November 7, 2003 ~ What I Would Miss
A friend of mine recently mentioned that she feared committing to one person and allowing herself to fall in love because, by doing so, she would miss out on so many experiences, so many people. The following is an excerpt from a letter that I sent to her.
Here are a few of the things that I would have missed out on had I not taken the leap of commitment, of love, with Morgan.
When I am hurting, I don't have to say a word. He knows. Even if he is far away, he knows. He will do anything to take that hurt away, and he knows me well enough to discern exactly what it will take. And I him. We both would do anything to save the other from hurt.
To laugh at a joke that is several years old and wouldn't be funny with anyone else.
Morgan has played the bamboo flute for years and years. Through practice on the same instrument over all of that time, he knows his flute intimately and plays it with great passion. He knows my body just as well, and can play me just as passionately. And I him.
I know him so thoroughly that I never have to guess, never have to look behind masks and mental walls. We don't wear masks with one another. There are no walls between us. Complete open honesty. We gaze soul to soul. Such knowledge of another takes years, and becomes only deeper and deeper as the years pass. It is a rare intimacy that I would not give up for anything in the world. When he is outraged, I know exactly why. When he is filled with joy, I feel it with him.
At the end of the day, every day, to think a single prayer. "Thank you for guiding me to Morgan. Thank you for leading me to open up to his love."
When you spend the majority of your time with one person, you build up a vast archive of shared experience. I have a personal language with him, words and phrases and actions and expressions that mean something only to the two of us. No one else in the world would understand. It is a language that grows, becomes more and more complex, with every passing year.
He is my best friend, my most intimate confidant, my partner in mischief. No one else in the world knows me so well and so thoroughly as he does.
If something is important to me, I know that it will automatically be important to him.
The world is so harsh, full of sharp edges, menacing forces, vast disappointments. But I know that no matter how much the world takes from me, beats me, betrays me, he will always be there to turn to, to return to. Our love and our bond will still be shining midst all the grime. He never fails to renew me, to make me ready to face the world yet again.
Yes, of course we argue, disagree, get cross with one another. That's human. But to have this larger context surrounding every spat, a history or agreement, compassion, and love, and to look up from the current frustration, see that vast experience, turn around, and say, "I love you more than this. It doesn't matter."
To be forgiven by another for things I've yet to forgive myself for. Over and over again. And to do the same for him.
I plan my life with him in mind, and it doesn't feel confining. It feels liberating. To know that he will share it. Yes, love requires sacrifice. But in that sacrifice, I grow.
I trust him so completely that I never, ever have the shadow of a doubt. I know that he will never intentionally hurt me, and will do everything in his power to save me from pain, to take my pain away. I know that no matter what happens to me, he will still be there, unfailingly. And I for him. Such faith, such loyalty, is a most precious and rare thing.
Beware, though. Such a relationship also brings with it the greatest pain, the greatest fear, in all the world: to know that this other person who has become an integral part of my soul, who is my shelter and my inspiration, may someday die before I do. To face the coarse world alone after ages of facing it together... There are no words to describe that devastation. And I certainly don't want him to experience it either. I hope that we will die together, so that neither of us will have to face that desolation. But I know how unlikely that is. The prospect is terrifying.