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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Part 2: Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Love is a terrible thing, terrible in its obligations, terrible in its joys.

Most of the mistakes I have ever made --- and I mean the really big ones --- were on account of love. That is not easy to admit since it is our tendency to find someone else to blame, and it is truly bitter, and not a little annoying, to discover there is no one else to hold responsible.

But mistakes are really only outcomes we do not like and probably did not expect, but the possibility was always there. And that really hurts. It hurts to betray oneself, even when, especially when, it is inadvertent; and so unadmitted mistakes become the seed of discord with someone else --- the usual suspect --- for years and years to come.

Your mother, brother, sister, or lover just happened to be around at the time and was a firsthand witness to your own stupidity. It really wasn't their fault, even if they set the trap into which you waltzed. Anyway, how could they know it was your particular trap? Think about it, and do not say "karma."

Indeed, with a little perspective, it is possible to see the usual suspect's role in your high drama as an ultimate act of love. Somebody had to do it. Betrayal is a deep lesson in life, and not everyone has the special qualifies needed to play the foil. Think of the sacrifice the other person had to make: you come off as the hero, and they are the villain of the piece. What a dreadful price to pay to be your friend (or mother, brother, sister, lover).

One of my tasks on the lonely bay in my old truck is to remember whose mistakes they really were and get all the knots and threads untangled. I want to become familiar with my mistakes. I want to love them so that I no longer cower at their memory. I no longer want to be enslaved by regrets, resentment, estrangements, and the strictures of my own heart that are so near and hard to see. In short, I am working on my blind spots.

Being homeless, I am relatively free to pursue such contemplations. I am not sure I could jump into the crevasse under different circumstances, and I am afraid not to explore the chasms of my psyche, lest I make another big mistake. Mind you, I am still recovering from the last one, which really brought the curtain down, a Hamletesque, complete disaster.

My truck is safer.

My truck is not real life. It is a sanctuary, and I want to keep it that way for a while.

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