But not countless ones 

 Mai 16, 2021

"The way of love is not a subtle argument", Rumi said. 

She agrees.

"The door there is devastation", he added.

She surrenders.

There are so many ways to love.

Endless ways.

Subtle and devastating ways.

"I love thee with a love I seemed to lose"

"I love thee with my breath"

These two lines in Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poem vibrate under her skin.

How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

She used to love her transpacific other with the whole of her breath. 

Every time she inhaled she took him into her. Every time she exhaled she reached out for him. 

He on the other side of this planet, of space and time. Smiles, tears, all of her life.  

But then her love for him died before she did. There were many ways to love him, but not countless ones. 

Transience, impermanence, evanescence.

"I cannot give you what you need", she said. 

"I'll go on", he answered. 

And she knew he would.