NORMA JEAN: Time After Time

My heart went a-thunk once again upon meeting an old love in Hawaii. I followed a hammering noise while walking down a fragrant, jungley, mosquito-invaded path and spotted my old flame high up in a tree house, banging nails into beams, sweating, older and leaner, looking really fine. It'd been eight years. The most relevant aspect of my short visit with my old beau on Maui was the emotions it brought up that IÕd considered long dead. Like most old relationships, there was so much left unsaid so long ago; years pass, people fall in and out of love with others, and now I find myself making dinner with my ex, chattering in familiar syntax and rhythms about life's events, in a place he always promised to take me but never quite got around to doing. Queer feelings arose like, 'No time had gone by.'Two people in love always manage to break each other's hearts in a number of ways, no matter what the scenario. Mild discomfort and tiffs came and went between us as the days passed. You knowÑall the little resentments stewing just under the surface, the broken promises. Love is a remarkably timeless thing. It takes guts to dive into the journey with full awareness of its true terrain.I ran the gamut of emotionsÑlike hating this man while loving him, experiencing nostalgia and sentimentality, then bitterness and despair. I became depressed and I wept. I loved this man with all my being once and realized that somehow the universe granted us this serendipitous ÔpresentÕ moment to forgive and heal old wounds.It was a candlelit dinner, 13 years ago already, under a full moon at the edge of the sea, now happening again. A twilight-zonish dŽjˆ vu. A moment of indescribable grace. The passions and high drama of our earlier love were distinctly missing. The love between us had aged like a fine wine.I left Hana early, partly to digest this surprise, and partly because I felt I had just the right amount of time there (even though a part of me wanted to stay forever).People often undervalue the precariousness of time and timing in relationship, either wanting too much too soon, lingering in a state of hesitation unable to act on their feelings or hanging onto an imagined idyllic state of what 'could be.' A relationship plays out in only one window of time. As that window closes and the drama subsides, we are called upon to 'let go.' To be present in reality and willing to move on at any time requires a warrior-like ability to face the full range of oneÕs feelings and a loyalty to oneÕs own soul.Unknown in our grief of 'love lost' is the fact that life truly does move on in its mysterious ways, bringing to us more life, and most likely more love.Gratitude fills me as I return to my current life. Remember, some force larger than ourselves is pulling the strings, as life weaves its rather perfect tapestry.Relaxing,Norma Jean Thompson

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.