|The calm before a storm, Genoa, Italy 2014|
Love happens fast sometimes. I'm not sure who came up with the rule that we have to play a waiting game in order to distinguish between love and everything else. Love exists. It occupies space and matter and is detectable from the first real connection with another being. Whether it happens in a smile, the faint whisper of hello, a brief, yet sincere embrace, or the way a stranger first says your name. However, when it happens, you're aware of it immediately.
Much of our communication was non-verbal in the three days and nights I stayed with him. I was in recovery, but he didn't know it. Recovering from a lifetime of hurt, pain, and built up anguish. Recovering from disappointing dreams and broken promises. Recovering from loss. Loss in the form of possessions, loss of love, loss of friends, loss of self. Basically, of everything I thought mattered in real life. He was oblivious to all of this when he sent me a message, inviting me to stay in his empty room on the Italian Riviera. I was making my journey back home to the US after deciding to travel clear across the world in search of a glimpse of the person I thought I had lost.
Love at first sight, it wasn't.
However, when I saw him, holding his phone and listening to the store owner directing him to my whereabouts, I was clothed in peace and relief. His bright smile greeted me warmly as he grabbed my bag. After thanking the store owner for his kindness and generosity, I directed my full attention to the stranger walking slightly ahead of me.
His frame was thinner than the picture he featured on his profile. He was clean cut and boyishly handsome in his own unique way. His spirit was kind and genuine. His smile safe and curious. I would later find out that he was German born, living on the Italian Riviera, working hard and trying to heal from his own wounds, the largest left by failed love.
Again we spoke more in silence during our time together. This type of remarkable communication with a man is something I had only experienced once before, so I knew the strength of the connection needed in order for it to be possible. Although rare, I do better communicating this way because I am more at ease with just being. No pressure. He seemed to appreciate this fact and so in silence we combed through deep, old wounds, left from the trampling of family on our persons, injustices in life and in love, and the mistakes we felt we made along the way. We spoke of the love we desired, in shared smiles, in lingering glances, and in our consideration of each other.
His care for me was apparent and natural as if it were something he had practiced in advanced. We embraced for the first time in this life, as it was apparent our souls had already shared both time and space before, somewhere on the other side of eternity perhaps. He desired to hold and comfort me and was sensitive to my needs. I desired to kiss away all the pain, anguish, and disappointment brought to him throughout his life.
Inside those silent conversations we found compassion, forgiveness, and our way back to the possibilities of love. We brought each other's hearts back to life in the three days we spent together. Sharing time and space, contemplating our beings, watching the sea, sharing gelato, focaccia, and allowing ourselves to be free. We decided to bypass all the formalities which are meant to trip people up on their journey toward love. Possibly because we were acutely aware we had no time to waste.
...To Be Continued.
With Love & Gratitude,