Thursday, July 9, 2009

Soothing memories of the past

It is very curious, but the passing of time -even if it entails over 30 long years- can become a very short and vivid period of our lives, when something powerful jolts our memory.

I did not know 'this' could happen, since my most important memories (Cuba, my family, my friends and people and places I love) are always present, and form a solid part of my everyday living. And until very recently, those remembrances that I have left in the far away 'past', very seldom come back to me with any sense of longing or depth.

But I recently learned that a wonderful man who was in my life for 2 years, in a time when I was very young and most vulnerable, had died. A person who heads the very short list of men I have loved -and although I had not thought of him, nor seen him, in decades --he has suddenly appeared with tremendous force in my thoughts. How strange! Why is this happening after so many years? Is it that I feel more vulnerable, less young and less eternal --and his dying hits a cord? And -at the same time- these memories feel very healing, absolutely beautiful ---and they fill me with soothing emotions of the 2 years when we shared a love story.

Yes, we all have past loves, new loves, good loves, difficult loves, silly loves, eternal loves, great loves, even tragic loves --and they pass through our lives one at the time (maybe, sometimes, 2 at a time, when we are young and a bit silly and filled with self confidence and joie de vivre) --but very seldom we stop and think: Not which one of them I have loved the most....But, who has loved me the most? Who has been kinder?...Who has been more generous and less selfish when we have needed them?....And this thought has been part of my days since I learned that he had died.

I was lucky to meet a man who turned out to be if not ‘the love of my life’ – without any doubts the man who has loved me the most. And that certainty makes a big difference when we look back and start exploring our life’s timeline and its many moments and emotions. This happened in the early 70’s after all --and things were more formal and respectful between men and women. There was this dance, this ‘give and take’, this wonderful unspoken courtship with steps and strategies –and this made meeting a man an adventure so much more mysterious and voluptuous.

Now I look at the pictures of those times --and it was certainly so healthy being 'in love' -while so young and completely without responsabilities --completely free. Without fears of death --or of growing old, or sick. And that wonderful freedom is easy to see in the old photographs.

This man was beautiful, inside and out. And we lived the kind of love story most women dream of --and never find. Ours lasted just a little over 2 years. But the memories bring me great joy each time I evoke them. I realize now that if maturity gives us something valuable, is to know that things have a beginning and an end, and we should not try to make then eternal. Our story had both –and that is the reason I feel such tenderness and love towards him, today, when I write this post in his honor.