The Trouble With Women, Part III

During this Triduum weekend, we had time for some faith-sharing. Around 5AM, we began to talk about our discernment stories, and how we've gone from "where we were" to "where we are."

As the 6 or 7 of us listened to each other's story, I soon found myself talking about my life - not just as a salesman, but as a man who'd admitted to having an unhealthy attitude towards women. While all of my relationships with the opposite sex are strictly platonic at this point in my life, I spoke of my desire to fix women: this idea that love and intimacy could be shown strictly through my charity and sympathy. To say I don't understand women is a great understatement.

One of the people in this circle was a woman from Cap Corps, a full-time volunteer program for men and women to help serve the needs of the poor and live as St. Francis told us. She works with men and women who have a history with abusive relationships. She has great wisdom, is a wonderful poet, and I was happy to have met her.

Today she sent me an email, along with another poem. While it was written long before we ever crossed paths, reading it made me feel as if it had been written by the thoughts and minds of every woman I've ever been close to. It was as if the voices of multitudes scolded me in my mind.

"See. See. This is the pain you don't know of. This is the heartache and the longing and the hope we have in love." I could almost hear it with my ears.

While I usually reserve the words of songs for my discernment & music series, the words of this woman are louder than any song and hit harder than any drum. Thank you again, Marcia, for sharing your words.

Sometimes I think you want me to right a poem about you,
put your dustashes and glimmersmiles into words so that you can feel them and determine if you are real.
Sometimes I wish that I could write you that poem,
share it with you,
and let you know that you are worth it.
that we could laugh and cry and dance and struggle through it-together,
until the poem becomes ours and I am no longer writing.

But now I write so that I can determine if we existed at all,
and determine how to let you go.
How to right my poem,
so that I can laugh and cry and dance and struggle until I am no longer writing.
But even as I attempt to right you out, I want to write you in,
put you into words that I can hold on to.
Keep you with me to be engulfed in the warmth of God in your spirit,
enveloped in a shared hug and intertwined fingertips,
I want to be able to feel you in the spaces between these words,
and be able to hold onto
what was never mine.
I want to hold onto the part of me that wants to still believe in possibilities,
that wants to still believe that maybe one day you will just show up,
or send a letter or a million other romantic possibilities that I see in the movies and invent in my head while I am telling myself not to believe in them,
or at least not in you being them.
I want to believe that you will continue to pursue me,
to pursue us,
even when all the evidence speaks otherwise.
Or at least love me enough to speak to me other-wise.
To share words that you have found a space that is yours
and that the role that I held in that space has changed,
and you have changed,
and we have changed.
I want to hold onto the part of me that still believes that you will call me,
maybe now, maybe ten years later,
and tell me that I am worth it.

I want to hold onto this belief that love can be forever.
That our poem does not end only in the words between spaces
or the spaces between the words.
even as the evidence in my life speaks other-wise.
I cling to crumbs of possibilities that I do not want to let go of.
Do not want to believe that you or I or he or she can only love sporadically,
only say I love you when it is convenient,
that one day there is and another is gone.
Wanting to believe that even if love changes,
there is still a shadow of it that is strong enough to say in words instead of only spaces,
“I am leaving, and I am changing, we are growing, and it is apart,
but I still respect you and I love you, pray the best for you,
and you are worth it.
and you are worth it.”
maybe that’s all, at the root, is just wanting to be worth it,
to be given the gift of certainty not only from your spaces but from your words,
not only from your words but from your spaces,
that I am worth it.
that I am worth enough to give of yourself in uncertain certainty,
whether it be words of leaving or spaces of self.
I want to hear you,
your words,
in more than your spaces,
so that I can be strong enough to move on.
Even as my hope speaks otherwise.

So I guess, in the end, I am just trying to push my choice onto your actions,
so that I do not have to decide on my own,
to let go,
when all of the evidence speaks of-wise.
Because I too, can say
"I am leaving, I am changing, we growing, and it is apart, but I still respect you
and I love you, pray the best for you, and you are worth it.”
my excuse for not giving you these words? I am tired of always having to initiate this, because you are not the first to leave without leaving,
to speak only in spaces between words and expect me to only hear with my mind that is
when the essence of love is more than logic.

And maybe this is my cross, and maybe this is my burden,
because I am the one that needs both words between spaces and spaces between words. Needs to hear the sound of the spaces to know that they are real,
and to feel that I am worth it.
but I still question,
if you were to right my poem, would you want to be given only the spaces or only the words? Would you want to be given the gift of certainty, in words that are honest to where I am?
or is it better to leave without leaving?

I know that it takes courage to leave,
courage to change,
and maybe for you, spaces without words are all that you can give
or maybe for you, spaces without words would be enough to leave you,
but would they be enough to affirm you?
To affirm that you are worth confronting a situation that is difficult or not working,
to wrestle through it, instead of fleeing?
Fleeing and hoping that if you leave enough spaces,
that I will understand and I will not ask you for the courage to face what is difficult and you
can just flee,
until the next time you are asked to confront if I am worth it.

so I ask you,
I beg you,
please, try to feel the words between the spaces in my poem,
the one that I am writing to determine if I exist at all.
try to put my dustashes and glimmersmiles into your spaces,
determine if I am real,
and if I am, please, please,
allow yourself to be in the spaces that remember how we laughed and cried and danced
and struggled-together,
and find inside yourself the courage to just say that this part of our journey is over,
I am here and you are there, and it is time to go along our separate paths.
have the courage to take in and let go of what I will give you in return for your courage, whether it be understanding, denial, or explosion.
Have courage in the righting of your poem,
because you are worth it.

And so, with this words and with these spaces, I am trying again,
as I do with each writing,
to leave you here so that I will no longer hold you
in the crevices of me that are hopefulled for a you and me combination thats time has passed. I am gathering the courage to approach you and let you know that I am leaving,
that it appears to me that the lines in our relationship have shifted,
that it is what it is and that I love you-even as we shift,
because we will still be connected-in one form or the next,
and that is worth it.
I am placing those holding holes in between the spaces of these words,
allowing time to seep into the holes and patch them in new and creative ways that allows
them to flourish into changing spaces and different words,
allowing myself to let go,
because I am worth it.

~praying for the Grace to allow God to be the moment.

-written by Marcia Lee

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