Gliding through a field of ice, hands too frozen to climb, a beautiful mess of a shipwreck, diving through confusion to the parts that still make sense, all the pieces spell out your name, but what I wouldn't give to see your face The reflection in the water enough to pull me under, wound around you tighter than a spring, the only life line keeping me from floating out to sea It gets harder to remember what I've already memorized, gave them a smile, but saved you my eyes, digging through the debris to find what's left of me because I get lost in your look, now you're all I can see Too deeply involved to ever get out, but the ocean deadens sound If I go down, then we go down together, because I remember what you said when the horns were blowing, push through the storm, until it gets better, and then keep going.
I fall in love with him over and over again everyday It's not a choice I make, it's the way I'm made My love would have killed a weaker man.
On Sunday, we do nothing with no time to lose; Monday I chase away your blues; By Tuesday, I'm drunk on the pain of missing you; I don't want to talk about Wednesdays too soon; Now, I know on Thursday you've got something to do, and Friday I wait by the mailbox for you, so Saturday is always something new.
He's seen me at my worst, knows me better than any book, hands-down dragged me head-first, speechless when he gives me that look We were always leaving, catching each other out the door, never saw him coming, I crashed right through the floor, yes, no, and maybes, and have I seen you here before Images waiting on words with nothing left to say, we were staring at each other, blank looks on our face, unreadable expressions, we couldn't turn away A landscape of us when the words won't come, an infinity when the limits of love are none.
Saying goodbye has only broken my heart about a dozen times so I started saying goodnight Let's do it again turned into asking for one more time, begging for another ride He was teaching me how to fly, I was learning how to cry I remember waking up and taking off, wondering if I could have ever held him enough.
I have no life but this: loving you into the depths of madness.
This is how an angel cries, walking home under neon lights, on the corner, a man screams into his phone, whatever it takes, just bring her home Frost on all the windows, shops closing up for the night, still a long way to go, but she's not going home tonight This is how an angel cries, walking home under neon lights, on the corner, a girl in all the wrong clothes screams into her phone, please pick me up and take me home And it's a travelled road if you've been here before, all the freedom in the world with no place to go, running until you run out of road.
His face between my hands, asking for one more dance, hoping this night won't end Wandering through a reverie, absorbed by the revelry, lost in his eyes again, the room turns as we spin The park at dusk, his arm, my touch, the song in my soul, the way breathing comes so natural in solitude and peace, my heart, his sleeve, dazed by the memories Lamps lit by one spark, at home before dark, long drives and small talk, daylight fading into night stars Dandelion wishes around bonfires, kissing in the kitchen and long-held desires, the truth comes out between my lips, I am in love, that's what this is...
Staring into a black abyss, scared to fall, still jumping in, never thought to dream of this, feel him move when gravity shifts He was the one exception, standing on a precipice, every bone in my body trying to hold back the wind Unraveling threads from the web I weaved, walking along the edge on the Cliffs of Insanity Hiding behind pretty words with a face that would terrify the world Smothered the flames of infatuation, took the journey before I had a destination Eviscerated every thought, every memory from my mind suggesting an alternate ending Hanging off the side of a precipice, feel the rock crumbling, slipping right through my fingertips.
Two people you love are hanging off the side of a cliff. Who do you save?
Easy: I let go.
Not Clamence! This man is close enough to see the “cool and damp” neck of a woman dressed all in black staring at the river, hears the sound of a body striking water, and keeps walking.
It’s a metaphor for love, of course; it’s remarkable how often love and death coincide. I’m reading The Fall by Albert Camus and he’s drawing the boundaries around a definition of love from his perspective and experience.
Nobody is born knowing how to love. Growing up, my parents showed love by feeding me, clothing me, and keeping a roof over my head. When my ex-fiance kicked me out and I showed up at their door, they closed it in my face. I was forced to rearrange my own definition of love and face a truth I wasn’t ready to accept.
While heartbreak is universal, not all love is created equal. Camus (as Clamence) says:
“Some cry: ‘Love me!’ Others: ‘Don’t love me!’ But a certain genus, the worst and most unhappy, cries: ‘Don’t love me and be faithful to me!’ Except that the proof is never definitive, after all; one has to begin again with each new person. As a result of beginning over and over again, one gets in the habit. Soon the speech comes without thinking and the reflex follows; and one day you find yourself taking without really desiring…not taking what one doesn’t desire is the hardest thing in the world.”
Love is an ever-evolving concept. The only way I’ve learned how to show love is the same way as my parents showed me: feeding, clothing, and keeping a roof over somebody else’s head. It’s no mystery how three of my own relationships have collapsed. My concept of love dissolved the day a door closed in my face when I needed nothing more than life’s bare minimum to survive.
The only thing I’ve learned about starting over and over again is more about the way I desire myself to be loved, the only kind I’ve read about in books, and not the kind I can give myself. Self-love, for me, is empty and unreciprocated: it is a one-way street, a dead end.
Clamence is a “judge-penitent,” someone who has known love, but only in retrospect. Death is the deepest form of separation to express and properly convey the level of remorse he feels about whatever happened. The details are hardly relevant, not that he did, in fact, check the papers to see if the woman is still alive.
What he attempts to convey is the sense of an irreversible loss, something a better person would learn how to do the next time they are beginning over with someone new. He overcomes the false belief that a “woman who had once been mine could ever belong to another” and learns what belonging really means, that the love he received was taken for granted, not cherished as it should have been.
Now it’s too late because the woman is dead: she will never belong to anyone else ever again.
There’s a tendency to conquer heartbreak by loving the next person harder, instead of differently. Communicating love is an individual act. Heartbreak can become an all-consuming fire in life destroying everything in its path, or it can be a catalyst to do better the next time.
In other words, remorse. Love by another name. As a woman, a series of relationships is a mark against her. For a man, it’s experience. Without starting over, how does anyone learn?
Shakespeare says that a woman may fall when there is no strength in men. Camus shows what strength looks like through his character Clamence by looking back at the life he lived and returning as a judge-penitent, leaving a shining example for someone else to follow.
If there is one thing I’ve never had from a relationship, it’s closure, a definitive reason for why things went wrong. Now the answer to that question is clear as day: they simply don’t know how.