Tuesday, October 27, 2009


A quick personal note before launching into a longer, more Halloween-appropriate article.

Sometimes the only way you can know where you’ve been is to get to the end of a journey and turn around. Relationships are often like that. And relationships, like everything else in the universe, are of finite duration. There’s a song I particularly like that was written by Cardew Robinson and Roger Whittaker called The First Hello, The Last Goodbye. The lyrics go:

They say when you gain a lover
You begin to lose a friend
That the end of the beginning’s
The beginning of the end
They say the moment that you’re born
Is when you start to die
And the first time that we said hello
Began our last goodbye

We know each summer’s coming
Means the winter’s waiting there
And gold would not be precious
If we all had gold to spare
You only know how low is low
The first time that you fly
And the first time that we said hello
Began our last goodbye

If I could live forever
It is certain I would never know
Another single second so sublime
At the moment of our meeting
When our hands first touched in greeting
How I wanted to hold back the hands of time

When they begin the overture
They start to end the show
When you said: I’ll never leave you
Then I knew that you would go
The sound of all our laughter
Is now echoed in a sigh
And the first time that we said hello
Began our last goodbye

Yesterday I had to tell the woman who is and forever will be the love of my life that I was divorcing her. It isn’t because I don’t love her. I’m as crazy in love with her as I’ve ever been. But there comes a time when you have to give up. I truly believe that the opposite of love isn’t hate. Love and hate sit too close together. No, the opposite of love is fear. Love is brave enough to be vulnerable, giving for the sheer joy of pleasing, intoxicating as any narcotic, consuming like a fire. Fear is protective, greedy, sober. Love is expansive while fear turns inward. Love throws caution to the wind. Fear is caution when none is needed. Love can be the most painful thing in life. Fear avoids pain at all cost.

I’m not going to go into the specifics of my relationship. But looking back at it as I am now from the end, I do have a graphic representation that pretty much explains why I have to finally give up in spite of all the love I have for her.

No matter how much Charlie Brown loves the idea that Lucy is eventually going to do the right thing, sooner or later he’s going to give up. You can only be lied to so many times.

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