H+D Journeys

There was a time, long before they found the pad locks on the bridge, that things were getting difficult for our hero and her poet.

They had both reached their separate ends but life is so incredibly difficult when there are houses and feral cats and assets and anger… So much anger. The anger stemmed from fear and fear stemmed from the anger and the circle continued to turn and turn, spiraling and swirling around both of them.

Our hero had left her home.

Our hero also found herself unemployed as she had also left her job.

She had her children and she had her family but what seemed so simple, simply leaving, was so messy and complicated.

Her heart remained hungry. Her soul was simply fed up. It was difficult, for the first time in her life, to keep her head held high and spirit feeling positive.

“All of these things are against me,” our hero said.

She remembered the long walk from the stadium at night. She remembered how it felt. It was difficult to contemplate at the time but there was one thing she did:

She simply put one foot in front of the other. Slowly at first, finding firm ground upon which to tread, and then, as she navigated her new state of life, she found her pace quicken and her burdens dropping like rusted shackles from her body.

Like the sun, the moon and the stars… Our hero simply rose above the world, keeping her vision clear and plotting her path inch by inch and yard by yard and mile by mile.

When her poet found her, he would see this in her and it would be just one of the many reasons why he would adore her more than anyone else in the world. Yes, the burdens and complications and her ability to focus in the churning chaos made her beloved to him.

Her poet was struggling too.

Years had been wasted trying to repair and fill that broken vase. So many moments, good and bad, should have been shared with someone but instead he had been alone and mostly running alone, never actually going forward nor backwards. He was stuck, legs churning and exhausted.

“This is hard,” he said. “Why am I doing this? Why are these things happening? What am I supposed to learn from all of this?”

It would have been easier if he knew our hero then. It would have been nice if he had her near, pulling him with her as she rose above the earth.

But it was not time for her to slide into his life yet. The long walks and the deep talks and the silly flirtations would come later. It was not yet time for her record needle to drop into the vinyl’s groove so that the music could finally be heard.

So he learned from his mother and father about death and how it is to truly love someone until the last breath leaves their lips.

He learned that he did not “need” anyone but that the right person would be “wanted” with a rare and beautiful desire.

He learned from his father that there are second acts in love and life and they, too, can be wonderous.

Yes, the teaching was difficult, but as he learned he found himself no longer running in place but moving forward, just like our hero did a couple of years before him.

The only thing left for our hero and her poet was the perfect timing.

Thankfully, while our hero had a strong force of will, her poet had patience in spades.

These two traits would mix like water and cement to give them the firm footing needed for their journey.

It was going to be the one of the greatest adventures ever.

H+D Lock and Key

Some time later, the hero was walking with her poet.

She was talking to him of things she had done and the shame and guilt some of those things had made her feel.

He grabbed her under the shade of a sweet gum tree and pulled her in close to him. His arms wrapped around her and he wondered if she could hear his heart telling her that there was no need for shame and guilt and that nothing she had ever done could make him adore her less.

Instead, he said to her “Those things are not you and I understand how you were searching for something, anything, that felt like love.”

Our hero smiled, kissed him and they continued walking.

Softly, these words rolled off her tongue as they stood on a bridge looking at the city skyline as the dirty water rolled under them:

“They say that seeing is believing. But I think I’ve learned that believing is seeing. You have to believe to see the truth.”

A thousand thoughts sparked through his head.

The one he wanted to tell her more than anything was this story:

— Salvador Dali is known for his dripping clocks and surreal psychedelic images. He once was asked if he did drugs. He simply replied “I am drugs.” But what many people do not know is that Dali was forever in love with his wife Gala. All of those wild images he painted… But when he painted Gala’s portraits, she looked perfectly normal. It was as if she was the only real and comprehensible thing he knew. The world is insane and never makes sense but Gala and loving Gala… that made sense to Dali. I understand that now, being near you. I truly do. —

But the poet did not tell our hero this.

Instead he looked down at the collection of locks on the bridge that others had left to proclaim their love to each other.

He wondered how many had already broken their oaths. He wondered if they ever came back to cut their lock off.

And, yes, he was struck with the idea that if he and our hero came and placed a lock on that bridge, he would know that at least one would forever hold true to dream of two people being forever entangled with one another.

So he told her:

“We will come back with a lock of our own.”

“Yes,” she said. “We need to do that.”