Unexpected Rewards of Love

As I continue to wrestle with the inconveniences, and the occasional sadness, there are some surprising positive aspects of falling in love.

I have started strumming my ukulele more regularly. Maybe it is a good thing that its bright and happy register does not lend itself well to melancholy, but I occasionally manage a thoughtful chord progression. Most of the time though I can strum a happy tune that conveys the emotional high.

My meetings with Aquarius II are still full of laughter, sometimes induced by our conversations and other times by the happenings around us. A few days ago, we witnessed a close encounter with one of the resident cheeky monkeys, who tried to steal someone’s lunch, but was fortunately frustrated by a combination of sturdy packaging and a quick-thinking bystander. The incident is probably somewhere on video. But even without the monkeys there is never a dull moment at lunchtime. I replay the conversations in my mind and the memory brings back excitement and smiles.

I have a lot more energy. I am a regular customer now at the gym. On dry days I go out for a jog and I am slowly improving on my pace, distance and time. If this continues I might run an ultra-marathon one day.

During my jogging/running sessions I started listening again to Arabic music, the rhythm of slower Arabic songs matches my tortoise pace. And nobody does love and heartache quite like Arabs do, and in my devotion to Aquarius 2, I am wholly and totally Arab. In the tradition of classical lovers of my Arab ancestry, I have done the sleepless nights, the sighs that melt the stone and the rivers of salty tears. The cheesy words I scoffed at most of my life finally make sense. I do worship the ground he walks on, and when he is away my heart flutters painfully like a dove with its wing caught in a trap. I can go on running listening to these painful images now, but once when he was away a particular song touched me so deeply I had to stop at my gate and have a good cry right there. The tears are not necessarily a bad thing, I now know. I have developed a healthier sense of compassion with the pain of others. When the time comes I am sure I can lend a hand (and a big ear) to my son, my girlfriends or anyone I know who experiences heartache.

My feelings have also inspired me to put my thoughts into words again. As you can read, my writing has not improved profoundly with the eruption of passion, but I still write from the heart, and with feeling. And for better or worse there are things I want to commit to memory for later years. I might yet translate some love poems that speak to me or I might try to describe my love as I see him. There are things that I am still shy to write, the erotic images he provokes that bring my inside to melt.  Most of the time, however, I think that he does not need to try very hard because even the innocuous image of him walking barefoot in the sand or interacting kindly and lovingly with his child is enough to sear my heart.

And of course there are always, always the things that I yearn to express beyond words and looks. I constantly fight the compulsion to reach out and touch, with my hand, with my fingertip. In my mind I venture further to touch my lips to the crown of his head, his brow or to the fuzz around his lips. I know he likes to be kissed near his ear, and what I would give to do it.  I rarely dare to picture a forbidden kiss on the lips, because I still remember one chaste kiss he planted on my forehead as I lay on a hospital bed. On the right side of my forehead it was, the cool touch of his lips burned me then and still does in memory.

I keep thinking that in contrast to all my previous infatuations and love interests, it seem as if my heart has chosen Aquarius II in defiance of my mind. My heart simply responded to what it read in his eyes, real or imagined, and made the leap that my mind was never ready for. I tried to fight it and change it. At times I was angry with myself and other times I was just sad, but at the end I let go and resigned to it. Once I surrendered and accepted the joy and pain of this attachment, I found a surprising source of peace. I have cried less and felt less anger at the universe, my luck and my foolish heart. This peace that comes with letting go and accepting has been another lesson I take from this strange relationship.

Where he is concerned I  am neither jealous nor resentful. And while I am usually impulsive and reactive I try to let things happen and go with the flow. There is a certain wisdom that I am gaining from this, as I practice the ability to tame my passion, and bring it down to earth before it soars and burns me. I now appreciate the eastern practice of meditation and breath control.

Here as well I am coming back to the Arab wisdom of traditional proverbs. One that comes to my mind very often these days is a saying from Damascus, not my native Aleppo.  People of my native city are stereotyped as passionate and emotional. They wrote the most melting and heartfelt love songs to the music of traditional religious hymns. Damascene people, in contrast, are known as the better negotiators, politicians and mediators.  So this particular saying about patience will come more naturally to a cool Damascene than a hot-headed Aleppean:  كل شي دواه الصبر إلا قلة الصبر ما لها دوا = Patience is a cure for everything, but impatience has no cure.

Time in the end heals everything, I will give it time.