The Angry Onion is a regularly scheduled blog which deals with love, loss and one day love that isn’t lost. It’s a journey into finding love after mid-life. I am taking it with my matchmaker daughter who is expert in love and patience.
Spoiler alert* this article has very little romance.
Longing is a box you keep in the attic. It’s in the corner, in the darkness under a stack of books and travel magazines. You know it’s there, but you don’t open it. You walk past that longing box and only give it a side glance, if you stare at it you may open it. Somehow you know it’s a mistake.
You know this box exists for all the times you’ve watched planes and wondered where they’re going, or you’ve pondered the couple holding hands a little too closely. That’s the smell of the dust that comes from the box of longing.
Longing is not wanting. It’s a wishing that’s grown from innocence to desperation, that speaks to the empty parts of you not yet examined. It is wanting to catch the butterfly and be its friend. You know it cannot happen but you hope it anyway and you hope it hard.
It ends badly.
The Angry Onion has some longing, some butterfly nets in the box which I opened before I started writing this. I was aware of it but like most people I ignored it. Nothing good can come of looking at all that longing, hoping, whispered prayers in my twin bed with the pink canopy and now decades later in a slighter bigger bed.
Once opened, all that longing spills out. There are ballet shoes, singing parts in the play, track meets, basketball games with a half court shot at the buzzer, being chosen first at Red Rover and canoeing down all the major rivers of Europe… and there is that guy.
How can I let go?
It seems everything, everyone, I’ve ever loved- I still love. Everything I ever dreamed I still dream. If I went to a playground today with a group of seven year olds and got picked first for Red Rover, I would still feel like a big deal.
What does this have to do with dating and matchmaking you ask? Thank you for your patience, I’m getting there.
It’s that whole thing of longing. I see what I’ve yet to conquer. Despite all the work of annihilation of delusion, the false premise that any one person, place or thing can complete anyone else is hiding like a recluse spider way below the surface under all the good show.
As mammals we are wired for capitol L love, the kind that fits in community and works together but we are not wired to believe that someone will fix us. We are choosing that, I am choosing that.
I thought I was past this. I figured the years of meditation, the seeking of balance, the self work had made me see clearly and I had moved past it. Then the onion guy comes along and all that longing, all the fairy tales flung themselves with force and rapidity to the front of my psyche. I was right back where I started.
I’m still stuck there.
I’m still hoping to be picked, seen, wanted, loved, a clutch player, dancer, singer, writer whirlwind of amazingness. It seems harmless but that’s at the root of so much harm. We beat ourselves up. Wounded people hurt people. Lots of wounded people hurt lots of other people.
So, yes this is a process. A process as it began, to find love. But now the question becomes, what kind of love?
The poor matchmaker has her work cut out with me. While she searches through pictures and bio data, I’ll just be over here..still cleaning out the attic and probably the closets.