“I Love You Too,” she says.

It seems my biggest fear is to fall
To fall “there”
To fall beyond where my eyes can see
Back to the absence of this certain sanity
To a place where I once lived so comfortably
Where all I can remember now is pain.
 

Fall in loveThere is a shiver to the moment, the moment when you realize you have lost control of everything. You want to run, but your legs are weak. You want to fight but you can’t lift your arms. You want to scream but the air escapes your lungs. You want to snarl, growl and charge, but alas you simply…

Surrender.

Ponds of energy form in my heart and spill out through the window of my eyes. Nervousness and fear mix with pure joy there as a true testament of a life well lived, a testament that quickly forms but slowly evaporates back to the very air that gave it life.

I’ve withdrawn from my darkest places, recoiled from the light shining high above for far too long. I see now, clearly, the place I’ve most bandaged, the place I’ve been most wounded. I feel, now, the light breeze of love touch me where I am most sensitive. I hear the words form deep within me as the Voice speaks a truth I’ve hidden for far too long.

“I am afraid.”

The Lion within me roars with unbelieving agony.

“Fuck that. You fear nothing, you run from no thing. Fight, you bastard…”

The Elephant within me blasts a simple note…

“You’ve hurt yourself so often here. For that there is a reason. Love yourself, there, to know yourself here.”

The Wolf cannot be silent long.

“Find a safe place. Go there, and do not come out until the hunt begins. There is safety in the cave.”

I can hear another voice softly sing from the mist within, a voice much different from the others.

“I love you too,” she says.

There, it is settled. Love is frightening to the darkness, scary even to fear. Beyond the nestled security of pups and cubs, life cuts and wounds us all deeper then even our own capacity to understand. Life also heals and comforts to heights equal to those depths, offering joy in equal parts to sadness, ecstasy in equal parts to pain. Our focus acts like a magnifying glass, creating a larger mountain or deeper valley depending on where we look.

When we are cut deeply we begin to fear the largest knives. When we are burned by the Sun we can fear even the slightest ray of hope. Here, I stand, wanting to jump but remembering the landings of my past. There, the shiver starts again.

“I love you too,” she says.

I feel her hand take mine. She somehow knows the battle raging within me, even through the cool exterior of my body. There is a battle within her too, and then a realization.

We are both somewhere else. She is there, the place where her wounds formed. I am somewhere else too, remembering the battles that almost killed me, fearing the blade that cut me deepest.

“Time to hunt,” protests the Lion.

“Come back here,” suggests the Elephant.

“Run to the comfort of night,” demands the Wolf.

“I love you too,” she says.

Fuck. OK, baby, take me. How did you sneak up on me? I’ve tried to be alert, tried to run, tried fight, tried to scream.

Where did you come from? I didn’t see you there until it was too late. Now, I can’t help but see you everywhere. I see you the waves that break upon the early morning shore. I see you in the clouds that sprint across the summer sky. I see you in the blades of grass, in the grains of sand, in the very stones on which I walk. I fear you and love you with equal depth, and know you as much as you are a mystery.

Take me. Own me, and do with me what you will. Whose footprints are those in the sand behind us? When did that tide come in? When did the full moon take over where the sun once was? How did I miss it all?

A growl presses hard against my skin from somewhere deep within. I want to hold firm, but she is the only thing I can find to hold on to. I start to fall, but she picks me up. I start to doubt but she looks into my eyes.

“I love you too,” she says.

The Lion purrs in holy worship.

The Elephant bows his head in praise.

The Wolf just howls at the moonlit sky, a song that echos as she kisses me.

My mistake is thinking I would fall in love again one day. Here, I’ve risen to love. Flying can frighten the grounded soul, but I find I like the clouds as much as the beach, the open air as much as the snow-capped mountains. Here I’ve learned I love the heights of flight as equally as I love the depths I’ve dove to, that I love the darkness as much as the light. A lighthouse has no purpose without the deepest, darkest dead of night.

“I love you,” I whisper in her ear as the mist clears, our bodies swirling in the moment.

“I love you too,” she says.

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