“The words “I’ll always love you”
impulsively appear in the dark sky
and we are happy and stick by them
like a couple of painters in neon allowing
the light to glow there over the river”
- Frank O’Hara
I am surrounded by love, and it is most palpable when I am, by human definition, “alone.”
Except that I don’t feel alone. The dark sky, the misty forest-tops, a dense cloud cluster at sunset,
the scent of a silent town at dawn after the rain, the opening phrases of Ellington & Coltrane,
a martini sipped in solitude, a frosty fern, or the blazing hues of Autumn in New England - these offer a feeling
so uncomplicated, so instantly-interpretable, so entwined with my own intrinsic language that translation
into words is not only unnecessary, it’s futile.
This is relationship as I understand it. The “I’ll always love you” in the dark sky,
the sough of the twelve-foot tide as it moves into and then away from the land;
I see it! I hear it! I get it.
And I don’t have to make myself “got” because with these relationships, understanding is implicit.
It’s the reason why most of us are mesmerised by a limitless horizon at the sea shore,
or stop short on the roadside when presented with a rosy, low-slung moon.
These glimpses remind us of what we forget when we confuse love with a superficial rendition of satisfaction.
And they are abiding. Always available to be witnessed.
It’s like Sharon Salzberg says,
“Love is simple and abundant, but it is not always in the places we look for it.”