i’ve been burning a red candle since the new moon in hopes of understanding love.
blooming on the heels of a dark winter, a new love changed my whole life, and boldly unfurled for a stranger that almost loved me back. this early love. this, too quick to be love, love. this, how could i possibly? this, massively foolish. this, put it all out on front street.
love. and it was love for a person, and the person is a stranger, and the stranger is getting stranger and farther away. and the love is no longer new but bigger and softer, and sad and mournful, and patient, and willful.
i started a new red candle last night, a seven day tall boy for myself. for the person. for whatever is supposed to come. i prayed. i folded laundry, i washed my floors, i checked my finances, i prayed. i read, i drank water, i drank liquor, i prayed. and then praying, deeply, with eyes open, with palms open, i talked to grandma and she put a hand on my knee and said beta, which means son. and i looked at her and i finally fell asleep so very early in the morning.
i had a dream where i was sitting on the floor of a very old temple that had been razed, only remnants of pillars and an old dusty floor remained and in every direction was dusty old desert and few live animals the color of sand. i asked the temple why was i given this certain and illogical heart, why do i carry so much dumb love and reckless tenderness in a world that hates or fears love? a world that uses love to manipulate, to feed their insecurities or to wield power over one another? why am i made the fool when i feel that love makes me wise?
it answered and told me to wake up.
“to love, be alone”
and i thought to myself,
i am such a dramatic hoe. why am i like this? i was surged with doubt and self punishment. i don’t even know what love is. this is so stupid. i’m just a careless love thot. i just need attention. i really just need to do yoga or some shit. get dicked down or something. why don’t you go write it in your tumblr, sadboy.
and then i remembered my grandmother. and even if it was a figment of my imagination, i felt ashamed to speak callously about a gift dream she gave me. i humbled myself to the message. “to love, be alone”.
love isn’t loneliness, i know this for sure. when i think of what real love is supposed to look like, i see it existing in moments when we can escape our socialized notions of domination. i feel love when i feel worthy of affection or forgiveness or belonging regardless of what i was conditioned to think i need to do to earn love. if there is no one around you cannot depend on anyone to feel worthy. come to think of it, when you’re alone, there is no “worthy” either. being alone, i think – is being. and being in society is being, but maybe being in relation to power. and maybe power is a natural phenomenon, maybe our relation is power, and together we are power, but it’s important to acknowledge and to be aware of when we go from being humans to being social machines.
“to love, be alone.” what is love alone? i often attribute all these wondrous and brilliant feelings to the presence of another person. i experience love as a revaluation, look at this! i’ve forgotton that i’ve lost you and now you are home! thank god!
i seldom get the chance to marvel at them in my own heart, all sparkling and sweet, all mine.
in long stretches of solitude, in the woods of loneliness, after the fear and insecurity subside, i start to understand just how many whims and impulses and desires are informed by power. i can start to see how deeply i believe i can control anything at all, what systems reinforce this idea, and who taught me that in the first place. i see the soldier and the monk and the priest and all the systems of consolidated power. here perhaps ironically, alone, i can see how harmful individualism and statehood, and nationhood, and any idea static identity can be. ideas of worth and dignity are useless alone. there is only this deep humility and humor for my own human foolishness.
and maybe i understand now, the space of humility is the only place that my new stupid love can settle.
maybe it’s all a silly dream and i’ll look back on this and cringe but that’s the point of writing this at all. the future always knows better. by then i’ll know then what it is, but right now, it takes the form of a woman far away. it takes the form of my grandmother with her hand on my knee, it it flickers and sparks and singes the lip of my candle when i am alone, praying at night.