Under the Green Desk Lamp…
I know you’re hurting. I know you can’t talk to me about it. Hell, I can even understand why. So I’ll just leave this here, in case you ever need it.
I’ve learned a few things over the years, and maybe they’ll give you some comfort, if not guidance.
It’s a funny thing, love. Its ambiguity clashes with its ubiquity in the most confounding ways sometimes. It’s why you’re hurting. It’s why I’m hurting. It’s why neither of us can go to the other for comfort. It’s even why I’m being so painfully surreptitious this very moment.
Of course I love you. That’s why I’d never ask you to say it back. Not anymore. It’s why our suffering—so unified in source—must nonetheless remain sundered: why we talk in platitudes. It’s why my very presence before you, day after day, is a lie. Lying because of love…that may be one of the older lies in the proverbial book.
Yeah, love is funny like that.
But I’m not the only one hurting, and this isn’t about me.
I want to talk about the hard things—not offer shallow advice. I want to help you, even though you do not ask it; perhaps precisely because you do not.
It’s been said that love is a battlefield (Source). I think there’s some truth in that. I also believe, however, that the vast majority of people misinterpret this to a terrible and unforgivable degree. There is a key distinction to be made here: fighting for love, vs. fighting with love.
Too often, desperate lovers confuse the two. In fact, I half suspect that many relationships spend the greater part of their time doing the latter—raging against the inevitable. They hurt each other in the process of course, but in the moment it seems justified. When we love, we naturally forsake all other reason—for love itself is an act of faith, and requires little in the way of logic or objective measure.
But when we fight against a failing love, we are not defending our vision of the future, but rather doing a violence to the cherished past.
I hope that gives you some context. I hope it helps you understand your options. Further—perhaps foremost, if I’m honest—I hope it explains why I did so sorry little in the way of trying to change your mind.
I’d fight to hell and back for a love that’s fighting for it right by my side. I’m certain you would as well. But if lovers are not fighting together, then any effort on either part is not fighting for, but fighting with.
I would not fight against your will, for I know that in all the great love stories, the lovers are fighting great odds, but ever in harmony with one another.
They are on each other’s side.
It was the Montagues and Capulets who sought to sunder Romeo and Juliet—never their doubt of one another. Nor indeed would Luthien forsake Beren upon his quest—not even into hell, nor death itself.
I’m not sure at the present moment what I hope you’ll take from that. I don’t even know for certain what you’re dealing with.
Love really is funny like that.
Nonetheless, it’s all irrelevant.
I’ve thought so much since that day, and I’ve come to some important conclusions about my role and purpose. It started with the simplest of questions: what now? That proved to be less simple than I’d initially thought.
It’s been a long time, after all.
As far as I can see, my only duty now is to be the best friend I can, since that is the only role left to me. Let me be clear on this point—that is because of love, not in its spite. I will be there, but never demand to be. I will be absent when that’s what’s best, and there the moment you need me. I’ll be a sounding board, a support, a shoulder to cry on…an unsolicited piece of advice on an obscure blog.
I’ll be whatever you need…even if that is nothing at all.
At this point, I have no idea if I’ve been helpful here. I don’t know what you need. I don’t know that you’ll ever read this, or if you’re even in need of any such counsel. If not, then I suppose my job is done, or never existed. That’s ok. That may even be the best possible outcome to all of this.
I realize, in hindsight, that I have spoken more about myself than you. It goes with the territory—with my lack of context, my drought of knowledge…my desperation to remain relevant in some small way. It’s selfish I know, to insist on serving in spite of the congregation’s absence. To define oneself by one’s relation to others is a listless and impotent struggle.
…The death throes of desire.
So what now, my dear? Where do we go from here?
I don’t know where you’ll end up. Neither do I know exactly where I am going. Nevertheless, I can tell you where you will find me, if ever you need to. I’ll be right where I’ve always been—it’s the only place I know.
I guess that’s the funny thing about love…it’s a special sort of madness.
-Brad OH Inc.