Have you ever had a moment out of time that was, well, transcendent... so transcendent that the you felt it was almost supernatural? That it was so meaningful that it would last forever?
I was thinking about a time like that all those years ago when I met the man who was a balm for my recently-divorced soul. I’d thought I’d never be happy again, and then I met a man who loved me back to life. Just like a fairy tale, my handsome prince rode to my door and picked me up and spun me around in an exuberant embrace. I felt the kind of joy and happiness I’d thought were gone forever. That time and place still live for me in vivid color and I can put myself back there and feel exactly what it was like. Exactly.
Can’t pretend forever
But of course, no one can be anything but what they are and sometimes what they are isn’t what it looks like in that moment out of time. It’s not the image they wanted you to see, because what they wanted was YOU and they had to make themselves into an object of your desire to win you. They weren’t being malicious at all. They just wanted what they wanted. Or rather he wanted me and thought he could be what he knew I wanted so that was the skin he slipped into.
It was a lousy fit, because he had to be himself. Anyone can be anything for a few months, maybe six at the outset, but then they slip up and reality sets in.
So like many extraordinary experiences, this one had an end date. A date when the facts became inescapable and the illusion came crashing to the ground.
And then, it was over. It had to be.
It’s impossible to live in transcendence, no matter what the poets say. Life takes hard work, it does. And compromise. Compromise isn’t a subset of romance–romance depends on illusion.
History repeats itself
Many years later I had another transcendent romance and it, too, began as the stuff of fairy tales only to crash and burn. I can remember those moments too, and those feelings. It burned bright like a comet and then, was gone.
But here’s the thing: as much as I love romance I’m not unhappy that those romances ended. They had their season and then, life moved on. It had to. It doesn’t mean I didn’t love them any less. Or rather, I loved the person they were in that moment out of time.
Were they real? Of course. It was real. It just wasn’t meant to last. And so, I moved on. Transcending the transcendence, perhaps.
All of this came to mind recently as I had the chance to see firsthand but at a distance what happened to my romance of all those years ago. How his life had continued to unfold in a narrow way and how his dark view of the world had evolved in some pretty nasty ways. Although there had been some fleeting moments way back in the day when there was a chance he’d be different, I should have realized then that there was no way he could do anything but become the antithesis of what I’d wanted in a relationship. And while I fought to save the marriage, I’m so glad now that I didn’t, just as I’m glad I moved on from the second romance.
I’m not sure that any of this makes sense but I thought maybe some of you might have had a moment out of time that was gone in a flash, but that you still give its due, like I give those their due. Even though I moved on, long ago. And happily so.