A letter to a dear friend

In which I decide to step off the cliff

I have very few true friends in this world. But the ones I do have are honest. And they tell it to me like it is. The following excerpt is a response to my revelation that I had reconnected with a past love. One that had ripped my heart out and left me bleeding by the roadside. Her response was simple and direct (not at all like my words, but effective and always worth reading). It began with:

“I am going to gently point out that this is not your best time of the year.”

I sat on the message for several days. This evening I responded. The full text is below:

It’s not easy. And no, the difficulties aren’t all mine. But here is love. In all its beauty and tragedy and pain. I can’t say no to that.

It may well not work out this time around. And you know what? That’s okay too. Because love isn’t some permanent thing we get to hold on to. It’s a whisper on the wind. A leaf floating by in the creek. A temporal reflection of the universe. We grab it, with a longing we don’t quite understand and try to wring every last heartbeat out of it. And we always lose our grip, to death, to heartbreak, or even to apathy. But still, it’s always worth it. Because it’s the only thing that really matters.

So I will travel this path again. Not because I expect it to last forever but because it’s worth it. Even if the moment is fleeting. Every moment we can love is a moment we get to truly live. Saying no to that is saying I don’t wish to live. And that may well be the only true sin there is.

Shalom, my friend.

There are a lot of things one learns with the death of a spouse. To my mind, the most important one is that we don’t get to keep anything for long. Good times pass, bad times pass. Change is the only thing we can count on. To “push away love with both hands” as one of my online dates remarked, is to choose survival over joy. And I’ve done that. Over and over again. The result has been something less than satisfactory.

The truth is, I don’t want to live in a safe, secure world. Not if it means I don’t get to experience all that love brings. The joy, the risk, and yes, the uncertainty of opening myself up to another human being. There are a whole lot of things that aren’t measurable with the tools we humans possess. Those things are what makes life worth living.

Step off the cliff. At every opportunity you get. Sometimes it’ll it hurt. But when it’s good, you’ll never regret the fall.

Thank you for reading.

Written by

father, motorcyclist, old retired guy who’s just a little lost on a blue marble corkscrewing its way to oblivion

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