Have you ever taken a stroll or hike through a park or state reserve and seen etchings like these carved into various structures at beautiful overlooks? I’m sure Mother Nature appreciates these whimsical, bladed tattoos, especially considering that ninety-nine percent of them are given by the hands of sub par artists. My mind then travels beyond the aged trees, park benches, and surrounding fence posts, and I wonder how long these people made it after they put their painting on the cave wall of tomorrow? Was their moment of insatiable love lust justified or did they merely turn into nothing more but a lonely buoy that sits out in the ocean water, unsheltered, and is only noticed when someone needs them so they do not run aground?
My parents were the type of people that accepted who me and my sister dated regardless of how that avatar looked on the outside. I know a couple of times they wondered if I was “on the marijuana” or if my head was on straight. As the circle completes itself, I have come to realize that it is the responsibility of a loving parent to question their offspring’s choice in mates, whether they’re bringing home someone that resembles the nineteen nineties version of Julia Roberts or Tom Cruise or if they drag up someone who appears as though they have just finished being a roadie for a two year long hardcore metal band’s world tour. There is a difference between judging someone and showing them tough love out of concern, and as a writer I have found myself having to step out of all the numerous revolving doors I have kept myself locked in. Love knows what it wants, even if it is naive, goes against the parent’s wishes, develops into a global disaster, is temporary, or in rare occasions, turns out to be long lasting and fruitful.
“Looks can be deceiving, don’t judge a book by its cover, and love is blind.” We have heard these terms numerous times, and I try to dissect those cliches until there is nothing left but air. I love listening to other people’s personal narratives and asking them questions about their journey. Most good fiction writers like doing this, I assume, because our art requires us drawing from the real and making it so fake that one has to double take when they compare it to their own life. I have come to realize that some of my fictional characters are more real and trustworthy than some of the people I know in my own town. I am an all-people-person, and I tend to look at the better qualities of the human soul. Everyone’s life is a story, and every story has lessons and is important in its own way.
To me, love is not blind. It may put the blinders on at times, but it has not fully lost the sense of sight. Love is not walking around, feeling at the air around it, tapping its walking stick so it will not trip over an obstacle. True love does not hope it will meet its destination by luck or chance. Love is the aged gladiator that has a tear drawn scar on its face and a couple pieces of missing flesh from the numerous fights it has been in. Love is the middle aged cage fighter that has something to prove when his televised title bout finally arrives, even if he knows he is outmatched. Love conquers all, even on a planet that has lost all hope and its people would rather argue and let their differences divide them rather than unify and bring them together. For some, true love can only happen once in a lifetime and for others it returns and manifests itself differently. Love does not pay the bills, true, but true love will stop you from robbing the bank so you can pay some bills (unless you are Bonnie and Clyde, then you can do both. Not a glamorous ending, but hey, it was fun while it lasted, huh?)
The world is filled with the heartbroken, the heartbreakers, the heart healers, and the mended. Looking back at my life and digging deep since it is a writers responsibility to do so, there are some girls I have dated that deserved someone better than me and something different than what I was able to offer. I recognize and support that fact, and it does not chip away at my ego to admit it. If anything, it brings closure and enlightenment. I chuckle to myself when I picture their parents scratching their heads and wondering what their offspring was thinking when they drug me through the door. I only pray and wish they are one hundred percent happy in their current life and were able to gain back the time that I wasted.
Bringing justice to the scales that weigh everything, I also recognize the couple of hiccups I had in my dating history and begin to feel sympathy for my parents. I realize that some of them were nothing more but a foul ball (potential home run for someone else) when I found them, and I should have let a bigger fan keep them and not ask for it back. There are people out there who break hearts every week, and they will never be satisfied. There are some beautiful souls that have never broken a single heart even though their life pumping muscle has been patched with band aids, duct tape, and Gorilla glue. There are some people that you have dated and it was the right place but wrong time. There are some people that are truly the spawn of Satan, and all we can do is wait for the day when the Sun lassos them and takes them back home, eh?
I etched the carving that is pictured above on a rail post at a popular waterfall located in our mountains. If anybody truly knows me, I tend to observe the behaviors of what everyone else is doing and, most of the time, go against the grain. I do not do cliche. I do not do cozy. I do not do predictable. I thrive on originality. I realize the world has enough coasters (drinks not roller), cookie cutters, and oven mits. I had to etch my carving on the cave wall of tomorrow because my significant other could not cut lukewarm butter with a flame thrower. If she would not have cut off four fingers and two toes in the process, I would have requested for her to vandalize the park’s hard work and leave our tag with all the other losers in the vicinity.
If we went to that same spot today, it would take us a minute to locate where we performed our illegal act of love speak, but that is not what would impress me in that moment. The carving is just a symbol. The carving is the cookie cutter. The carving is nothing more but our emoticon. The fact that me and her returned together is the vandalism that the world needs more of. We all need to show a spouse or significant other, a family member, a friend, a child, someone else’s child, a neighbor, or a complete stranger some love, and unconditional love at that. Whatever sets your heart on fire, keep it in your pocket, share it when you need to, but let it remain close to your chest first.
Love will break your heart. It has been doing exactly that since the dawn of mankind. In retrospect, love can also mend someone else’s heart. Instead of running through the world with mallets and hammers, it’s time we locate our needle and thread and suture up the things that need it. You can be hard and soft at the same time (not exactly the most memorable or clever metaphor to picture right now, but it will have to suffice.) Better yet, be chewy! Everyone likes chewy! Right? (I need to depart from this comedic rabbit hole now because it could go on for paragraphs and I would only embarrass myself.)
“Go do some good in the world, even if you do that good for yourself! You cannot love someone else until you love yourself first.”
Push Play For Free Listen : Much Love