MERCUTIO And, to sink in it, should you burden love;
Too great oppression for a tender thing.
ROMEO Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.
MERCUTIO If love be rough with you, be rough with love;
Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.
A tender thing, not I. Let me detail the many ways I beat down the oppression of love. I think my way out of everything but have a hunch that some events of childhood made me hyper aware of my surroundings. How folks acted, what was important. What started out as survival turned into manipulation once there was no real threat to my person or environment. I have this bad habit of having a possession war after some of my relationships because I feel so hurt I don’t know how else to take back what was mine–a chunk of my heart.
Too rude and boisterous, love sometimes feels like an infatuation with the harvest of fruits, flowers–shades of green and pastel sweaty in the morning dew shimmering by moonlight. But there is much importance in the dried out brown stalks of fall droopy in meadows and hidden in pines. In the wet, heavy snowpack of winter helping to smother and decay the grass below. Death is only a part of the cycle. And I have a hand in the creation and death of my own garden of love, sowing lies and pain.
It happened again the other night. I flipped my lid (see Dan Siegal) and slammed a huge container of dogfood onto the table and went after my e-cigarette clutched in an angry hand. Yelling, screaming, dog scared. Like lungs being pierced, gut punched, splashed with boiled water, fingers numb and frozen, I cannot exist here. Fight, flight, or freeze. All happening in a cycle and I pray my wings can keep me far, far away from the tiny thorns on bushes all around my path never forgotten with teeth seething and biting.
Namaste. Not just the light, truth, and beauty in me honor the same in you. The anxiety, insecurity, darkness, pain, disappointment, vengeance that reside in me are also in you. I know I have many shortcomings and give plenty of reasons to stay away. I don’t quite know how to say I’m not into this, this isn’t working and so instead I create drama and pain and slip into that familiar pair of anxiety slippers, feeling the paranoia fuel my default mode of operation. Even now as I type I start to worry about the fallout of my tactics this time.
I hope the pricking, I hope the beat down is enough this time. I hope I’ve shoveled out so much space around my heart that it can weep and grow. I hope that I have shown my most ugly side and that the darkness it brings can be protection. A shroud of light and dark, all archetypes represented in this safe space. Burning of sage and sweetgrass, sprinkling of elder berries, incense, meditation. It’s all symbolic and perhaps self-manipulation as I convince myself its all right and remember to breathe in and breathe out.
“Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
Some kill their love when they are young,
And some when they are old;
Some strangle with the hands of Lust,
Some with the hands of Gold:
The kindest use a knife, because
The dead so soon grow cold.
Some love too little, some too long,
Some sell, and others buy;
Some do the deed with many tears,
And some without a sigh:
For each man kills the thing he loves,
Yet each man does not die.”