Monday, 23 January 2006

A love poem?

A place free of pain
is somewhere very alone.
Leave. Live. Bleed. Heal. Love.

If this is a love poem, it's an odd one. And yet it is, because it talks about the germination of love. Without being willing to risk growth, I'm not sure there can be room for love to take root.

Those of us who have been warriors and survivors are the ones who perhaps find it hardest to love, because life has taught us too much about other things. The struggle to survive is so hard, that when at last we've reached the easy way out, we find ourselves in a cold and empty place. And we don't notice, because we've spent so much time and energy and blood and tears to paint the walls just the right colour, to arrange the furniture and dust the bookshelves. We make ourselves safe and comfortable and we forget that the war is over.

Love is about taking chances with those frightened, fragile hearts of ours. It's about trust, which in turn is about opening. Opening a window and letting in germs and dust, because sunshine and air come in too. Opening a door and stepping out into the unknown, where muggers and cheats lurk, where people await us with knives and smirks and ridicule, but we do it against all our own odds, because we catch a glimpse of something that we need more than our defences.

I want to step outside, there's a garden out there.

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