Someone once told me that there are only two things worth making art about: love and death. A couple days ago I was showing someone all the things I am working on in my studio and he proceeded to ask if all my work was about love or if I made work about other things too.
Recently two important people in my life got separated. This came as a huge surprise to me. They are still good friends and do things together, but at this point they are no longer living together. I had NO idea that anything was wrong between the two of them. Apparently the split was not due to one major event, but rather a number of things that built up over time or were never resolved properly.
I have to ask myself what kind of strength it takes someone to alter a relationship so drastically after more than 25 years. All the parts that have been left out, all the parts that don't seem to fit float around in my head looking for some kind of answers. I have so many questions because I always saw them as an incredibly happy couple, as role models for an ideal relationship. It continually seemed as though their relationship was growing stronger and stronger as time went by. I can remember their 25th wedding anniversary and the time leading up to it. He grew a mustache for the occasion in appreciation of when they first met and the mustache he had then. These little things are what relationships are all about for me. Small things, subtleties that truly indicate love.
I think about my sister and how she recently went through all of her old photos and her belongings and got rid of anything connected to her ex-boyfriend. I think about how a few weeks ago a friend got a call from an ex saying he could no longer talk to her again, how he could not have her in his life. And I think about the phone call I overheard a few nights ago of a boy saying that nothing his (ex) girlfriend had to say meant a thing to him, how nothing she has to say matters.
I suppose since I am relatively new at this whole relationship thing that after seeing so many failed relationships, so many break-ups and good byes I have to wonder if any relationship can really last. When the ideal that I held on to starts to crumble away I wonder what comes next. I wonder how two people in such an incredibly deep and romantic relationship can turn around and no longer be able to talk to one another. I wonder how someone who meant so much could turn into someone you wish didn't exist. All the history, the friendship, the learning, the romance is suddenly of little meaning. Do people get bored of each other? Do we get tired of waking up next to the same person? People often claim that love and hate are only a breath away from one another or that they are essentially the same thing.
This all makes me wonder about the likelihood of David and I growing old together. It makes me wonder if we won't one day come to the conclusion that we can't be together any more. That we have to walk away in different directions. At this point I can literally not think about life without David. I cannot imagine waking up without him by my side. I go over all the little things in our lives, the quiet moments we have together where we can just lie around tangled up inhaling each other's air. I treasure every moment together despite the fact that they are not all filled with bliss. I try to take it all in as though we may never see each other again. When I attempt to imagine the worst possible scenario with our relationship it only comes out as a very close friendship. There is no drama or destruction. We slowly devolve into less important roles in each other's lives.
I imagine people don't intend to break up, that people generally want things to work out. People plan to spend their lives together, swapping spit all the way to the grave. People make plans and hopes, but I wonder what it all means in the end when the love is no longer there?
So what happens when you walk into your apartment and find your lover dead like a friend recently did? What do you do when you have to face the reality that you will never see the most important person in your life ever again? When you call 911 they ask you to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and put your head on his chest to check his breathing. You hold his hand and tell him you love him while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Every time you think about your relationship and how important it was you visualize the absolute horror of finding his body.
Upon hearing the news I immediately wonder what I would do if I found David dead in our house. Would I be satisfied that I told him that I loved him? Would I be assured that we enjoyed every minute we had together? Would I be able to continue living? My stomach turns at even the thought of this scenario. I would look around the room and see all of his things and not want any of them to move or be moved. The urge to build his room into a memorial is strong. Everything reminds me of him. I think about the possibility of having to rebuild my life, of trying to preserve my life. I think of anguish beyond comprehension.
I am beginning to find out, or maybe come to the conclusion that love is the only thing that makes life worth anything. That wherever someone finds love they need to hold onto it, to cherish it, to do everything in their power to make sure that it continues to grow and blossom into continually greater and greater things. It's funny because every time I think I have reached my peek of "in-loveness" I wind up at a new level, hitting highs beyond my wildest dreams.
I am reminded of those rare and ever so wonderful lazy days when David an I are able to spend the day lazing about together. It is such an amazing thing to have no agenda other than to snuggle, have sex, eat and sleep and then to repeat it all. Of course there are always a million other things that need to be taken care of, things that build from day to day, but they all pale in comparison to being in my sweetie's arms. It's amazing to see things put into perspective, to be able to understand how unimportant all of my stresses are and to be able to see so clearly how important my relationship with David is.
We only have so much time on this planet together, only so much time to take each other in. Whether or not we like it we are all headed toward death. This fact kind of makes all the energy it takes to fight seem like a waste. Knowing that our lives are finite should be all the more reason to love as fully and deeply as we can, holding nothing back. I have found a love more intense than I could have ever imagined, this I cherish. "Live your heart and never follow."