nonsensical text

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

37 degrees southeast

Change occurs daily. There are countless thousands of small decisions which slightly alter your path, changing who you are and who you will become by such slight degrees that their impact alone is not measurable. The cumulative effect, however, can be quite profound. There are other decisions which leave no doubt of their import on the blueprint of your life.

Twenty-two years ago, a young man and woman fell deeply, passionately, perhaps obsessively in love. They started off with all night sessions of talking – unable, either of them to say goodbye, and put an end to their time together, even for the few hours of night-black. It evolved over time into a relationship so joined, they often didn’t need to speak at all.

The time was marked with the intensity of soul-deep craving, but their relationship was far from perfect. There was much immaturity, many mistakes in the order of youth. Still, the uniting force was so strong, she could never see it being broken – she never noted the small, slight changes of direction.

They came to each other broken. He had been married before – at a very young age to an unfaithful wife. He had two children and had physically put an end to his childbearing years. She could handle that, or so she thought. Anything was alright as long as they were together.

She had wandered a fallen path – even having an abortion at age 17, though she was very much pro-life. He understood her failings and forgave her, even when she couldn’t forgive herself.

For many lifetimes in a moment, they walked the path together. Fireworks and dewdrops – earthquakes and molten lava - hot chocolate to the iciness of solitude – hot water scathing the rawness of new burnt skin.

Sometimes the biggest changes occur more from a lack of choice than from direct decision. It was only to be a few weeks’ separation. It turned into a bouncing ball with gaps of separation lasting longer with each rebound. It turned down a road where two souls symbiotically joined had lost the words to fill the empty space. It became easier to let it slide away without ever really saying goodbye.

Years later, she looks back from a vantage point almost diametrically opposed. Children call her mother. Temperance has taken the place of passion. Contentment has taken the place of joy. Irritation of desolation.

Still, sometimes she misses the person that was she before turning 37 degrees southeast.



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