Encyclopedia Platonica

“There’s this saying about breaking a heart that’s been broken in the same way more than once, meaning by the same person or circumstances: it does get easier. And that may sound cynical, and perhaps even a bit defeatist, but it’s been true in my experience and in what I’ve observed and heard from others.

“You should never give up on a first-time broken heart, I think. It’s important to persevere in matters of love, and often those initial breaks come from a lack of communication, or an abundance of miscommunication. It’s particularly difficult if you’re trying to cross cultural barriers, compounded to a worse degree if there are language issues.

“I was in love once, and it was the heaviest I’d ever felt it. It was a love that shouldn’t have been but was. And being the hopeless romantic that I am, or at least was at that time, I couldn’t help myself. It was one of those loves that crossed those boundaries I just mentioned, and though we couldn’t communicate perfectly on an intellectual level, we sure felt it on the physical and, if you’re into that sort of thing, the spiritual plane.

“We had a long courtship, in fact you could go as far as to say that the bulk of our relationship, if not the entirety of it, was mere coquetry. I’ve always found that more amusing than strict promises of say marital bonds. It can be a lot more fun for a lot less work, at any rate.

“This love might have withstood the test of time, had it not been for my sudden departure. I had to leave, and that meant adding distance to the already precarious condition of our romance. Initially I broke it off hard when I left, in a final and dramatic fashion. I’d thought it was over then, but it lingered. And that lingering was mutual, and it grew back into full-blown passion, like from an ember to a fire, despite the distance. We saw each other in the flesh only a handful of times after that, and then there was a long dark winter between us, something like half a decade. Yes, five years, but it does sound so much more impactful to refer to it as half of the larger unit, doesn’t it? And really, to us it felt so much longer.

“In the end we couldn’t pretend any more that it was someday going to work. The distance was not only physical but also financial, and you and I could debate until we’re corpses about the value of love over money, but as it turns out it’s very hard to facilitate one without the other. You can do it, certainly, but at what cost? And after so many years apart, we’d concluded that we didn’t really want to pay it.

“But you see, the point I’m getting at here is how the final break was not so bad. Of course, it was bad. A lost love is one of the worst things that can possibly happen to a human being, short of their own death or the deaths of those close to them. It might even be valid to say that the death of a loved one would be preferable to the severing of that heartstring. At any rate, we’d been through several mock breakups prior to the final one, and so the road to that last dissolution had been well-paved. When the time came, I simply accepted the reality of the situation.

“You must bear in mind that when things seem wholly untenable, and all feels dark and lost, that the road still winds on beyond the pale glimmer of your flickering headlights. It’s important that the foot remains on the gas, so as not to lose momentum. And who knows? The road is not an infinite line stretching from the point of our origin to the terminus of our deaths. It resembles more closely a winding and twisting mess of ivy, and that if we are determined in our navigation we might once more pass by things we thought lost.

“That is hope, and it must be kept alive.”

2015.01.31 – 2023.08.28

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