My love is like the sun

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My love is like the sun
it will hide behind clouds
it will make you blind
it will burn you to ash

My love is like the sun
millions of miles away
its light still shines
and turns your skin a luscious red

My love is like the sun
looking down on this tired world
going down when you need its light
and rising when you need to sleep

My love is like the sun
some day it will implode
and turn into a black hole
that swallows everything

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What is love?

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Twenty-nine years ago today the law finally caught up with us after a decade on the lam. The commitment forged by my love for Nancy, and hers for me, became a legally binding one in the time-honored ceremony known as marriage. We made our declarations in front of our dear family and friends, and asked one of our oldest and closest friends, Terrence McDonnell, to say a few words. These are the ones he came up with:

Terry

What is love?
What is love?
Love is an unconditional commitment of the mind, body and soul
Love comes in many different facets,
many different meanings and
many different ways.
Love is not always kind
Love is not always gentle
But love is always shared
and love is always everlasting

Wishing love for each other is a power that grows and strengthens with
every passing day,
every passing moment,
every passing year.
But wishing love from oneself is the most important
The exchanging of marriage vows begins, reinforces and continues the gift and the overwhelming joy of love.
This is love. This is love

I do take this man to be my husband.
I do take this woman to be my wife.
I do take this person to be my friend
to be my companion
to be my love
This is love
This is love
This is love
WHAT IS LOVE

I fell in love with you again

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Through the sunlight on another woman’s hair, I fell in love with you again. I heard a soft sound like a flute – sharp breath passing over a tiny hole – and remembered the feeling of holding you in my arms when we were both young, that feeling of holding on to everything I would ever need.

In the swaying of another woman’s wrist, I fell in love with you again. So slight. So light. It swung so freely, as if a stiff breeze could start it flapping uncontrollably, but I understood, in some strange way, the hidden strength inside the long slender fingers trailing beneath it.

Words, to a writer
Colors, to a painter
Melody, to a musician
All are mirrors of a lover’s smile
Echoes of the sounds you made when I was still in you

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Something inside of you…

There is something inside of you that is not inside of most people. Even though I know that words will never exist for that something, I can’t keep myself from trying to find them.

It creates a strange and beautiful light. It glows. It is the rhythm and the melody behind a song no voice can sing, no instrument can play. It cannot be experienced with any of the five senses but is only more real because of that.

It animates every movement, so that your body curls and bends in ways that no other body ever has or will. But this is no mere animation. It is just as intense when you are in a deep sleep, curled in a ball, breathing loud and hard, with all the muscles of your face gone slack.

In my strongest moments it is fuel for a fire that will never go out.

In my weakest moments it overwhelms me.

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The Christmas Trigger

 

christmas triggerFor a lot of people, this season is not the jolly one that it is supposed to be. Songs and movies that give comfort and joy to many, pull a decidedly nasty trigger for others. It is no coincidence that suicide rates rise during the holidays.

The days are as short as they get in the northern hemisphere and the darkness at the end of each one gets longer. It gets so cold at this time of year that our bones shiver and teeth chatter. Nature throws some of her worst at us and the way our society responds – with parties and gifts and time off from work – has the opposite of its intended effect on many of the ones it is trying to comfort.

This is a season of reflection. I think of family and friends who have died or drifted away. Luck and institutional advantages have offered me a life filled with joys big and small, so most of my memories are happy ones that help me get through these short, cold days but some people would just as soon forget all the ghosts of Christmas past.

Christmas is the season of love, the kind of love that exists in its purest form in every religion, moral philosophy, and agency that works to get food to the hungry and justice to the abused. And when justice is not possible, that pure love gives compassion and hope.

You don’t need to have a picture-perfect holiday, or find the greatest gift, or pretend that you’re jolly at the holiday parties. You do need to know that there are people in the world, even if they don’t know you, who are thinking about you in the midst of their holiday hoopla, and are hoping that you make it through this season stronger for your fight against the Christmas trigger.

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I Love You So Bad It Hurts (LIVE)

The second song I played at an open mic recently is one of my favorite originals of the past few years. Musically, it’s a simple progression that’s made a little fresher by putting a capo on the 10th fret so that the guitar almost sounds like a mandolin. Lyrically, each verse repeats the first line at the end with a little bit of a twist caused by the lines in between.

 

I love you so bad it hurts
with a kind of pain that I don’t mind at all
I love you so bad it hurts

I love you so much I don’t
have anything left for anyone else
I love you so much I don’t

I love you so much I can’t
drink enough so I can forget
the way your love burns like a lit cigarette
but I love you so much I’ll never regret
that I love you so much I can’t

I’ve loved you so long I can’t see
all the way back to the morning before
my love came knocking around at your door
and I might as well just admit that I’m yours
’cause I’ve loved you so long I can’t see