Playing in the soft warm ashes of a once hot love

A few months ago, my cousin Jen sent me a link to a Jack White song. She heard it on the radio as she was pulling into her driveway and ended up just sitting there, stunned and enthralled – train-wreck style.

I want love
To roll me over slowly
stick a knife inside me,
and twist it all around.

I want love to
grab my fingers gently
slam them in a doorway
put my face into the ground.

I want love to
murder my own mother
and take her off to somewhere
like hell or up above.

Jen wondered what it meant to both want to run from and covet this level of intensity.

It’s normal to want to be swept off our feet, to experience a hormonal gear so high that every nerve ending rattles, to be consumed by a lust that sucks our breath away, spell-bound by a volcanic love that eclipses everything else, and tormented by sleep because any separation is too excruciating to bear.

I feel lucky to have experienced that short-term high – at one time. But rather than mourn the loss, I am proud of what has taken its place.

In its place is the lower frequency hum of a domestic life that is comforting in its predictability. There is laughing at each others’ jokes that no one else understands. There is driving to the grocery store at the family cottage, feeling like it is an exciting romantic get-away – and sipping wine in the kitchen afterwards listening to jazz and stealing kisses. There is going out to dinner to re-focus as a couple and finding ourselves talking endlessly about the great kids we have. There is sharing our worries and concerns knowing the other would sever their right arm to make it better. There is going to bed in flannel because we just want to cuddle.

I am content to play in the soft warm ashes of a once hot love.

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