"The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails." - William Arthur Ward
Posted originally on December 2, 2009 and written when noted, one of my better poems in my opinion. As I wrote at that time, the poem is envisioned, taken from a specific moment after making love in a campground in the Canadian Rockies but then turned into imagination. I did not fear love that much at the time but I am never that far from it either. And we should perhaps, fear love a little because love is going to hurt, certainly hurt, though unpredictably when so much of the time. So many of us will go like Tina Turner:
What's love got to do with it, What's love but a second hand emotion. Something something something...hearts will be broken.
So many of us will at least for a little while say love hurts too much and I do not trust you, specifically and precisely YOU not to hurt me again so I will not love you. Or maybe anyone ever again...though even at my worst I have never gone there.
As I have written before, I have weathered this stuff pretty well by now. Now that I am so old and not a good partner for so many aging reasons, now I have got it right, pretty much. My last two loves ended well even though the endings hurt so much even doing things well. I think I do it rather like a grown up. That way I have the choice to remain friends with these fine women. One of them has gone on her way, though I knew where she was the last time I looked. The other may be my best friend right now.
This Ache In My Heart
How you lie there still after the wave has passed by, after the heat fades, and I wander off to pray for the day's return, kneeling in the grove beside our campsite out of your sight on purpose because I fear love.
Some years ago my poetry took on a mythic flavor and I became a character in my own poems, a mage, "the man of the Northern Wall". This apellation is not completely fictional. My middle name is Noordwal, a Dutch term for north wall, though in current Dutch it mainly means north bank as in riverbank. I was told that an ancestor, a Portugese Jew escaping the Inquisition, settled in a small Dutch town and took this name from where he settled, near the north wall of the town. I have thought for a long time that -wal meant wall, think my mother told me that. A linguist might say that my usage is no longer common, is an older usage, but then the Inquisition happened in Portugal a few centuries ago, right around the time the Moors lost control of the Iberian Peninsula and the Jews lost the modest protection given them by Islam. Now I write as this mage, my poetry persona.