> jumping into life.

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Suddenly, I could not eat anything that I did not pull from the ground myself. Even that tasted like the rot it is. For three days I ate nothing.

For three days I ate nothing and I curled myself tight. I did not want to be seen. I wore long sleeves and kept my eyes down.

Suddenly, I was drinking poetry again, like it could save me.

For three days I held in my mind - carefully, like a bomb or a baby - the idea that this might not work, even if we try real hard. The idea that this might not work, even if I need it to. The idea that he might leave me.

For three days he walked in the woods and thought.

Seventeen months ago I broke his heart completely and without explanation. I have never - not for one minute - allowed myself to understand completely the pain I caused him. Have never sat with the entirety of what I is that I had done. It took me nine months to figure out why I had done it; for three days he has been walking in those same shadowed halls, with the very same steps. It is fear. It is fear of being made to be who we really are, the best of who we really are. The blooded truth is that we have no defenses against each other, that we are naked to each others' eyes. Always. Entirely.

I fought that hard as I could, seventeen months ago. I fought it with every ounce of my fearful soul. And I won.

And nine months later I bore myself screaming back into the world, stripped of skin and with my heart in my teeth. Nine months later I bore myself screaming to the doorstep of his very heart, and laid myself down. And he - luminous thing he is - he let me in. He let me back in.

But my skin grew again. I could not keep myself raw in this world, could hardly even bear to try. And his fears run generations deeper than mine.

For three days I held carefully in my mind the knowledge that it is possible that my weakness and my fear have destroyed this impossible beauty. It may be that he cannot disarm himself after my utter betrayal. It may be that I killed us, and truly. He might never trust me again, not really trust me.

Seventeen months ago he had opened his heart by force of will; he decided to shed the defenses built against a lifetime of abuse and betrayal and trust me. Thought he could trust me. I couldn't handle the responsibility, and proved him wrong.

There is no safety in this world.

He said, only the people you love can betray you.
That time I proved him right.
He said, someday we'll have a family, someday, someday we'll have a family.

Years ago he had marked a secret place, knew that whoever reached it with him he would marry. I am the only one.

Suddenly all food is poison.

Suddenly he is walking my long hallway and I am at the other end, stunned. Shattered. Suddenly I am the helpless one. For three days I was the helpless one. I could feel my soul growing sharper, leaner. Fought it. Fought the desire to leave him first, to strike out, to pluck the veins out of my skin.

For three days I walked his lonesome path as he walked mine. For three days I watched the idea of a life without him unfurl into a dead and endless future while madness licked the inside of my skull. For three days I did not eat. I slept with my teddy bear. I wished for ashes in my hair.

Years ago he marked a secret place, and we stood there together.
We stood there together.

We cannot stay forever in the garden of the beloved!

Women leave. It's our destiny.


I think it is true that we must leave the garden of the beloved if we - as we are conditioned to do - constrict our lives to fit within it.

I think if we remember the rest of the world, and its gardens, and if we allow the garden of the beloved to be one part of that, then we can treasure it without being trapped.

Tending the garden of love is lifelong work. I hope you can do it together; I hope you can keep coming back into the secret place you share, and allowing each other to step outside it for a time too, building the trust that allows freedom. Thinking of you. And please eat!

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