Tuesday, April 28, 2009



Ever feel like you are in a time of un-love? Not unloved. Just un-love. A space of life where you can't tell if you matter. You question whether you are slightly beautiful or even visible, to anyone. Yes, I realized today that I am in a time of un-love.

Un-love feels like loneliness. I won't say doubt. No, self doubt is not what is happening. It is un-love. A completely different condition. A whispering thing. Sadness, not madness.

I am in a time of un-love.

Un-love isn't about the people around you being unfaithful or mean. They just seem far away, even when they are sitting at the table with you. Un-love is more about a body feeling its aloneness. About a time when you taste the smallness of life, your life, of your place. Un-love is a time of un-being, almost.

I wonder what other people do with their un-love. My time of un-love is relieved by ordinary things. I find myself lured out to my garden. I bend over and dig my hands into the dirt and feel it mash my fingernails, and I move greasy worms around. I drag out my can of whole wheat flour and pound some rustic bread into being. I rub Walter the girl's tummy. The girl cat that is. Probably the best therapy, were it available, would be a really long snuggle with Megan (our most effective snuggler) on the couch.

Which seems to suggest that un-love is a bodily experience, more than a mental or emotional one. I think it might happen to old ladies who are left alone in (possibly) lovely white square rooms made of plaster and glass but with no textures to rub along, to single men who have no one to sit beside them and fiddle with their hair while the game is on, to children whose parents are awfully busy. We must need someone to reach their hand over to us and confirm the preciousness of our bodies simply by connecting body to body. Our bodies need to feel things.

Un-love isn't a bad thing, or an evil. Rather it seems to have something to do with the barometric pressures of human days. At a certain point, like a dew point, un-love becomes the air we breath. And then it is gone. Maybe tomorrow.


Krissi said...

I think to touch and be touched reminds us we exist. You see, now this is why I ask for hugs sometimes. I hope your Wednesday feels less detached and more 'lovely.'

Sarah said...

I remember the first time someone pointed out to me that one can feel lonely in the middle of a room full of people, even friends. But I think the term "un-love" is more to the point than loneliness. "Lonely" sounds like something you should be able to fix yourself - almost like boredom. "Un-love" is a more accurate description of that deep lack...which, as you point out, can happen to anyone, and comes and goes without warning.