We fall, first.
Tumbling, as if we slipped on the wet concrete on top of the Empire State Building, and the metal fence was broken, so we plunged off the top, swirling around and around, moving so quickly through the humid evening air that in our free fall the world feels as if it has slowed down, so that all we see is each other (unaware of the gritty city sidewalk below).
On a sweeter note, perhaps our fall is more like a rose petal-by-rose petal fluttering, as the fragrance opens in the air.
We all know that once a rose bud opens, there is no going back, and we may try—look the other way—to hold tight, not fall, but we do.
We stumble over our own toes that once were anchors on this earth—practical tools for keeping us on our path; but, sometimes, our path is to fall (in love).
In the diving, we will eventually land because as sweet as some loves may be, love is not always what we think it should be. Perhaps the love we know leaves us, or we leave the love that we know, so we must climb out (of love).
Everyone always speaks of falling in love, but no one ever explains that we have to climb out of love. We always hear the words: we fall out of love, but it doesn’t always work like that. We have to climb out; there is no other way.
Certainly, we could stay on the gritty city sidewalk, sitting on the curb as taxis zoom past us, and the city hums a tune almost like a Leonard Cohen song. Somehow, in all the noise, we find solace in the chaos, as we lament about our tumultuous journey.
The way our fingers lingered over each other’s lips, sharing a private laugh. The how we fit perfectly into each other’s body—curled together without awkwardness under our sheet. The why we were pulled into the fall (aware that some questions will remain unanswered), knowing that as interesting as our past may be; it’s not where we are going.
We can never stay wrapped up in each other because our world moves in ways that break us open, so we may find that the love (we fell into) shifts, so we must open our eyes, and see the beauty—from our seat on this gritty city sidewalk—in the world around us: like the little boy who laughs with surprise at the Buddhist Monk’s bright orange robe, and the way the monk laughs back without taking offense, as the two pass each other on the sidewalk.
Reminding us of a story about the two Buddhist Monks who were on a journey, and came to a river where a woman—dressed in her finest clothes—was hesitant to cross the river.
One of the monks offered to carry her across the water while the other looked on with surprise.
She agreed, and climbed on his back, as he carried her to the other side. She thanked him. They parted ways, and a few miles down the path the other monk said, “I can’t believe that you carried a woman. We are not supposed to touch women.”
The monk, who carried the woman, laughed and said, “Yes, I helped her, but it is you who are still carrying the woman on your back.”
We may ask ourselves a similar question: why do we carry a love that is no longer love? Why not leave it behind because we’ve already physically moved forward?
Climbing out of love means that we can acknowledge the sparks, the passion, that wild edge that gave us the thrill of the fall; and most importantly, recognize that as great as the fall, that part of the journey is over.
A new journey begins with climbing out (of love); in fact, it may be even more profound than falling in love.
We’re at that point in our journey where we’ve helped ourselves over the puddle—we’ve touched love (all-consuming, sparkling, hand tingling, mouth grinning, wide-eyed blissfulness)—and, we must use those feelings to put one hand over the other. Keep moving, and don’t look back: stay in the moment.
We can pull ourselves up from the bottom, knowing that the rope will get rough, so we’ll slip a few times (or a thousand!). Remember: we know how to climb; we just have to tell ourselves that it’s okay. That we’ll be all right.
Hand over hand, calluses forming, we’ll make it to the top: pulling our body on over the crest of a mountain or the edge of the Empire State Building.
We’ll be back to where we began, again; yet with a lot more wisdom for the next time we fall (in love).
Jes Wright loves being barefoot, taking deep breaths of orange blossoms while doing yoga, and finds nature in even the most urban spaces. She is an adventurer, enjoying the acts of painting, writing and playful mindfulness in her mostly uncharted journey between northern California and upstate New York, and back again. Jes holds an MA in Individualized Studies (Creative Nonfiction) from Goddard College where she learned the power of Transformative Language Arts. Currently, she’s working on a novel, a poetry chapbook, and being an ever present diplomat for those with Asperger’s. Her writing may be found at elephant journal and on Facebook.