There should be some kinda algorithm, an innate process, like breathing, that seals the heart when claimed. Like how an egg seals shut when the sperm that gets in first gets the prize.
Love can be torture.
… . . . .
I had to put my counseling hat on this week.
A woman came to me, crazy out of her mind, asking for my infinite wisdom. (For the record, counselors are not wise, they just listen and ask questions.) This woman had to choose between fidelity and love. I asked her what she felt was the right thing to do, and she fell quiet. “Right?” She asked, as though right and wrong were irrelevant or indistinguishable. She avoided the question and told me that she nearly gave in, and it scared her. Then she wept, sobbed right there in the room with me. So I sat in silence and gave her space to cry until she gathered herself.
She was pretty messed up, going back and forth in her mind from one path of the fork in the road to the other, spreading her confusion by telling half-truths and giving her lover mixed signals. She wanted advice, but as a rule, I generally don’t give advice when I have my counselor hat on. She had to draw her own conclusions and come up with her own solution. She told me that she had ripped her heart out to do right by the one she is legally and morally bound to, and she hurt herself and the one she loves in the process. She wondered how her life would have been in a month’s time, or a year’s, or longer, and how his, the lover’s, would have been too, had she chosen him. I couldn’t answer her, not because of the hat rules but because I really couldn’t. No one can.
….. . .. . .
I live on the outskirts of town, on the edge of civilization, and I drive down a lot of country roads sheltered by trees and vines and tall grass. Today I drove alongside wildflowers. They were beautiful. I got sad thinking they’d be gone soon, but I was focusing on the wrong thing. The flowers were there, are there, and I was fast-forwarding their season by thinking them gone.
Natural seasons in life aren’t temporary anyway; they return again and again. It’s the stolen ones that scare us into believing that once we let the good stuff go, it’s gone forever.
… . .
How long are situations acceptable before they aren’t, and how do people tell the difference when the change is so gradual?
If we had time machines, all of this would be a nonissue. We could pick our seasons and keep them unchanged. I imagine that, if that woman had a time machine, she would go back to when those flowers were new summer blooms, before everything got complicated, and enjoy their company indefinitely.