even so, no regrets.

i was a girl, and he was a boy, and we both lived in small towns in new hampshire, and in a way, in worlds as different as it gets. and we grew up, paths crossing more than once, it turned out later. we needed each other, we had things to teach and learn, but we didn’t know it yet. and then came a cold, rainy night, and a front porch in portland, oregon. there it was: an immediate recognition of the other, of the self, of something old and true and necessary. earth and air and fire and water. we knew it was a big love, bigger than our hearts had found. we took it, and we gave. and then we gave some more. we gave it a good, long run. we did. we gave it all we could.

this letting go is the right thing, friends. even when the love’s still here, the cracking shell. but goddamn, it aches, this rip of untangling. the work ahead, the echoes in this house. everything mixed up together… the things, the hearts, our animal family, our stories, ourselves.

Sonnet No. 6: Dearest,
I never knew such loving

Dearest, I never knew such loving. There
in that glass tower in the alien city, alone,
we found what somewhere I had always known
exists and must exist, this fervent care,
this lust of tenderness. Two were aware
how in hot seizure, bone pressed to bone
and liquid flesh to flesh, each separate moan
was pleasure, yes, but most in each other’s share.
Companions and discoverers, equal and free,
so deep in love we adventured and so far
that we became perhaps more than we are,
and now being home is hardship. Therefore are we
diminished? No. We are of the world again
but still augmented, more than we’ve ever been.

-hayden carruth

there’s tending and mending to be done. a whole lot of it. i thought i’d let you know.



12 thoughts on “even so, no regrets.

  1. I love you Emily !

    Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror

    up to where you’re bravely working.

    Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,

    here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

    Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.

    If it were always fist or always stretched open, you would be paralyzed.

    Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding.

    the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated

    as bird wings.


  2. I think it is tragically rare, to end a relationship with the kind of care and compassion you’re writing of. I so admire that. There’s a beautiful Dear Sugar column – do you ever read her? – about leaving while honouring the relationship. It’s the best thing we can do.

    • meg… thank you. really. it’s a strange, how the beginning and the end are about the other in their fullest naked beauty. as for sugar, my love… just tonight i found out her identity, & i’ll tell you if you need a secret pre-valentine surprise, but only for your ownself, since it’s brave to be one’s own valentine, and i’m scared, myself, so i admire you, too. you can email me at thingstotendto@gmail.com. xo

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