Like anything else, love tends to be imperfect, and there are moments less worthy of celebration than others: misunderstandings that cause hurt feelings, the human failings and small shortcomings that lead to inevitable disappointments small and large, and the effects of change and the passage of time having their say in matters of love, too.

One perspective on home.

One perspective on home.

I’m back from my trip out to the trees, and I am thinking about love, and the things about love that move me most, that matter most, and that nurture me in solitary moments. I am struggling a lot, lately, with attachment. The challenges pile up, tangential to each other, complicating progress like trying to wind sticky yarn into an orderly ball in a strong breeze; I feel frustrated and dissatisfied. Some of the questions feel angrier than usual, and perspective, compassion and understanding compete with resentment and discontent – emotions all vying for the attention of this broken brain; whatever shouts loudest, first, will likely be the thing expressed, however poorly, and however low on my list of real priorities. That, too, frustrates me.

Not this way...

Not this way…

Moments like this it’s too easy to drown in discontent, to bring the focus to what isn’t, to what was, to what I yearn for and don’t have. I haven’t had much success with changing that; loss hurts. One healthier practice I practice when I’m struggling with attachment and feeling resentful or discontent is to take time to consider, instead, the things I very much enjoy and value in my experience that exist and are real – even things I’m not so fortunate as to enjoy regularly (or at all, let’s be honest; there are times of plenty and times of famine) – because putting the focus on the joy, itself, rather than the momentary or immediate lack of it, does make a difference in my perspective in general. It’s worth the discipline – and there are verbs involved – because if nothing else, it just feels better to contemplate, and savor, the beautiful experiences life offers more than it does to allow myself to become mired in the sorrow and heartache of regret. Enjoying the recollection of the things I like about love is a handy rope ladder I can throw to myself…

…Sometimes I need the help.

The path isn't always well-marked...

The path isn’t always well-marked…

You know what I like about love? Tenderness. I like tender words spoken softly, almost in secret, in my ear unexpectedly. I like the feather soft touch of a lover brushing my hair from my face while looking into my eyes. I like little moments of gentle touch, here and there, in passing, in the hallway, in the kitchen, the unexpected embrace, the sense that love is so urgent that not another moment could pass without touching. I like passion; I most enjoy the passion of reciprocal sexual love, body against body, seeing into each other’s hearts, feeling touch and feeling touched in shared moments, electric, intimate, raw. I like romance, flirtatious, playful, rambunctious, mysterious, and enduring. I like looking into a lovers sleepy eyes as we wake together, realizing that we fell asleep together, unplanned, cuddled like puppies, exhausted from friendly adult play. I like cooking together, and laughing about calories. I like deep conversation, mind to mind, sharing intellectual fervor – and emotional vulnerability, looking for understanding instead of righteousness. I like engagement – heart to heart, sharing personal moments, important memories, things that matter – and things that don’t. I like sharing laughter – laughing with a lover feels better than any other laughter, ever. I like slow lingering intimate moments after sex, when just being, and breathing in the same space is the only ‘I love you’ anyone needs to hear. I like the touches that lead to sex; too exciting for words, communicating so much more than words can. I like that breath-taking moment in a lover’s arms when it is clear that it is the only place in that moment that any of us need to be.

It's worth enjoying the best the journey has to offer, no matter the weather.

It’s worth enjoying the best the journey has to offer, no matter the weather.

Today is a good day to love, and to enjoy what love offers now. Today is a good day to invest in love, by taking time to appreciate, savor, and value all that it means to me to love, over time.