The subject was unconditional love. One friend wasn't sure it really exists outside of a parent's love for a child.
"But it does," I assured her with a certainty usually reserved for fixed horse races and the law of thermodynamics. Until I turned 50 I was certain of the opposite. But that was BC, back in my personal Stone Age, when life was simple and filled with easy-to-fathom conditions.
Now, of course, I have seen the error of my ways. I know what it means to say I love someone, no matter what.
But is that a good thing? I'm not sure.
Yes, it's good to feel with such purity of heart and spirit. Yes, it's good to know that I'm capable of caring for a human being without attaching strings to my feelings.
But loving someone no matter what that other person does? It's not always a good thing. It means turning away from the obvious and being above it all. It means silently forgiving the other person when they ignore, bruise, or otherwise mutilate. It means feeling no anger, even when reality closes its fists and smashes them into my face.
it means there are days when there is no sunshine, no matter the weather outside.
The cloud cover is brought on by the most ridiculous crap. And it skitters away with just a word or a glance, because the only thing that seems important is being acknowledged in some way by the other person. Rather a kick in the teeth than being treated as invisible and besides the point.
Perhaps loving without reservations was (and is) wrong. It seems noble right now, the actions of a man who has seen the way it's supposed to be. But nobility is also hopelessly old-fashioned, like opening doors for ladies because I'm a gentleman. It feels like a relic from a gentler age. I feel like a relic, too.
That's not healthy, I know. But being noble pushes apart the clouds in my soul. It lets in the sunshine and I turn my face to the warmth and brilliance, the same way an old cat will close its eyes and stretch out on the floor to catch rays through a window on a frigid winter's day. There may be ice out there and little real warmth inside, but for now, all that matters is that sliver of sweet, sweet sunshine.
I'll deal with the consequence of my choice when the sun slips from view and I'm surrounded by the cold night. Until then, I listen to Mumford & Sons and whisper the lyrics to myself: I'll kneel down, know my ground. And I will wait, I will wait for you.