posted by dave on Sunday, January 29, 2006 at 11:15 PM in category ramblings

A few months ago, I asked myself this question:

Now that I know what I'm really capable of feeling, will I ever be willing to settle for anything less?
Perhaps an unfortunate choice of words, as several readers pointed out, but I chose them deliberately, and I stand behind them even now.

For I experienced the pinnacles of both sorrow and joy, often at the same moment. I know, I fucking know, that I'll never experience any emotion as strongly again. For if I do, then I'm done for.

I'm thinking right now that it's a good thing that the heart has no memory of its own.

What the heart experiences, it's up to the brain to remember. And that memory is not even close to perfect. So I remember everything that I went through, but only from a sort of third-person perspective.

I remember pain, but I can't relive it even if, during some episode of insanity perhaps, I decide that I want to relive it. I remember love, but I can't cue it up and replay it on those lonely nights when the only thing darker than the moonless and overcast sky is the center of my soul.

It's like looking though an old photo album. Those images may evoke emotion, but it's new emotion, diluted and deflated and diminished by the simple fact that it's not happening now.

To feel something and to have felt something. A simple shift in tense, that's all. But that's enough. That's enough to make a difference, and that difference is also enough. Enough to give me a glimmer of hope for the future. Enough to keep me from shutting down for good. Enough to keep me searching for someone special, and to prevent me from simply giving up.

Enough to give me an answer to my question.

So, was settle the wrong word to use? Was less too abrupt a dismissal for feelings that may not surface for years, if at all?

Perhaps, and perhaps.

But it's not the question that's important. Only the answer matters.

And the answer is yes.

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