Fear and its Museums

I don’t want to think of love as a carnivore because on my good days, I don’t.

We like to talk about fear and love. One of them is always the driver, right? They can’t both drive. Maybe I’m a faulty model, because the truth is that some of the moments where I have felt the most love in my entire life have been absolutely terrifying to me.

I get these images of love and fear making out inside me. Hard. With no consideration. They thrash around and fight over the wheel in a state of undress. They can’t coexist, but they can’t stay away from each other either, and this will end well for no one, including me.

Love should be easy, right? Make you feel like more of you. Make you feel like maybe there can still quiet inside of you despite of everything there is to worry about. (And there is so much to worry about.) I suppose it should be a quiet confirmation. Like most important things, it whispers.

On very specific days it is this.

But then those days pass and others move in and you suddenly find yourself wondering if love is the thing that is going to actually, really f**king break you this time.

And you have a weird feeling that it’s cracking up about it. Not because it’s cruel. But because sometimes love is Amy Poehler and is looking at you quite honestly saying, “Hey, yeah this sucks, but you’ve got to see how hilarious this is.”

And weirdly, you do.
You really do.

How many times do you get it wrong before you start to wonder if you don’t get it at all? It’s like learning that you have been using the alphabet wrong for your entire life, which is really disappointing considering the fact that you thought you were pretty good at the alphabet.

I wish I understood more about the things that connect us. The invisible webs. The inevitable pain that leads to someone else’s release, the door that closes on one side only to burst open on another. The person who steps into your life one day as you turn a corner, and nothing ever goes back to being the same again. You didn’t even get a five minute warning. But who you were 5 minutes ago is gone now and you just started a whole new chapter – and you didn’t even know it.

The sad thing is, love is probably the easiest thing in the world if we would just get out of our own damn way and stop using all our most expensive fears to paint our portraits, taking the time to immaculately sketch out every detail of what could possibly go wrong here.

We hang these things in museums for good measure, and then pat ourselves on the back for being so painstakingly conscientious before worshipping at the altar of doubt. And doubt is just the permanent home for those who never really go anywhere no matter where they go.

And one day you might look around to realize you have straight up created the most beautiful museum you have never seen. But it’s empty. And no one comes to look at paintings anymore anyway.

You don’t even want to walk through the halls now because when you hear your footsteps, you realize at last that there really is a sound of loneliness, and it is you walking down an empty hallway.

You would fix it if you could, but a long time has passed, and it all seems so much harder than painting portraits. You realize you walk slower than you used to because there is nowhere to go. Your hands look older. You don’t know when that happened.

You pass by an empty frame and an idea comes to you. You pull your heart out of your chest in a last attempt to save it. You frame it, lovingly, realizing that it looks different than it used to.

You don’t know if those are holes you see, or maybe just the tiniest of doorways, and does it even matter at this point, because both those things are probably true and either way you don’t know what to do with any of it.

You wonder why God hates manuals and what that says about him and you.

You can look back but don’t stare.

Easier some days than others….


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