Sunday, March 11, 2007



To love and live in fear that love's not given in return

Will drive me wild, that is, if I survive this love at all;
My heart burns for some sign that what I gave has been received.
I know no sign will come — I know it well — but my poor heart
Still yearns across the miles to him whose secret I would learn.

How can he move so close, embrace, then leave me, let me fall?
My heart responded to his touch, and at his touch believed
Was it beyond a hope at that first touch, right at the start?
How can it be there’s no response, or none I can discern?

And more, how can it be my heart still yearns to hear him call?
How can I hope to live, if hope is dead and I'm bereaved?
This waiting for a sign of love will tear my soul apart.

My heart cries out in hope, hope he may yet respond to me
No fool in all the world, my heart, is half so blind as we.

Sunday, bloody Sunday. I know that part of my problem is isolation, so I had decided to overcome the stranglehold of inertia and visit a "big-hearted" church downtown. It meant a number of things that made me slightly crazy: hanging out at home with an impending departure, which always makes it impossible for me to get anything done, driving in to town on my commuting route on a Sunday, which felt awful, and finding a parking space, which was murder. I had called ahead to make sure that I knew when the service started, and got there several minutes early. But there was something weird going on; the congregation had apparently gathered early to welcome new members, who stood up front like very self-conscious sheep, nervous half-smiles on their faces as members of the congregation introduced them
— at length.

After the reading of the covenant — and how weird was it not to be able to read the covenant as a member, after twenty yearsmighty weird — there was a hymn, and then came announcements. This was definitely the oddest service I had ever attended. Then, I realized that the "new members" slot in the bulletin was in fact the last item of business; people were setting up "coffee hour" at the back of the pews. They had started early, and their answering machine had given the old time. Curiouser and curiouser.

I ducked out
— no need to go through the torture of chat with well-intentioned people who had just been told that a church was judged by how well it greeted people at coffee hour — and went back to the car. No, I had the time right, and it was another whole hour till the service at the Episcopal cathedral... So, feeling extraordinarily stupid, I drove home again. Another ten miles, another dollar's worth of gas. Came upstairs to see if by any WILD chance there were an e-mail from "anyone," which of course there wasn't, and what should I notice but the clock in the lower right-hand corner which was clearly off. An hour off.

And then it hit me, as it has doubtless long since hit you: I had missed the move of the beginning of Daylight Savings to this weekend because, though I had heard about it, I don't get a newspaper and don't have a television, and the information had just trickled away again. Oh, well, rack another one up to general stupidity. But the thing that really irks me is that I could have made it to the cathedral right on time for the services, and gotten communion with wine...

Well, stupidity is its own reward, I always say.

These mood swings I have noticed you may have noticed — are so clearly the anguished throes of an adolescent's first love, and here I am, at fifty-@#$%&-four-going-on-five, stuck back at an emotional stage of development that most people put away with their high school diplomas, if not long before. And the really dreadful irony is that one of my complaints in marriage, prior to the final crisis, was that I could not live without some degree of passion given and returned. HA! Boy, oh, boy, did I get that in spades...

Well, at least the first part. I'm still waiting, as you may have figured out by now, for that second part to kick in. I am beginning to think that the threatened flames of the last year or so might actually happen if and when that second part does kick in. As it is, I think I am living in a state of emotional exaggeration that borders so closely on the state defined as "nervous breakdown" [or "breakthrough"] twelve years ago that I might as well just call it quits and give up on the hope of love, which is the hope of life.


Hang in there.
And pay better attention to things than I do.
It couldn't hurt...

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