I can’t recall the exact moment I became enamored with love. I just know for as long as I can remember it’s enthralled me. Even after trying it on for size, falling hopelessly, and later gluing the shards of my broken heart back together I continued romancing the elusive vixen.
Four silly little letters once combined in a specific order can rock a person’s universe unlike any other of the letters in the alphabet. As a united unit, the letters L.O.V.E. can alter a person’s appearance. Some say— likely non-believers—that love is not tangible or physical, but I disagree.
Have you ever witnessed a person—yourself included—in love’s firm grip? Can you recall the look in their eyes and how they carried themselves? It’s noticeable. Equally visible is a lover on the wrong side of a passionate relationship. A fractured heart is undeniable. But when it is good, love is discernible in the eyes and body: bright and hopeful, taut and upright. But when the bottom falls out, those baby blues are dull and dejected, and the body is slack and hunched.
Love is not limited to a singular type, size, or duration. Hostile borders do not intimidate it. Nor can any keep it contained. It has a force of will so great none can resist its provocative wink–Julius Caesar and Rhett Butler, to name a few who fell under its spell. Once love is entwined with the fiber of our being it regulates our life force. When it leaves—often for no particular reason—it’s no wonder a person can’t function. Most of us fail a few times before accepting it’s a complex emotion with layers, stages within phases inside of nuances. As a writer of romantic stories, I keep a short list and prefer exploring the broader junctures:
Wrapped in love’s cocoon
Picking up the pieces
I liken this to June Carter’s song for her husband, Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire”. She wrote it when she was falling for the man in black.
I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
Wrapped in loves cocoon
There are books, poets, and singer-songwriters who’ve written hundred of thousands of songs on this phase alone. One of my favorites is “Iris”, by the Goo Goo Dolls
And I’d give up forever to touch you
‘Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You’re the closest to heaven that I’ll ever be
Picking up the pieces
For me there is only one voice that can sing broken heart and that’s Patsy Cline. “I Fall to Pieces” pairs nicely with any of reds. I’d not argue that there are other songs and singers who’ve cornered heartbreak. Taylor Swift and Adele have made a living baring their souls in verse. But Patsy and me go way back…
You want me to act like we’ve never kissed.
You want me to forget, pretend we’ve never met.
And I’ve tried and I’ve tried, but I haven’t yet.
You walk by and I fall to pieces.
As harrowing as a loss can be we’re not wired to walk away from the flutter of romantic passion. Myself included. There were a couple of times in my life when I came close to entering a convent but my foolish heart had other ideas. She kicked me to the curb when love was in the air, immune to our tattered past. Damn if I didn’t try to pull her in at the start of something I knew was doomed. Didn’t listen to a single warning. When it was all over, it was that cracked heart of mine, Patsy, and me filling the glass with a hearty red.
Eventually, love would come to bewitch and define me as a writer. I didn’t choose to be a writer of love stories. I tried fighting it. A writer friend reminded me that I have a knack with matters of the heart and way of saying what a woman feels on the inside but doesn’t dare utter to the outside world. I never thought it was attribute, more of annoyance. I’ve envied other writers, the literary types who can articulate in abstract, but’s not me. My friend was right about my writing voice. Thanks, Kelly.
I never tire of rediscovering the rush of falling, the loss of self in the moment, and the wretched aftermath–on the page. I’ve been here. I’ve swallowed the pain and washed it back with hearty guzzle, and damn if I didn’t swear to myself, never again. Ha! Truth is I can’t resist a good love story.
Did you every throw caution to the wind, even if the odds were stacked against you and give way to romance?
For the one I lost but have never forgotten. xo