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Monday, December 3

Friends and Lovers

Everything I say…

It’s an art form, they say.

Erich Fromm wrote The Art of Loving. Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War. Those are just two of all the many, many books titled with The Arts on just about anything you can think of. And that’s just the start of it.

Everything I say is true, but…

The ultimate goal is to take everything to a form of art, isn’t it?

To be able to say: hey look! I mastered it (oh, you sly devil, you), this art of fill-in-the-blank. Sure, it was a long, difficult journey and half the time I thought I was losing my mind way rather than finding it.

But see, I made it. Because I’m here now.

Ends don’t necessarily justify the means, but they make the journey meaningful. They’re a way of giving life purpose for us, lost souls. So, we continue to take everything to a form of art, including the art of an indispensable justification.

The art of justifying why I should say I’m happy after losing a friendship.

I don’t need a lesson on loss. I know what loss is and know that the hardest part is not the actual loss but of letting go. I’ve been a sorry witness to the havoc that not letting go wrecks on a person (and the people who love that person). It’s tough, learning how to come to terms with reality while being able to hold on to dreams. It’s having the guts to make such dreams reality by first having the courage to acknowledge the past for what's worth and simply...let go.

Everything I say is true, but what if…

You see, I have issues. No need to quote me on that, but I do. With letting go. Sometimes, it comes waaaay too close to sounding like giving up. So, I question it. Every goddamn step of the way. Would I be calling it quits or coming to my senses? Or perhaps, calling it quits is coming to my senses.

Okay, sure I’m happy that I’m happy with the latest realization, but that also means I’m happy I lost a friend, doesn’t it? The irony doesn’t escape me.

Everything I say is true, but what if it’s not…

The fact that I did...lose--slowly, inevitably, and despite really naïve hopes--made me sad and hurt and terribly confused because I cared.

And by following my weird, roundabout logic correctly, does being happy now mean I no longer care?

I never expect easy answers, but what I hadn’t expected was not being so sure anymore. Because I do care. Always will, that’s who I am. It’s an indispensable justification for ALL my actions, you ought to know.

I’m happy, I’m alright, and I’m sad that our communication is henceforth going to be just me giving happy birthday wishes once a year.

But that’s how I keep in touch with someone I’ve let go, if the past is any indication. That’s how lovers become friends become yearly well-wishers.

I’m happy, and I care.

Everything I say is true, but what if it’s not what I really wanted to say?


Very much so.

16 Musing(s):

josey said...

joanne,

this post sounds like a conversation /brainbeating/realization i had with myself recently. mine wasnt losing a lover, but instead a lifelong friend. i had a major breakdown and just talked and prayed myself through it--it took me 4 years to get to that point!! and i dont think my words can even express the anguish, grief and fear i felt FINALLY letting go.

learning to let go is just one of the ways we grow up a little more; that's why its so hard! cause who wants to ever grow up? :) but then, you can step back and take a look at yourself and say, "yeah, i can see a little of that precious jewel shining through now." and we're better for it.

i hope you're feeling better and more at peace about the relationship :)

meleah rebeccah said...

"You see, I have issues. No need to quote me on that, but I do. With letting go. Sometimes, it comes waaaay too close to sounding like giving up. So, I question it. Every goddamn step of the way. Would I be calling it quits or coming to my senses? Or perhaps, calling it quits is coming to my senses."

I struggle with that one. A little too often.

xtina said...

Let's not forget the other important one: The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene.

I see where you're coming from with the whole letting go dilemma. I don't think you can ever fully let go unless you've had closure of some sort to end a certain chapter of your life.

Coming to terms with letting go and deciding to do so is not necessarily giving up, but rather recognizing that you've taken the relationship as far as it could possibly go, and carrying on any further would only take away from the good memories you've created with each other.

It also has to do with having faith, faith that something just as wonderful will come along someday. However, this would first require you to completely let go of your previous relationship in order to be fully receptive to opening a new chapter in your life.

Life is a lot like a book, isn't it? Full of chapters, pages and bookmarks. You bookmark the good pages for reference and continue onto new chapters.

As FOB said in their song: "Thanks for the memories." ;)

I really should take my own advice. I still have a bunch of loose ends I need to tie up, or in some cases, chop off altogether.

Diane said...

Letting go is the hardest thing you will have to do, I know, my marriage ended after 25 years. This poem seems to be about that. I love it.

It's by Derek Walcott and it's called 'Love after Love'

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror,
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Coyote Mike said...

My favorite is "The Art Of Doing Nothing." Teaches you how to nap, how to take a bath, how to look at the clouds, etc.

I think I've delved too deeply into the art of being single. Now I don't know how to be anything else. Don't let it go too far!

But keep on with the good feelings :)

Brent said...

You should check out the War of Art by Steven Pressfield.

:)

Princess Pointful said...

It is hard to decide when letting go is just giving up or when it is necessary.

However, I think just sticking around, not letting go, is often more representative of giving up.

Lovely post :)

Greeneyezz said...

Wow.

I want to let you know that, while on my lunch break at work today, I stopped over here and read this post. It hit me soo hard because it very painfully reminded me of what I'm currently going through in my own life with a certain gentleman. It hit me so hard, I was unable to respond at that time, due to knowing I would have not been in 'a good place' for the rest of my day at work.
So, I waited until now to post.

Ohhhh, it hit home for me. I sometimes struggle to 'let go' as well, particularly in this instance, because of the circumstances involved. Letting go, or giving up?? Hmmmmm, that does seem like a fine line at times, doesn't it??

And though this is is too fresh for me right now, I know that Letting Go and being happy, is really the way to go.

I look forward to reaching that place.

Thanks for such a heart-reaching post.

~ZZ

Anonymous said...

Such is life is it not.

There is nothing or there is Christmas cards.

In my case nothing was always better.

;)


cooper

keeyit said...

hi dear, as long as you are happy.

Lisa said...

I have issues letting go myself. A good and unquestionably final closure to whatever it is I'm holding on to pretty much does the trick. Otherwise, it's just asking for trouble. At least with me it is. I like things clearcut and defined. It's asking for a lot, I know, but sometimes it helps to just ask. I love this post. You write so freely and honestly, but still leave it open for different interpretations and let readers, in that way, make it their own.

Toadee said...

following you through that was a happy\sad event.
I am in no position (nor do i need to) offer advise but I empathise and walk beside you

Alexis said...

I'm the same way...if I understand the meaning in this. I love it, you read my mind.

Kyla Bea said...

The worst thing about dealing with this kind of is that all of this just takes time. Maybe in time you'll be able to reconnect in a more meaningful way later on when you've both moved on.

The important thing is that you're grounded in your decision and in the moment. Maybe your yoga is the trick here- keep your grounding, remember to breath, soften your gaze, and stretch yourself.

Thinking of you.

the frogster said...

I definitely prefer people who question themselves to people who automatically know they are right all the time. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You'll be okay.

Greeneyezz said...

Frogster - I just wanted to say that I liked your comment about liking people who question themselves.

I agree. I think that sometimes denotes mindfullness and a sense of self-awareness; both very much needed to grow and go step-by-step. :)

~ZZ


IF YOU'RE GOING THROUGH HELL, KEEP GOING.
Winston Churchill