Most evenings after work I walk a large town park of 130 acres. The exercise is good for my body and works wonders for my mind. It’s a nice enough place, a bit manicured for my liking, but it is full of grand old English Oak and ancient looking Pine, remnants of the European settlers efforts to transform Australia into something reminding them of home.
It’s autumn now and the sun has sunk low by the time my feet hit the gravel track. This light this time of year is very pretty and is often responsible for me announcing out loud (to myself) “wow, look at that light!” as my skin tingles and the warmth of a thousand sunsets from my past fill my head and heart. I often pause to take a photo of the golden light as it momentarily rests on autumn trees as if to say, “admire my beauty, but not for too long”. I rarely share these photos of golden light with anyone out of lack of motivation. That’s my challenge of late, motivation, more so the distinct lack of it. For anything. Even writing this has taken me a week.
Someone recently asked me “what are you doing with your life?” and it took me a little while to respond. “Just exisiting at the moment really. Working, then going home”. What a dismal place to be I thought as I read my own response. I am deep in the experience of one of life’s lower moments, the inescapable trauma from loss of love. Every evening, most moments during the day, seemingly unable to escape it, I think on this matter and everything connected to it. I apply tools to distract me, but the force is strong, it’s exhausting and I’m totally over it and want it to end. It will, in its own time, this is just a process of life.
On the southern end of the trail the late sun hung on in futility. Rays of golden light cut through the trees like laser beams, ’God Rays’. I turned to my right looking for what remained, the giver of all life on earth, the golden god. It glowed bright in my eyes and I imagined what it would be like to be on that thing, burning into a gas of nothing. I wondered how hot it would feel when a chill of a cold autumn air brushed past me and brought me back, I carried on walking. My science trained mind then pondered the basis of life, living cells. How these tiny things make up all living creatures and plants, always an amazing concept to ponder. Millions of cells joining to form something living, something larger than themselves alone. Vibrant at first, they work in unison, serving purpose with boundless energy, eventually running out of steam and dying off, disappearing forever. I tried to imagine the billions of cells over time that have come and gone, those that formed ancient wild creatures, brilliant human minds, fierce warriors and mad, evil souls. These cells served a purpose, existed, then faded away to what eventuates into space dust.
I related the process to the concept of love, of two people falling in love. That amazing feeling of joy when you find someone utterly wonderful that compliments you, teaches you, supports you and if you’re lucky, adores you. There is no logic around who you fall in love with or why, it just happens. It’s an uncontrollable force, and when it happens it’s the most genuine of things (for something that doesn’t ‘exist’).
Time passes, love fades, and eventually separation happens, in death or breakup, it’s inevitable either way. That amazing bond between two people, the special intimate moments, the touch of a comforting hand, the warm embrace at night, special secret looks that say things without words being spoken, dumb private jokes, unplanned adventures and support through troubling moments in life. All those shared intricacies happen between two people bound by love, however there comes a point in time when the couple ends, this thing we can’t see or touch fades into oblivion. Its existence, that special thing is gone, even the very memory of it eventually disappears into nothing, just nothing, like matter burnt by the unimaginable fierceness of the sun.
The bond two people share, this thing called love, is temporary like a living cell. It once served and eventually ends up as nothing. I ask myself what is the purpose of love? When we have it, it’s a hit, like a drug. When we don’t have it, withdrawals. Everyone experiences it differently, and some sadly never find it. Some are desperately searching for it all their lives, while those that have it enjoy the bliss and comfort of the moment.
I don’t know what the purpose of love is, does there even need to be purpose? The question always needs asking though, doesn’t it? There is a science to it, but I don’t want to know about it. I want to feel it again, but I also never want to feel it again because I know the consequences of such and arrangement. Some days I tell myself I never want to give myself freely to it again, but there’s always a soft whisper taunting me that I’ll return. But for now I can’t really feel much at all, I believe it’s the body in lock down. An external shell protecting the internals that are trying to figure things out.
I’ve found what’s bigger than this, is once you ask the question what is love, and what purpose does it serve, you begin to ask more substantial questions, like what is the purpose of anything? And that takes you to destinations much darker than the sun.