The way I look at love is you have to follow it, and fall hard, if you fall hard. You have to forget about what everyone else thinks. It has to be an us-against-the-world mentality. You have to make it work by prioritizing it, and by falling in love really fast, without thinking too hard. If I think too hard about a relationship I'll talk myself out of it. I have rules for a lot of areas of my life. Love is not going to be one of them.
And then there's the truth beyond that, sitting like an old rock under green creek water: none of these things matter. Right now, in this moment, we have love. We have it in the sound of my daughter's laugher, in Mom's and Georgia's locked fingers, in the warm pressure of J.T.'s hand. It will leave, and it will come again, and when it does I'll give up everything and take it. Just like an addict. Like dry grass in new rain. It's not something I'm proud of necessarily. Then again, maybe I am.
I've remembered that most of life is about small, essential connections, so unobtrusive, so elastic, that you scarcely realize they're actually holding you together. The big ones-the great, grand emotional bonds-those are the ones that break, the ones that fail you, the ones that give way and send you careening toward the foot of the bleak and jagged canyon. It's the tough, gnarled, unadorned ties that really do bind, that never let you fall all the way down into darkness.
When we're incomplete, we're always searching for somebody to complete us. When, after a few years or a few months of a relationship, we find that we're still unfulfilled, we blame our partners and take up with somebody more promising. This can go on and on--series polygamy--until we admit that while a partner can add sweet dimensions to our lives, we, each of us, are responsible for our own fulfillment. Nobody else can provide it for us, and to believe otherwise is to delude ourselves dangerously and to program for eventual failure every relationship we enter.