How do I hold on to love and let go of the pain? Is it possible to separate the two? I hold a photograph and it takes me to a place of deep warmth in memory. I remember the moment with tenderness, with gratitude, with love. Looking up from the photo, I am here. The journey to another moment leaves and I am abandoned to this moment. And the distance between memory and moment hurts.

Benjamin June 20 not isolationI will always love. Will it always carry an element of hurt? With every ray of light is there a slither of shadow?

I do not love in isolation. All the beautiful experiences with the ones I love are with me, a part of me in the culmination of me. To separate my past from my present is impossible.

My pain is not created by going into the past. My pain is present tense, which holds my past. My love is not past tense either. I love the ones I have lost to this moment in this moment.

I needed to find a way to harmonize past, present and future. I needed a way to integrate all of me in the context of time. My joy, sorrow, pain, pleasure, anger, forgiveness, love…all of me needed to find a way to live in all of this.

My pain comes from separation. Nothing is more painful than to be separated from the ones I love. But there is a condition that I find equally painful. That is to be separated from any part of me. To deny any feeling, any experience, any perception that I encounter separates me from potential healing.

I was so angry when we found out Lydia, Matt and Bryan were HIV+. I was furious at the hospital. Enraged at the doctor who ordered a precautionary transfusion Lydia didn’t even need for the birth of Matt. Outraged at the blood bank industry that didn’t test the blood due to economic reasons.

Benjamin June 20 Not separationTo deny my anger would have been ludicrous. I had to follow my anger, embrace what I felt to get to the underlying feelings that collected within me. When I journeyed into the anger I found fear. I found hurt. I found helplessness. I found every emotion I had ever known and felt them all. And underlying all of the parts of my multitude of emotions I found love.

I have sat in great stillness as love and pain danced their dance within me. I have watched the interplay of past, present and future in this dance. I have held a photograph and been transported into pure joy and returned to find love holding my sorrow.

It is not then and now that pains me. It is the separation of then and now that hurts so much. I want to hold them again. I want to hear their voices again. I want to hear their laughter echo within me again. Yet, every moment is unique and cannot be duplicated. Again is a hollow illusion.

When I hold a photograph, I’m not really going into the past. The past is finding it’s way into the now. Love knows no past, present and future. Love only knows now. Love only knows love.

But I am a human born of time in time. I know past, present and future. I know pain. I know the distance of the last moment I held them and this moment. I know the chasm that lies between our bodies, our breath. But I also know nothing separates me from our being. Love is pure being. It lies beyond bodies and breath, but within each body and each breath.

I do not live in separation. I love. I hurt. I wound. I heal. I cry. I laugh. For just as the ones I love will always be a part of me, so will I. I will always be a part of me and all of me. And I will always be a part of the ones I love. Because love does not live in separation, neither do I, neither do we.

Benjamin June 20 StillnessSo, how do I hold on to love and let go of the pain? I don’t. I let go into the pain and find myself being held by love. When I hold nothing, I am held by everything in love.







Benjamin June 20 wear me out

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