(My love for you is so overpowering I am afraid that I will disappear.)
A variation on a theme…
I love you. I love you so much I can’t stand it.
But you might slip away. I might forget that I love you.
Or you might not. I might love you intensely every time I think about you for the rest of my life.
We all know I like to throw around the word “love.” I have a problem with it. Not with the throwing around of the word, but with the throwing around of the emotion. It is so easy for me to fall deeply and maddeningly into relationships with people. Not necessarily romantic relationships, if fact, usually NOT romantic relationships. It is in a romantic relationship that loving someone becomes a complicated thing that seemingly needs to be negotiated.
But in friendships. I love my friends.
And while I love my friends very sincerely, my life does not make it easy to maintain friendships. Some friends are easy to love and hold on to because I know I will see them again. I know when I will see them again. I know where I will see them again. I know that when they are in front of me and I am in front of them, we will be friends again without hesitation. But some friends are very hard to love and hold on to. I don’t know when I will see them again and I know that once they are not in front of me and I am not in front of them we will turn away and forget to look back. Our friendship will fade. I will still love them (and hopefully them, me), but in the past tense. Over time they will simply slip away.
But then there are people who won’t slip.
There are friends who are not in front of me. Friends who won’t be in front of me for months or years or potentially ever again, and somehow they don’t slip. They don’t ever fade into the past tense of my life. They remain present and conscious in my awareness, no matter where they are or what they are doing. And it has nothing to do with what experiences or emotions or thoughts we shared. It has nothing to do with agreements or commitments we have made to one another.
Some people just don’t slip.
Someone once told me, during my first trip to India, that sometimes we meet people from past lives. Sometimes we love people without understanding why or to an extent that we can’t really grasp because we have loved them for many lives and we aren’t able (and don’t want) to stop now.
I’ve been through enough changes now to see how people inevitably come and go, to recognize that some things last and some things don’t. Even when you try to hold on, sometimes people slip away. And then, without any effort at all, some people just hang on. Without trying, without wanting, sometimes people stay with you (even if they’re not with you), rock steady. Whether it’s because of lifetime upon lifetime of connection that can’t be broken or something as simple as a perfectly matched sense of humor, I don’t know. All I know is, I love some people so simply that I am not even remotely worried about whether or not I ever get to see them or talk to them again, it is a peaceful kind of affection that doesn’t require any effort at all.
January is a time of transition here in Mysore. We are finding ourselves looking around asking “who are these people!?” Many new faces, many new friends. Many old faces and old friends. But with a very uneventful New Years Eve behind us, I am left to face the fact that things are about the change. Even though not all my friends are leaving right this minute (it feels like they are!) I am reminded that all my friends are leaving before me. None of my friends will be with me the last weeks or the last days.
and once they’re gone they very well might slip slide away.
…and they might not.