Saturday, June 19, 2004

Elegy for an Abstraction.

This will be a strange, vague, blog. An elegy, in a sense, for a love I never really had. It doesn’t have anything to do, consequently, with anyone who might be reading this blog today. In fact, the subject has to do with a life I lived when I was away from myself.

Once upon a time, I lived a life in which circumstance had driven me to abstraction. The only thing that the material and the real had taught me was how to bury myself away. Staring down the barrel of a gun, I swallowed a bottle of pills, and with it went all of my pain. And when I’d slept it all off, I awoke only long enough to burrow myself down into a fortress that no one real could see or touch.

The fear of Reality had infested my insides, gnawing away at my hope for those things yet to be seen. I became not me; I became other. And far away from the world of men and angels, the me that was not allowed pulsating waves of non-material to reforge the broken heart.

I found my first love there. A silly, fragile, love, as melodramatic as any first tottering step toward transcendence. And like any great fool, I based it all on a lie. A little betrayal to make myself safe and ensure my distance. It is a brave and humble thing to allow yourself to be loved as you are and not as you are not, and I had not yet ever seen such a thing as bravery or humility.

But wondrous and mighty are the ways of the Lord, who makes straight the paths of the crooked. Through my first lie, I found the first great truth. That truth crumbling away my safety and certainty, as is only just and good. From my betrayal sprung forth the first fidelity I had ever known. And the fortress I had built for myself, away from pain and suffering, became so replete with the stench of my cowardice, that I was forced to abandon the only comfort in this world that I had ever known.

My love faded hard. The first few weeks shook me like addiction. And when it had withered away, I was left with nothing but longing and the emptiness that had been growing in me all the days of my life. That, and the knowledge of the lie, and the memory of a love I could never again feel.

Even now, I suffer tremors when I think of the innocence that was not, and of the love that preferred thought to touch. When the material bears down heavy and is burdensome, I think of the abstraction. The abstraction was nearly enough. It was the completeness of nearly all things. And yet, that love was a false love, as are all loves not based in the One Love.

The soul of man will not find peace until it finds itself comfortable in its place. The place of man is not in the abstraction. There is no peace in a lie, nor can the heart truly love when it is distant. A saint loves what is, and cares not for what is not. And that is why the sinful heart cares only for the latter.

The paradox of the abstraction - the nonsense of a first love - this is the closest I have come to knowing heaven, filled with the warmth of an everlasting hell.