“Love is the ultimate outlaw, it just won’t adhere to any rules.The most any of us can is do is sign on as its accomplice. Instead of vowing to honor and obey, maybe we should swear to aid and abet. That would mean that security is out of the question. The words ‘make’ and ‘stay’ become inappropriate. My love for you has no strings attached. I love you for free.”
– Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker
I was reading some of my older posts and I came to one I wrote nearly a year ago. A post about love. (You can read that post here ) I had just finished reading a book by Tom Robbins called “Still Life with Woodpecker” and throughout the novel Robbins continually asks the question “how do you make love stay?”.
The answer in short? You don’t. You can’t. I spent the better part of my life trying to make love, in it’s many forms, “stay”. From trying to get my parents to show me love the way I needed to getting the love I needed from men (well honestly they were boys) and never with any luck. Zero. Zilch. Nada. It wasn’t until I opened myself up to the idea that you can’t make love last and you can’t make love stay, did I find true and real love.
Years…decades even…were wasted on trying to make love stay. In high school you try to be the girl you think the guy you like wants, and it’s all downhill from there. Once you have altered or lessened yourself for the affection of a man, you’re ruined. You will do it again and again, over and over, until some life changing event rocks your world and sets you free.
I’d like to say my divorce was the life changing event that set me free, but it wasn’t. I continued to date men that were no good for me and tell myself they could change, and if they changed, just a little it could all work out. But that was lie. First of all, we should never waste our time on a fixer-upper. There is a lid for every pot, and if a man is a fixer-upper in your eyes, he is not the lid for you! My life changing event wasn’t a big, huge ordeal. It was simply a very long and tiresome, season of loneliness. A season that forced me to face and accept things about myself. It forced me to grow. It forced me to change my expectations. I had all but come to grips with my loneliness when I met Sam. I was accepting the fact that being single didn’t have to mean being alone. That my life could be full and wonderful without the companionship of a man. And then it happened. He happened.
Sam walking into my apartment and my heart on a bitter cold January evening the way a category 4 hurricane storms the beaches of a tropical island and in the aftermath, is never the same. I knew the moment I met him that I wanted to make love stay. But something was different. I was different. I had learned that there was nothing I could do to make love stay. That if I was going to love this man, it would have to be for free. And that’s what I did. I showed him the best of me and the worst of me. I didn’t conform myself to his likes and dislikes, I didn’t have to. And you know what? He still asked me to marry him.
I still choose to love Samuel for free. We’ve made a commitment to one another of course, but as we both know, marriages don’t always last. Not everyone gets the experience of a “happily ever after”. But because we know that there is nothing in our power to make love stay, we know that all we can do is love one another, the best that we can. Like Tom Robbins said, “love is the ultimate outlaw”, and at best all we can do is “vow to aid and abet”. I like the sound of that, aiding and abetting with Samuel for many many years to come.
Until Next Time: Love, Joy & Adventures