1 week. This is the time I have to say good-bye, or more fittingly good-bye for now, to a community and city that I have fallen in love with. A mix of emotions fill my body—like water filling the lungs of a drowning person. I feel these emotions overflowing my lungs and my chest. I hold them there close to my heart. The weight of this love so deep and pure is held there making it difficult to breath profoundly. This love that is so beautiful at times has turned toxic.
Water and oxygen, the pure and basic elements necessary for life, are also the elements that when mixed with steel turn to rust. Water and oxygen. Love. These elements pure in there natural state are the source of decay under certain conditions. Like water and oxygen, the element of profound love has the ability to spark another reaction, suffering.
I have been suffering a bit in my journey of love. I hold it in my body. In my eyes that feel the weight of the un-cried tears. It sits in my stomach like a parasite eating away at the good bacteria that protects my body. It weights heavy on my feet that have carried me through this journey. Love that fills my body also fills my lungs like water.
I do what I can to breath without expelling this water like love. I celebrate the beautiful life that I have been given through a mix of privilege, love and human relationships. And how lucky am I to have a love so profound that it has the ability to hurt at the ideas of that separation. I look for ways to expel the bodily sensations of loss without losing the fierce and fiery love. I try writing. Meditation. Breathing. Ignoring. Celebration. Reading. Sleeping. Yet, I don’t know how to get rid of this feeling that something is eating away at me. Then I read this poem.
Quizá la parte más difícil de aprender a vivir,
sea aprender a amar sin sufrir.
– Ligia García y García
Maybe the most difficult part of learning to live,
Is learning to love without suffering
– Ligia García y García
Then I realize this is where I am at in my chrysalis, a sheltered stage of being or growth of a butterfly. I am still in this metamorphosis stage. A transitional space. No longer a caterpillar yet learning how to emerge into to a butterfly. Learning how to love without suffering is a part of that transformation. Figuring out how to say the hard goodbyes while simultaneously sharing my heart. Figuring out what it takes for me to truly take care of this living and growing body. Learning how to protect that shell that nourishes this growth. I am determined to grow into a butterfly that knows how to take care of herself. But for now I am still in this chrysalis stage learning to strengthen my shell and not my heart. Learning to love without suffering.
photo credit: Melissa Chabot