Maybe he or she can wait forever because waiting is what they do best. Waiting is an art in itself. Standing for 3 hours to wait for the one roller coaster swoosh that will thrill you to your toes. Waiting you see means never having to make the decision. You never have to committ, you never have to give it your all, you never have to do anything because you're calmly "waiting." You wait and wait and wait until you have a birthday and you think, perhaps waiting wasn't a good idea. It may have saved my heart or sacrificed it. Suddenly you imagine the family standing around while you are on a marble alter with the word RIGHT engraved on the top and some faceless stranger is cutting out your heart and telling you in hushed tones "this will be better for all of us dear." And by god, maybe he's right. Jesus.

I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

God hides in a little box in my room. You have to twist it in all directions you see, because its' a magical pandora box. It holds hours of "did I tell you the story about how that poem changed my life?" and "once I was feeling very alone and it was raining and you showed up and wasn't just the best?"

He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Yes, a birthday will pass or a New Year's eve in a room full of people who could just disappear and you would hardly notice and you are reborn on this earth with an idea or two that burn in your head for awhile and you dance with them and dance with them until you fall down exhausted in the attempt and you throw away his number and you forget why you tried in the first place. You see even the lover Garcia created went to love hundreds of women, know their body, hear them sigh in dark corridors in Europe and yet he remembered, he remembered that love can change you all over again with a glance, a thought or the smell of perfume. Life moves on and on and on and still we hold out hope. Love may not be the end all but mixed with a little sugary hope on your tongue and the whisper of just the right words would send you into your room to pack a suitcase and you could leave it all behind without a second glance.

I've learned this in 43 years....Inspiration just lands on your shoulder like a butterfly, a woman always forgets the pain of childbirth, and the right man can break her heart over and over again and if he's very charming, she'll even give him the knife. I've learned that the fire of passion can simmer like coals in your belly and it is possible to love and love and love.

He repeated until his dying day that there was no one with more common sense, no stonecutter more obstinate, no manager more lucid or dangerous, than a poet.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This year I gave myself the gift of just saying, I love you to someone. I may not have used those words because I am hoping that being on this planet for 43 years has taught me to hold back just a little. But I know it was heard because they know my heart. Thanks for spending this time with me. Carrie.


aLuminousSpark said...


*hands you flowers*

Thank You, for the lovely post. :-)

jbb said...

Happy Belated Birthday!
“They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love, anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez