The misfortune with verbs
Kelly Burke | Tuesday, October 23, 2018
You fell in love with yearning at the age of 19. You met on a humid night. You remember being pleased with the humidity, not minding how it fluffed the hair near your temples into baby curls. Not minding how the water proof fabric of your rain jacket folded into your skin, making you feel like a blow-up pool deflating in July. You didn’t mind because you didn’t give attention where it was due. You were too distracted by the radical embodiment of yearning as it walked along beside you.
You met on a humid night. But even more unfortunately, you met in the eye’s of someone else, in eyes you’ve never met before. This is where preferences and opinions come in. Where mutuality blurs into a series of overthought memories recycling through your head (at least your recycling). And this is frustrating. In fact, you are the most frustrated you’ve ever been. You are in love with a verb whose action cannot be seen or heard. You are in love with a verb that occurs in your head, sometimes in your chest. Yearning. You wish it was simple like writing, praying, texting, talking or doing. You wish there was a warning so that you could at least have the dignity in making a decision. But no, it’s not simple when the verb that you love is not a matter of action but a deafening sterility of the mind. This is where you start feeling unsatisfied because yearning, by its very nature, is the “means” to an “end” that never comes. You experience writer’s block of the soul. And, in some cases, there are moments when familiarity drops and the dialect of your own mind emerges once again. The dialect of overthinking.
But to let go, to fall out of love with this beloved verb means that you might be content again? You might feel joy again? You might move through your days without this weight on your heart? You might be filled with gratitude for your arms and legs and hands and lips and feet and lungs and skin and breathe? You might be so out of breath from laughing that you forget about that humid night. You forget about the eyes of someone else. And you start experiencing something quite the opposite of yearning. Living.
Are you healed yet? Did sleep heal you? Or did you sleep through the healing? Are you are living or are you living with the taste of yearning in your mouth, like potent garlic? You might be disappointed at the volumes of love you showed to a verb. You might even call this immature love affair a prolonged infancy or a lingering dependency on your mother. But then you remember how it was her, your mother, who told you that yearning reminds us that we are human.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.