Why does love feel so much like falling? At one point or another, we've all found ourselves in a relationship that involves too much loving. Maybe we said "I love you" one too many times or were sent too many flowers too soon. It's overwhelming to receive weekly anniversary proclamations or looks of admiration and awe from lovers who can't get over how sweet our shit stinks.
I admit it. I'm one who has gone too far too fast. Once I buried plastic eggs in the dirt and called it a garden of love. Inside each egg I splattered my heartbeats upon tiny pieces of paper: I love your smile, how it wakes me up; this love moves mountains in my heart.
The girl was moved, but in the other direction. I felt it right away. Her eyebrows raised; she didn't smile. Without moving an inch she seemed to step back a foot or two. I realized I'd missed something. All she said was, "I thought what we had was enough."
Oh, I thought. Enough.
My heart dropped a little. I felt it sink with my inhale before I realized that what we had didn't require convincing or flattery. I couldn't charm it into pastel eggs. Putting it into words was like writing it a death sentence.
I was trying to document it, keep record of it, contain it in those eggs. I was afraid to let go, to fly.
Sometimes we're desperate to fall. We're off chasing love like it's something we can carry. We fill our lungs with how we hope it will smell. When it proves too painful, we pretend it got stolen, like honey or jam from the shelves in our hearts. We imagine our own sweet nectar being hurled in jars against walls. We say we were burned by love's flame or pricked by its thorn.
Love never leaves, though. It's not a kitten, too shy to meet you. It's not a puppy, too excited to settle down. It can't hurry across the floor, excited and drooling. It is an act of being.
Not that I don't forget that.
The danger is in those moments when my loving doesn't sound like giggles between the sheets or moans in the morning. Those times when I'm crying and lonely, when, no matter how close she is to me, I feel as if I'm failing miserably at loving. I don't smell roses. There are no diamonds in the sky.
I am grossly, overwhelmingly, sobbingly hard on myself. I forget the difference between loving and having a bad day.
I am not a fan of falling. I like grace, the place where I know the difference between how I feel and what I'm doing with another person. Lucky for me, I'm no longer burying purple eggs in the middle of winter, thinking that's what love looks like, that's how to give and get it.
I'm not into burying love. It's like trapping breath: if you hold it for too long you pass out - not a great way to fall.