What Will They Say Of The Way We Loved?
A poetic extrapolation.
Image: Chloë Frayne
“Let it be said that I carried just enough fear for courage;”
We are all afraid. Maybe it’s a new job, relationship, or even loss, but every risk we take welcomes that feeling.
It is very easy to romanticise the idea of fearlessness; to think we can’t do something well and let that be the reason we don’t try. But fear is a human instinct, and we can either allow it to shut us down or use it to ignite an act of courage.
I’m in-between an ending and a beginning. Part of me is still grieving someone I lost, and another part is quietly noticing something new. I am looking both forward and back at these relationships and what I want to be said and remembered about them and I am not ashamed to say that I was (am) afraid, because I didn’t let it stop me.
“that I followed an ache in my heart;”
Because I knew what I wanted. I think we all do. And once we decide that the things we want are worth the risk of never having them or not being able to keep them, it becomes much easier to follow the ache inside us that’s pulling us forward.
“that I smiled at you like I was never afraid;”
I follow the idea or the memory of the first time I see someone.
I imagine her standing on a sunlit street. She looks up and smiles at me and suddenly fear is not a second language but something that is crushed against the ground between us.
I smile, and it is bravery. I reach for her, and it is a rebellion.
“that I understood the gravity of your hands and I reached anyway.”
Love is an act of courage. It is a risk worth taking. There is a gravity in the way we seek; fall in and out of place; carry heaviness in our hands. And someday when people speak of the way that I loved, this poem is what I want them to say. I hope they say it about you, too.
I made a promise to myself to only carry enough fear for courage. Some days it’s more and some days it’s less (and that’s okay), but I changed my relationship with fear by changing the way I looked at it.
I want them to know I was afraid, but not too afraid to love you – that I knew I might fall, and could lose you, and I reached anyway.
Whether it’s in a month or a year or a eulogy at my funeral, this is what I want them to say.