XVII (I do not love you...)
by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
...I can't help but read this poem and think that it describes my relationship to my grief....no, more specifically, the love that I feel for everything and everyone my grief represents. The paradox that although it hurts so much, I would never trade the hurt, nor the wisdom, that my life experiences have afforded me, for it is these experiences that have taught me the most about love and living.
As Mother Teresa said, "I have found the paradox that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love."
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