Variations on the theme of loss

Dans le dérisoire I’m lost
Dans les accessoires I’m lost
Dans le feu des possibles I’m lost
Au cœur de la cible I’m lost
–Noir Désir/Lost

The other day in the car, I was scrolling through a list of songs to find one called Lost, and what I found was a lot of songs that started with love.

Just like everything else, right? Almost everything starts with love. If we write about what is important to us, then clearly love is going to be at the top of the list for most of us. It’s reflected in the number of songs written about it. Poems. Novels. Movies.

Love and loss.

They go together.

You will lose everyone you love, every one of them, in one way or another. Death or disillusionment. I don’t mean that in a sad way, but it’s inevitable.

I think a lot about loss and being lost.

I’ve written about my fondness for getting lost before. Getting lost, or losing something or someone is sometimes a good way to find out who you are, what you like, what is important.

Sometimes, a loss is just a loss. Or maybe sometimes it just takes longer for the good to show itself.

No matter how you look at it, life is full of loss. People leave. People die. You lose jobs, friends, possessions, love. Somehow we all have to get past that in order to live your life.

Sometimes, it’s not so hard. There’s an obvious or immediate benefit. Rain, rainbow. Most of the time it takes some poking. Some letting go.  But like leaves, how do you know when tenacity is in order and when it’s best to let go?

Do you ever, really?


Last leaves

Somehow I don’t believe that those last leaves clinging to the trees are there by coincidence.

It must be something.



Or maybe it’s the other way around?

Maybe they aren’t strong enough to face their destiny and cling out of desperation. Too weak to let go.

Hanging on or letting go?

Which requires more out of you?



Love is a trap. When it appears, we see only its light, not its shadows.

–Paulo Coelho

The last time I was single, I went out with this guy a couple of times. Drinks. Super casual.  He was a nice enough guy, but at least for me it was a totally friendly thing. Nary a spark.

At the time, I was blogging every day. I mentioned it to him in passing at one point, and he decided to read my entire blog from beginning to end. He asked me to make some changes to the web site so he could do that, and I added an archive that let him find posts by date.

At the time, there were well over 700 posts. It was a substantial commitment to make. Most of the people who actually know me haven’t read it. I certainly didn’t think that he would!

It was weird.

It was flattering.

Mostly it was weird.

Weirdly flattering?

Someone thought I was cool enough to spend a lot of time learning more about me.

We met for drinks once or twice in the interim. He reported his progress via IM. He commented about the writing, about the content of specific posts. He got to know me pretty well, if you can get to know someone by reading what they write about.  He was taking his self-assigned commitment very seriously. By the time he let me know he’d  finished reading every post, I knew he was not right for me as even a friend, and he said he was in love with me and he also knew I would never feel the same way about him.

He was a very nice person, but one of those sort of self-sabotaging, snake-bit people. Always getting in his own way professionally and personally. Always embroiled in some  crisis at least partially of his own making. Not very good at making choices for himself.

I think he even told me that he knew it would never work out, which saved me from having to figure out how to say it.

And I thought, well, yeah. Of course. That is exactly how love is, sometimes.

Love can be a bitch goddess who delights in nothing more than to kick you right in the teeth.

Love could have just not thrown me in his path at all.

Love could have given him something for his effort.

Love doesn’t work that way.

I think we have all had relationships like that, where we love someone knowing it will never work out. All the sparks in the world, but you can’t have a civil conversation. All the civil conversation in the world, but sparks are lacking. Balance in love is just as hard as it is with everything else.

That, and sometimes love is just whatever it is. Messy. Complicated. Simple. Strong. Fragile. Permanent. Transitory. Sometimes it’s something that’s right for a period of your life, and then you move on. Exactly what you need or exactly the wrong thing. It’s not equitable or fair. Generous. Cruel. Patient. Unkind.

It’s a lot of things, but it is not at all like a box of chocolates, even if you really don’t ever know what you’re going to get.