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Thursday, May 28, 2009

True Love

One of my former lovers, Crazy Pot Farmer, is in the hospital with serious head injuries. This is how I found out: His cousin posted a bulletin on myspace asking people to pray for her cousin, Crazy Pot Farmer, who was, at the time, in critical condition (he is now stable although I don't know how extensive his head injuries may be). My sister saw his cousins post and forwarded it to me. So I learned from myspace that someone who I love had a brush with death and may or may not recover. But why do I feel glad to have been informed that Crazy Pot Farmer is in the hospital? How does my knowing his condition help anyone? He hasn't been a part of my life in a long time so what does it really have anything to do with me? Does this even really affect my life? Especially in comparison to the lives of his mother and the rest of his gigantic family who are deeply affected by this on a day to day, moment by moment level?

All of this made me think about relationships and about, well, love. Love is the underlying connector between people. When we talk about love we tend to talk about it in romantic terms or in terms of family. Love, in the context of non-family, non-romantic relationships seems watered down and not the "real thing". People talk about finding their "one true love" as if all the other love in their life was false. Especially when friends and lovers slip out of our lives, the love seems to become null and void, to fade in validity as time goes on. When friendships fade away we talk about the love in past tense: "We used to be friends. I used to love him." 

I would like to argue that we extend and empower our definition of love to include friendships, past and present. Even when there is no longer a practical connection, there is still love. I can love an infinite number of people but I can only keep in contact with a limited few. But that doesn't mean that I love the ones I fell out of touch with any less truly.

If I say, "I still love Crazy Pot Farmer", it sounds as if I am IN LOVE with him in this complicated way and can't move on. But that isn't the case. Crazy Pot Farmer and I had/have an on-again-off-again mutually abrasive friendship where we most of the time enjoyed annoying the crap out of one another. Like many friendships it was casual. We would connect every now and again when life threw us together. 

But the casualness of our relationship doesn't discredit the times we did connect or the lastingness of that connection. Crazy Pot Farmer, while crazy, is also one of my kindred spirits. It is rare to feel as if you really know someone at the core of who they are, to feel as if their soul and your soul walked out of all the things which usually bind us and went swimming together. When this happens craziness and compatibility and lifestyle don't matter because the soul knows nothing of socially acceptable behavior. I was never in love with Crazy Pot Farmer. We were/are friends with occasional benefits but there is still true love there.

The last time I saw him was at his mom's house. I was there visiting and he was there with his girlfriend. We were all swimming. He and I were polite socially but a little aloof (I'm sure he didn't want the girlfriend to know that we used to be lovers) until we bumped into each other in the garage. Nobody else was around and for a moment we exchange a few sentences about the house and a photo on the fridge from the old days. But in that 2.5 minutes we exchanged lifetimes of intimacy and friendship. On the surface our human mouths were moving and words were being exchanged. But underneath all that our souls were doing somersaults on the trampoline. And then we went back out into the real world and our souls went back into hiding. 

Just because Crazy Pot Farmer's soul and my soul are no longer practicing their synchronized swimming routine every week or that our bodies are no longer having sex every now and again doesn't mean that the connection is any less valid. Sex might be in the past tense now but our souls live on. Even if Crazy Pot Farmer's brain doesn't. 

A serious accident like Crazy Pot Farmer's is far more traumatic for the people who are a part of his daily life and who have been a part of his daily life for as long as he has been alive. His mother, for instance, raised him as a single mother from the time she was 15 years old. I am not trying to compare our little soul dance with theirs. I am just trying to say that the love which exists in the nooks and crannies of life isn't any less true than the love people share in broad daylight. 


13 comments:

Akirah said...

Mmm. I agree. Love is love. Actually, I think it's very beautiful that we are able to continue loving each other, even in nooks and crannies.

Stevi said...

I love this post! It is SO true! We can love all those that we are close to forever and it is a gift. Hope crazy pot farmer man is OK!

Kahnee said...

Love is crazy. the deepest love I've ever felt for a person turned out to be the biggest lie I've ever met, but i can't deny that I loved him. Still love him. Doesn't mean he's a good person or that i'd ever go there again.. but I can't deny I loved him.
We work in the same building and even now when I see the asshole my heart flutters.

iol. said...

Sorry to hear about your sad news.

I also think that something like this has an effect on our own sense of mortality. That someone we know/knew almost died in such horrific circumstances .... know what i mean? It takes you closer to thinking about "life", loved ones, what's important in life etc etc.

onely said...

I love the way you wrote this: "On the surface our human mouths were moving and words were being exchanged. But underneath all that our souls were doing somersaults on the trampoline. And then we went back out into the real world and our souls went back into hiding."

Absolutely perfect. Because it's true, sometimes there is a deep connection between people, and sometimes it is explicit and public, but oftentimes it is implicit and private. And sometimes, the latter is more special. I have this kind of a connection with the woman who is going to be my dissertation director, and I do not talk about it much with friends because no one understands except me and her. And I definitely still feel love for my ex-boyfriend (we dated for six years!), even though he broke up with me and, as much as I hate the phrase, broke my heart... When his name gets brought up, some of my friends will call him an "asshole" or whatever, but I always have to tell them that no, he isn't/wasn't an "asshole" and I actually still care very much about/for him (I never use the term "love" because they wouldn't understand that!). Six years of my life include memories -- and a deep connection -- that we had together, and even though we don't share our lives anymore, I will always love him in certain ways.

-- Lisa
PS I *love* your nickname for this guy, Crazy Pot Farmer!!!!!

Talia, Justin, and Turner said...

I love this post and couldn't agree with you more!

The Peach Tart said...

This was a beautiful piece of writing pouring from the depths of your heart. I too have relationships such as this....life long loves even though not physically together...a dance of souls.

Special K said...

The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of...

Love is what makes being human both breathtakingly sad and elatedly fulfilling....

Our connections, even when unseen, persist

The Singlutionary said...

These comments are wonderful! Thanks so much. Happily, Crazy Pot Farmer has awoken from his coma and will be able to resume his crazy pot farming life again one day. Although I think he gave up pot farming a while back. He does have some brain damage so he will definitely still be a bit crazy but if not more.

Trauma Queen said...

i know the feeling..my ex met with an accident recently and i felt so bad!

I hope your crazy man is better now

Trauma Queen said...

talking about true love: this spoofy story might cheer you up:http://totaltrauma.blogspot.com/2005/10/true-meaning-of-love.html

Clever Elsie said...

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who lost her ex-bf to cancer nine months ago. When I say "ex-bf," I mean that they had already broken up at the time he passed, had been broken up for a year or more. Part of my friend's pain was the fact that it was unrecognized, that she wasn't allowed to express her grief in the same way she would've been allowed to if he had still been her bf. Certain people even told her, "It's not like you were together." I can't imagine how painful this must've been for her. You're so right that love outside of the bounds of the heteronormative relationship is undervalued, to our detriment.

Sai said...

Very true....wonderful write up.