To Love Again…and again. And again.

You know, love is a funny thing.

When love first blossoms in that tiny butterfly-sized organ we call a heart at around, say 5 years old, it feels very similar to falling in love with your new baby brother.  There’s some awe.  There’s sheer, unbridled excitement at the newness.  There’s quick deliberation over what could possibly be under his clothes.  And then, just as suddenly, it all dissolves into mild interest if not mild irritation.

Then middle school happens.  Your 11, maybe 12.  Boys no longer remind you of a little brother.  Thoughts of them begin an all consuming march across your brain.  They quickly glance at you, mumble “hi” and you have zero recollection of your locker combination. (although the memory of their pungent body lingers for quite a looooonnnngggg time.)  At this age, love feels like you are teetering between a bad case of the stomach flu and the inexplicable joy of a free birthday sundae at Farrell’s. (Seriously, their Ice Cream Nachos are so good, you may leave your current lover for them.)

Love becomes electric.  And your heart doubles in size (literally), enlarging to make space for even greater, more spectacular heartbreak.

By high school, I (Annie) had dated numerous boys and, with each relationship, I had loved my freakin’ heart out.  Loving felt like an impossible puzzle.  Or the greatest gift.  After each break-up, I felt like Demi Moore sobbing over her pottery wheel as ghost-boy Patrick Swayze caresses her face. (I mean, she loved a GHOST!  Couldn’t anyone have told her that their relationship was neh-he-ver going to work?  Hello, WHOOPI!?).  Let’s just say there were countless Friday nights spent in my room in the dark listening to Nothing Compares To You.

When I met Curtis in college, I didn’t let my loves-lost track record slow me down.  And that, right there, is the funniest thing.  For all the failures you have in life, failing at love never seems to keep us down for too long.  We keep getting back up on that same horse over and over again, even if we know it’s a pommel horse and it literally will not go anywhere. (Because it’s not a real horse and it’s bolted to the ground, silly.)

All the components of the love I’d felt before were there for us – the electricity, the craziness, the butterflies in the stomach, the exhilaration.  But there was also peaceful love.  And patient love.  Kind love.  Thoughtful love.  Conscientious love.  Agree-to-disagree love.  Adult love.

So when Curtis’ asked me to listen to a new love song he’d written about one of the loves of his life, the gauge of my fully adult-sized heart was on “full.”  My pump was primed.  And there was nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that could deplete my love tank.

Except, I had never encountered the “oh-and-by-the-way-this-love-song-isn’t-about-you” kind of love before.

But there it was.  Plain and simple, and tattooed into my future and onto my heart via song.  I was facing what real love looks like.  Love that is simultaneously painful and hopeful, and still worth it.  Love that is complicated and messy, but you don’t run.  Love that makes you question how stable the ground is under your feet, and you still continue moving forward.  Love that is one heart opening and another heart listening.

Since that day almost 15 years ago, I have heard Curtis play his song, “To Love Again,” thousands of times.  I know every single word.  I understand the simple beauty in his message to a woman he once loved because his simple beauty is reflected to me in our love everyday.  He is an awesome human.  With the capacity to love 1,000 times his heart mass.  He is a beautiful musician.  Able to share raw emotion with the world so someone else can be touched, moved, and inspired.

This week’s #TuneTuesday is all about the serious talent of my one, my only.  My adult love.  My real, enduring love:

Always with aloha, joy and music ~ Annie

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