The truest test of any held belief or ideal is found in its most direct challenge. Here is the place where the difference between thought and feeling is found, here is the place where hypocrisy breeds and humanity is revealed in viscid, vivid colors.
Though, sometimes, not.
I told him long ago that here lived care for all that made him smile; that no matter time and tides, so long as I could know that life brought health and happiness, love and contentment, challenge enough to feel alive, but not enough to overwhelm him, I too, would be content, I too, would be happy, and I too, would smile.
As is usual in life, things change. Sometimes in ways that hurt. As is usual in life, sometimes, you don’t get to know that another actually hears you and understands. Sometimes, the understanding is lost in translation. Sometimes, so lost that you cannot say there ever was translation. In these ways humans often speak past one another, or in spite of one another, or futilely toward one another.
So it was with him, to my frequent frustration and ultimate despair.
It is a crime and a sin that the word ‘love’ is so often used to define every base and banal thing that there is no room left in which it might still shine pristine, unsullied, and pure. It is a sadness that, so often, the only connotation given it rests in ruddy eros and not instead in more tranquil agapos, or storge, or philos. Culture and concupiscence render only to love that which may be possessed, and forget all too easily that which is best savored not for the having, but for the experience of knowing.
It was not a thing I could convey to him. I once blamed myself but see more clearly now that there are only so many things that words can truly deliver and all of them rely heavily upon the degree to which another wishes to hear or understand them.
Which is why I can and do delight to know he is well, that those who surround him are, too. It is also why, despite the various aspersions and angers that churn in the gulf between, I can sit upon this, the precipice, and look across to see joyful life there, upon the other side, and smile.
I suppose it might be easier to sulk and weep and proclaim loss and libel. To be sure that is the song that most of the world will readily commiserate with, the refrains of selfish ego become more important than anything. I cannot bring myself to it; no matter the misunderstanding, the ugliness of neglect and ultimate abandonment… in truth, they do not matter for they were not the reasons I loved.
The reasons I loved remain, there, at distance. They are unchanged and because their being rises not from want, but from knowing, they remain unchanged so long as there is knowledge of contentment and peace, delight and closeness, and that he and all he holds important are well.
I saw an evidence of these things today. They made me smile, as they always do. They made me remember how and why I care, how and why I love, and how and why, no matter time, circumstance, or distance, I will always choose to do so.
Quietly, without pride, content, I say to myself that I pass this, the latest test; Proof of a simple truth. The best kind of truth, a simple one, that requires nothing but that it just is.
Just. Is. Keyword, code phrase, a thing that will take more words than I will spend to further define it. Those who know it and who read this will smile with me. It is enough.