on love and language
I’ve been wrestling with how things are written, and the qualities that make something worth writing. I want to offer more than exegesis, because explanation is privileged, spiteful, and demanding. And so perhaps I want my writing to embody a confession and a request:
I don’t want to be here without you. Take me with you when you leave.
We want to believe that love is something that transcends language, but it’s more difficult than that. For love to evade language could mean that there is no need for words as much as it could mean you’ve lost the will to find words. Silence. Love contains in itself the inevitability that love ends. For silence to take your place. Love is the stories that are told about love as it dies, the role of those stories in the lives of soon-to-be strangers, and above-all the frameworks that give rise to those stories and prove to be inseparable from their substance.
But in the past few months I found myself struggling to manufacture words. It all felt like fabrication, exhaustive and laborious. I was trying to write about everything except for the things I really wanted to say.
You always thought of me as over-sentimental; that I probably linger for too long. And so I learned to pause for a different reason, not to anchor myself to the present moment but to stop and untie myself so that I could move with you at your pace. And so this that I once wrote, remained unshared:
I love hearing about all the time you spent on this earth before I met you because I’m so happy to have found you, happy to talk to you.
When I’m walking through ***** I often wish you were there with me to see how beautiful it is. But then I think about all the beautiful places that you’ve been in your life, and it makes me so happy to know all that beauty is stored somewhere within you, part of you, the same way all the beauty I've encountered is contained within me. Happy to know that you are loved, that life has been kind to you. Mostly just knowing is enough. Sometimes I do wonder what you’d say about all of the places that I love most, how those places would be changed if you were there, how I’m almost certain that they would be bettered by your laugh and your smile if that beauty had also been seen through your eyes, how you make thinking about the future also a recollection of the most beautiful moments of the past. But mostly I stay anchored to the present moment. I like perfectly well enough to be here now with the low insistent hum of you in the back of my mind.
Love is just begging for more time—more in the past; more in the future. Begging for the present to run unfinished into endless space. Love is waking up beside someone and thinking, I get one more day? I still can’t believe I got any time at all. Love is waking up alone and wishing for one more day. Grateful that you got any time at all.
In the past few months, I’ve struggled to find words and language for the present, because everything that I wanted to say was in the past.
Maybe to admit that love never quite transcends language as we might have romanticized and hoped, is also to say that there is always love in language. Writing is not about my mind. Writing is me hoping to remember how you made me feel in my body.