Friday, August 21, 2009

This Atheist In Love

I love Juniper in ways that are impossible to describe and really attempting to would only demean that love.  Excepting my love for my children, I have never experienced love as perfect as my love for her, yet perfect as that love is, it is also messy.  It's messy, because love is messy - people are messy - life is messy.  And people are all too often broken, broken like me or broken like you.  But we are what we are and we generally do our best to make the best of it - eventually, if we ever start to grow up for realsies.

Love is beautiful, perfect love is a thing of remarkable beauty.  Yet in that perfect, remarkable beauty, it is messy and imperfect.  Like snowflakes and other crystalline structures, it is those very imperfections that make it so wonderful.  Indeed, it is those very imperfections that make it worth the pain and turmoil it produces - inherent side effects of even the most perfect love.  Because in the most perfect love we want so badly to care for our partner properly, that we worry ourselves over it and sometimes care for them in a way that causes some detriment to ourselves.  Allowed to fester like this, love could become rather unhealthy.  But in the most perfect love, both partners feel the same way and it generally works itself out in the end - or more accurately, the succulent beginning. 

Unlike academia, love isn't a motherfucking care-bear tea party.  Neither is it a Walt Disney production, with fairytale castles and beasts who turn into hot princes.  Love certainly isn't a beautiful house with the white picket fence and two and a half kids.  Love is two flawed humans connecting their flawed lives and their flawed perceptions of reality.  And sometimes - just sometimes, those flawed perceptions of reality do not include forays into magical thinking that would artificially inflate the expectations of the participants of that love.  This is where I am at now and I can't tell you how relieving it is to have only my baseline brokenness - our natural flaws to deal with.  Not feeling this need for everything to be fucking magical is wonderful.  Not believing that there is some power beyond ourselves to bless or otherwise interfere with our relationship, thus relieving us of any small part of our responsibility for our relationship, instills such a sense of freedom.

This freedom is important - especially for people like me and Juniper.  Our lives are not ideal right now and while our time together hasn't been perfect, it has been spectacularly wonderful.  I don't need to throw out some saccharine line of shit and claim that I am now even more in love with her than I was before - I'm not, because what I felt before was wholly incredible and it is enough to say that now that we have been together in person for a few days, I am still so very deeply in love with her and she with me.  But even though this has been a spectacularly wonderful time, there are those who could have the same experience that we have had and decide that there were several signs that things are just not meant to be - I know this, because I was once one of those people and so was this wonderful women I love so very much.  Because when one is so into this magical thinking and looking for signs and wonders, one tends to look at things that go wrong as signs that the relationship is wrong.

They aren't and it's not.  Remember, life is messy and so are people.  And while some people, including earlier versions of both my love and I, could look at our experience and focus on the bad signs, or focus on the fact that (this may shock you) we have even had some minor conflicts and decide that it is just wrong, I look at it and think; "Holy fucking shit!!!  We have fallen in love, never having met.  We are two neurotic fucking people with neurotic fucking quirks and mannerisms and we are both moody as all fucking get out.  And yet we are still in love and have only had very minor conflicts, in spite of suddenly finding ourselves not living together, not getting to know each other in moderation, like most people manage, but staying together in a small hotel room and spending virtually every waking moment together - all that and we are still deeply in love!!!!"

You want fucking magic?  The magic is two flawed and broken people developing a relationship from more than twenty-five hundred miles apart, over the course of months finally meeting and discovering that those months of falling in love weren't a wash.  The magic is - I love Juniper just as much today, as I did seven days ago and her feeling the same about me.  The magic is there is no magic, only love.


Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Good for you guys! You rock! I hope you get another real-life visit soon.

CyberLizard said...

That's wild. Since I met my wife loooooong before teh intertubes, I can't even imagine what it would be like to develop that kind of relationship via electrons. All the best, you crazy kids!

Comrade PhysioProf said...


Jason Thibeault said...

Hahaha, this is awesome. Gratz to you both!

Candid Engineer said...


Buggy said...

Congrats to you two. (Yes, I'm a bit late to the party, but then I only just discovered your blogs tonight.)
And let me add that this was a beautifully written piece. It reminded me of the time I first met up with my current girlfriend. We too spent a long time (several years in fact, though we did have a week or two together every six months or so) separated by a long distance, until we moved in together last year. I'm still amazed things worked as well as they have so far.