Yesterday I met three people with a talent for beautiful and unusual phrasing. I’ll call them... ummmm... Sally, Sean and Stella. Sally and Stella are young old friends, to me they are the same age as the daughters I longed for and did not have. They are both highly individual in their self-expression and in the way they experience and describe the world. We worked together for about an hour before Sean joined-in. Another individualist who is struggling with the idea of being popular and how that influences the quality of his relationships, a conversation with Sean changes the way you see the ordinary; he’d been at the Pavilions Inhabit space the day before folding Birds for James’s project. I am indebted to all three for the following:
Sally and Stella promised to upload their micro-fiction love tokens to this blog so here’s hoping.
Sean is the walking soul of an artist.
Me: Have you ever been in Love Sean?
Sean: I am in love but she doesn’t seem to love me back; maybe I don’t know what love is.
Me: What do you mean?
Sean: If I am loved, why would anyone keep that love from me?
I don’t understand,
Me: what is it you don’t understand?
Sean: Love. Maybe what I am feeling is something else.
Me: Like what Sean?
Sean: like “adventure love”. (Laughs)
I adored that turn of phrase, how many times have I embarked on “adventure love” telling myself that this was IT, the real thing; it’s all good though, it’s part of the Journey.
I’ve been off line and away being a busy busy person telling myself I had no time to (a) grieve for my sister and (b) write creatively. The result? I am not exactly in shape for Miss Happy Birmingham, 2011. As I sat to write yesterday images of dark clouds hovering above my head turned into menacing flocks of muddy coloured vultures whose cries all sounded just like “fear”. My instinct was to do what I’d done for the last couple of weeks, pretend that their swirling cries were not withering my soul by cowering and attending to work.
As I leant into the courage, warmth, humanity and humour generated by Sally, Stella and Sean, I peeped sidways at the adventure that is love and its counterpoint fear; then I looked and finally stared at Love:Fear and as I did I felt like some sort of dragon-slayer. The pressure disappeared, giving way to a realisation: Love is scary but it is not the same as fear. Love is angry, passionate, gentle, slow, too fast, too hot, too cold, too long in coming. It's an adventure but that's not always the same as adventure love..... at times like this I re-learn to love myself by allowing myself to notice the love around me, however it is manifesting.
Being present to the way my new acquaintances all expressed their self-love as heat felt generosity, curiosity, acceptance and authenticity reminded me that the terrain of love, like magical lands in Ye Olden tales, shifts dynamically according to who’s there and how they experience the world. Where once there were dragons there might be feasts fit for queens. What an adventure love is.