If I live and die a thousand lives, they would not be enough to contain love.
If each life, a thousand years, and each year, a thousand moments (well, 525,600 minutes, plus leap years and so forth…really loses the poetic quality. Thanks a lot, Rent. Jk. I love Rent.)
But still, if I lived a thousand lives, and each life gifted me a soul to intertwine with mine — needing love, kneading life — how could those souls be contained?
The warmth of those souls — the nerves and seeds of life — that warmth, the opposite of poisonous apples and poisonous princes — our souls reach out into the universe and touch the earth and the stars and life in every corner. How, then, might those souls be contained?
They could not. They would find their way out, and in doing so, rip themselves to pieces.
And then, for 20 years, seven days, and a minute and a half, I would go looking for those pieces of my soul, scattered and burned and ashen across the cosmos.
And then, one day, another gift. A soul. The kiss. Two colors of sand in a jar. Water and braided ribbon. And then we reach again, only to find that now burned and blistered fingers twinge and pull back at the heat of the sun and the fire that love creates.
Another risk of a soul explosion. But not this time. Because this time, instead of prepping chains and locks and a thousand other devices meant to restrain (and not in the good way, wink winkers), I let go. I’m letting go.
And at first, that hurt. It all hurts in the beginning — the anxiety, the frustration, the jealousy, the…joy? Joy? Here? In this cell in hell?
The voice of the Almighty: “But you’re not in hell,” She says.
I look up from my chains and from my broken soul to find something I never thought I’d see — not in a million lifetimes or a million worlds:
I see you. You stand with your arms open. I see a piece of my soul, a remnant I was sure had burned up halfway around Proxima Centauri, and I pick it up and place it back where it belongs. I gift it to you, but freely. With no conditions. With nothing but the gift itself. And you treasure it, not by locking it away, but by showing it off.
And then there is another piece, this one found in the Black Forests of Western Suns. And another and another.
I thought they were lost, I say. I thought they were gone.
Not lost, you say. Just…elsewhere. And then you show me, and I understand:
Your hands, you say. Look at them. I do.
Instead of clenched around bars and chains and an attempt at containing chaos, my hands are open, and light enters my palms, my fingers, and begins to warm my chest and my stomach and my growing sense of “Holy shit I don’t know what’s happening but it’s ducking awesome…”
And that’s when the Almighty lifts my face and kisses my forehead. She brushes the tears and the pain and the lifetime of fear from my face and says,
“That’s what I meant.”