Monday, June 20, 2011

Strangers Now

People are divorcing all around me. Close friends. Community folks. Complete strangers. All couples, once madly in love, now going their separate ways. I have this uncanny need to know every detail about their love story and subsequent break up, as if understanding these random pieces will help me predict my own marital future.

When did love leave and loathing arrive? Was it months or was it years? Was there a sign? Did she know he was married? Could you forgive him? Would you take those years of love back if you knew the ending? Are you scared?

I'm scared. That's why I ask all these crazy questions. I'm scared great love will turn into something hurtful and tragic. I'm scared there will be signs of growing apart, but I'll be too busy with my life to notice. I'm scared he'll leave and I'll be lonely, or he'll stay and we'll hate each other. I'm scared he'll have a change of heart. I'm scared I just might, too.

I was watching Storytellers the other night with songwriter Ray LaMontagne when he was talking about his marriage and how tough it was to stay connected. Even though he had been married to his wife forever, even childhood friends, he messed it up while on the road. He put it perfectly when he said, "I lost the plot of my life." He looked so sad and sincere and humbled by this revelation. He sang Like Rock & Roll and Radio. I cried the whole time.

How many of us have lost the plot of our lives? How many of us have lost sight of what is important? How do we forgive the humanness in others, which sometimes feels impossible, while also forgiving ourselves? How do we keep from becoming strangers?

Divorce reminds me of the messiness of love. We must rely on others to love us back and, sadly enough, that doesn't always happen like we'd like it to. No matter how many questions I ask, there's never going to be a perfect formula for doing it right. We just have to keep going and pray the hurt doesn't kill us along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Divorce and breakups fascinate me, too, for the same reasons you mentioned. I think that if I know all the gory details, then I can avoid going down that path. I also know it doesn't work that way. It's very scary to know that you can love, love, love someone for the longest time, but that love can change or disappear. Love ya.