On love

I had a Protestant upbringing.  Anything is achievable, with a furrowed brow and elbow grease.  And love is a task like any other:  it’s not whimsy and play, it’s not roses and rainbows.  It’s scrubbing floors and sweating over stoves.  It’s spitting and polishing, sanding and varnishing;  it’s dull until your efforts make it gleam, it’s give and take and it takes and takes and takes.

This is why I loved what I hated, and hated what I loved.  I wrapped my heart around pus and rot and fungal infections and fought to heal them.  Love takes what’s black and makes it pure, distilling and firing and melting away the dross.  I thought my love authentic, because it clung to what I despised.

I tilled and ploughed, I sifted and sorted, I harvested and gleaned, but I reaped only the fruits of the seeds, not the fruits of my labour.

When the sun rose on another, who gleamed, desirable, holding dear what I held dear, I saw it clearly, no longer through that laborious veil.  Love wraps its tendrils around admirable things and strives towards the sun, not towards the mud underfoot.


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