Friday, February 6, 2004

I live in fire.

I thrive on constant challenges. I may fail. Even more often than I succeed. But I can't keep off my feet.

I rage against injustice and cruelty and am disheartened by how little impact it has. Addicted to kindness and a slave to my emotions. Fuelled by love and frightened by indifference. I do get burned, but can not stop.

Living is a luxury. Despite not knowing all the alternatives, I am convinced that life is the ultimate high. And it can be exhausting. Being ablaze wears your soul down. From time to time.

And then you go and discover another person who calms you down. My wife has a way with my soul. She caresses it and heals it and strengthens it, just as easily as she will receive strength and affection from me. We live in balance, and after spending more than a decade together, we are at peace. She has shown me that it is not about possession. That you really can not own another person. The futility of jealousy. How caring for one person does not mean that you love another less. It is from these truths that we know that we will always be together. That you actually can live in love.

What an invaluable source to draw from! You gain respect for the rest of human kind. You want to see, feel, give, love. And you start paying attention. You realize, sometimes only for a brief moment at a time, that people can contain treasures that are more precious than anything else in this world. Vast richness lies beneath the callous sarcasm and distrust of everyday life. You start seeing glimpses of this wealth in the eyes of strangers. People that you thought you knew, suddenly become exceptional to you. They shine in the brilliance of their grand design. And you are brought down to your knees by the quiet and overwhelming beauty of creation. It is enough to make you believe.

It is strange. Watching this week coming to an end. I have been struggling with how to write about it. This has been the week when I have been treated to amazing trust and affection and patience and genuine attention. I now know, after becoming a father myself, that you can show no more trust to a man than exposing your children to him. This week, I had somebody look me quietly in the eye and see right into my soul, while I was being hugged by their beautiful children. No words were needed, because nothing needed to be said. It was soothing. It was a truly good moment. Time stopped, ever so briefly, and then continued its frantic pace.

Blazing on.