Love is not what we imagine.
Not born of a thousand wishes,
or a million full-breathed sighs.
Not a prize
to be won,
when we finally get it right,
and blaze like a well-placed Sun.
There are no happily-ever-afters
on the path of true lovers.
Happiness is a fleeting, gracious visitor,
who does not wait for the bed to be made to stop by,
nor choose to come just because a perfect meal has been laid
and the house is finally clean.
No one can take away our longing.
Nothing in love, in life, in these precious lives is guaranteed,
other than surprise.
Longing is humanity’s greatest gift,
and perhaps our heaviest burden.
Years of yearning
and careful study
cannot prepare us for the reality
of another breathing, hurting, needing, opening, human being beside us;
for the capacity to long for someone
even when he is seven inches away;
for the necessity to be willing, again,
like children, to fail, to fall, to make awful mistakes,
to try and try and try harder and fail better and try again
until we learn the art of loving well.
No fairytale could touch the immense truth that is learning how to love,
or the knowing that forever is lived
one tearful prayer
one anguished fight
one remembered detail,
one. breath. of forgiveness,
at a time.