Exes and Razor Blades

April 10, 2017

Last night I had a dream that involved my first “real” ex-girlfriend. We were together in the dream, or at least living together. I told her things about our relationship “then” (at the “time” of the dream) that would apply to anyone who would be my mate now.

After I woke up, I wondered if she was a symbol of “The Female” in ALL of my past relationships…and if my words to her in the dream were meant to express (to my conscious self) my attitude now.

My real-life relationship with her began a very long process of extracting out of myself an inner brokenness that attracted me to females who personified something lost in me, a battle not won, a love not attained. It was like other romances (both before and since) that brought angst instead of love–dysfunction and demands, incessant emotional vitriol and high sexual energy.

I thought about contacting her today. “Hey, I had a dream about you last night. Is everything OK?” And I didn’t. There’s no reason to.

——–

I wondered today if my dream applies somehow to a more recent ex, or if it even could. But I don’t believe it could. Being in a romantic relationship is like giving your partner a razor blade and letting him or her shave your throat. When you give someone a razor so she can shave you, and halfway through the shave she tries to cut your throat, you don’t want her to “shave” you again.

Short of cutting your throat, even ranting and raving at the sky and waving the razor wildly in the air while you rest your head in front of her is plenty of reason to end the shave (and be reluctant to repeat the experience). Similarly, holding the razor to your throat and “only threatening” to cut it is sort of a deal-breaking incident…even if the rest of the shave was just fine.

I’ve had all of these figurative experiences in romantic relationships.

One ex showed me repeatedly that she can’t be trusted near my neck even with a letter-opener. After a couple of botched shaving experiences with her, I figured we could start again with that and work our way up–first a letter-opener, then a small pocketknife, then maybe a bigger one, and eventually back up to a razor–but every time I was proven wrong.

If you can’t trust someone to shave you without cutting your throat (especially on purpose, but even by accident), that person can’t be your mate. Or am I missing something? Is there value in just giving someone a razor and letting them cut your throat?

——–

Recently, in the absence of both relationship drama and the angst of the pursuit of romantic love, I’ve turned more towards broader ideas about “truth, justice, and the American way” (to quote Superman) or “the nooks and crannies of life and the human experience” (to quote myself).

And I spend time with my kids. And I work. And I write, when I can, about things that I’ve learned in these 42-plus years of living.

What matters most is what matters most, and I’ve learned that what matters most is learning and knowing myself. Romantic relationships, more than any other experience, have taught me this, and they also have brought me my life’s greatest joys: human connection, self-knowledge, the ability to express it in words…and my children.

For that, I am grateful for the romances in my past, whether or not I have one in the future–but I’ve also learned that I can shave my own throat just fine. Or I can keep my beard.

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“To know why is to be free” and other thoughts

April 2, 2017

A square peg doesn’t fit into a round hole. Oil and water do not mix. Magnets don’t stick to wood. Light and darkness cannot exist at the same time.

Life is hard enough without adding unnecessary burdens to an already heavy load. Lightening someone’s load means someone else carrying more weight. Some things are meant to be easy; if they’re difficult, that’s a sign that something is amiss. Life teaches what those things are.

People are like billiard balls, bouncing off each other and changing each other’s direction. They cannot move in a straight line for long. To stop, or to fall into a pocket, removes one from the game–and yet the game continues. “There can be only one” is just a line from a movie, a misunderstanding if taken as reality.

Streamline. Keep it simple, stupid. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Simplify. Take it easy. Don’t let that which matters most drown in the puddle of that which matters not. Much matters not…or much matters. It’s your choice.

I want you to be a certain way. Thus, I begin the race a loser. You want me to be different. Thus, you admit that you don’t like who I am. I can take you, or I can leave you. It’s my choice: whether right or wrong, it’s my choice. Take away choice and what’s left? Right? Wrong.

People aren’t perfect, and yet they are. We all fall short, and yet we’re all on the way to where we’re going…and we’re all exactly where we’re at. We cannot be otherwise; to demand such is to inflict folly on ourselves. Too much folly and truth disappears, covered by dark clouds and causing darkness. And yet this is temporary.

Give up? Give in? Give back? Give out? Give off? No. Just give.

Craziness is feeling without reason. Coldness is reason without feeling. Death is neither reason nor feeling. Life is reason with feeling. Both are necessary; to own one without the other is to live only half a life, all the time. At best.

It’s better to laugh than to cry, sometimes. And sometimes it’s better to cry. It’s best to know why. Prisoners do not, nor do children. This is fine for prisoners and children, but not for adults who are free. To know why is to be free.

Friends make mistakes. They are people, too. To demand perfection from friends is to condemn them. To forgive them is to love them–to be a friend yourself. Some friends are worth it, and others are not. Do you know which is which?

Happiness is not rocket science. Do what you like to do. Think about what you want. Then, do that. If you find yourself doing what you don’t want, do something else. Make a plan if you have to. Being scared is okay.

Life is not easy, but it can be. Life is pain sometimes. Life is joy sometimes. The more we see, the more life is joy. The more blind we are, the more life is pain. Sometimes pain is necessary. Sometimes pain leads to joy. Sometimes pain leads to death.

Those who truly love you are few. Cherish them. Human beings are not cheap, but often bring deep rewards. Look into people as deeply as you can. People are full of meaning…and shit. More of one means less of the other. Know how to tell the difference. Then, use this gift.

Treading water gets you nowhere. Dive deep. There are treasures to be found beneath the surface. It gets easier with practice. Stay on the surface if you want to stay impoverished.

To be afraid to dive deep is to be afraid of yourself. Woe unto those who fear themselves, for they fear the greatest gift, the richest treasure, the most bountiful harvest. They will not find it “out there.” The kingdom is “in here.”

There is great power in words, in feelings, in decisions. Would you give a gun to a toddler? Learn to use your words, feelings, and decisions rightly. What goes out also comes back. Life is like a boomerang, a rubber band, a bungee cord. Be careful what you say. Know why you feel. Decide to be right.

What is right? I can’t answer that for you. But you can.

What does Life want you to do? You’re doing it NOW.

(Written on March 31, 2012)


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