I Love You but I’m not in Love with You

October 14, 2009

Senses are heightened when we’re in love.  Skin is caress-ready and blissed out by the gentlest breeze.  Coffee smells rich and full.  Wine tastes of the vineyards and sunshine that nourished it.  Everyone and everything is interesting.  Light dances and glints, darkness embraces.

I love my children more than life – why is it then that morning coffee has become a ritual which passes unnoticed until I come across my unwashed cup?

In a flush of love I used to plan my shopping trips according to who sold the plumpest, reddest tomatoes, the most aromatic basil.  Now I plan my excursions like a join-the-dots game of who has the cleanest toilets and baby-changing facilities.

Light has become a thing of absolutes – harsh strip lighting of supermarkets or a black-out zone of tiptoe territory after bedtime.  The sun touching the arch-backed mountain across the valley is not an indicator to reach for the corkscrew and regroup on the terrace for a glass of chilled rose.  It is the starting gun to get the bath running, put the dinner on and disentangle the knot of squabbling, grimy children.

I used to remember everything.  The curve of the hollow between collar bones AND the ever-so-slight kiss of shadow it contained.  I sometimes hurriedly answer the telephone now and only just differentiate the voice of my own mother from that of a telemarketer.

I used to spend ages deciding what to wear.  Ha!  Now that is at once easier and more difficult.  Easier: “What do I have that is clean AND ironed?” and more difficult: “What do I have that is clean AND ironed?”

I love you but I’m not in love with you.  This love is something raw and primal.  It is grubby and sticky and has given me a strong stomach.  It smells of just-bathed baby and sweaty small child scalp.  It is the glint of sunlight off one perfect curl.  It has heightened all my senses on a permanent basis.  It has sharpened my claws and softened my curves.  I am not in love with you because that would place you outside my innermost circle.  You are.  I am.  I am because You Are.

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10 Responses to “I Love You but I’m not in Love with You”

  1. Really beautifully written. I simply loved it.

  2. Great writing, your prose sings. I related to the “clean and ironed” yes I did.

  3. Joanne said

    What a moving piece … it really gets at the heart of the changes in life, in love, in our hearts. Very nice!

  4. KIM said

    So well written, beautiful, cannot find a way to follower your blog. Thanks for commenting on mine.

  5. Aileen said

    Delicious! Makes me want to write poetry! Will try to print it out (am I allowed to do that?) and maybe I’ll be able to echo your words back through the prism of my own experience. This is fun! xxx for Rosemary, who started this path so long ago…

  6. How very beautiful! Our love for our children is profound, is it not? : )

  7. Bear Brand said

    Scary idea! Not being in love would be awful! It’s loss that would kill all that joy for me. Your prose described the loss of someone you love.

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