scintilla – a song.

glowing ember, burning hot, and burning slow.

i was fifteen and i was in love and i was consumed with this boy in a way that maybe you only ever can be at fifteen. i only ever spoke the words to one adult, during that time. i knew it wasn’t something anyone would consider real, i knew it would be like telling people that e.t. had visited me in the middle of the night. it wasn’t a good thing, it wasn’t a good relationship, and it was complicated. it was built in hidden corners and built in my heart, but only in mine. but this is where i learned what love felt like.

deep within i’m shaken by the violence of existing for only you.

it was perhaps my first real lesson at the art of giving ones self up for another. this was a first try at disappearing, my opacity reducing daily as i sunk into something, got wrapped up in a tornado, what would be the first of many in my romantic life. it has been over a decade, and i’ve learned since then that you must not do this, you must always remain you, regardless of your ties. you must find a point of solidity and you must hold to that, even if it is just a point, and hopefully it is more, but a point, you can build upon.

and i had the sense to recognize that i don’t know how to let you go.

it was so long ago, so of course, it is done and over. we have flitted back and forth to each other over time, usually in crisis, but now i think things have reached a certain stasis. i knew then, somehow, that we would not leave each other’s lives – call it a vision, a prophecy, a feeling – and i was right. it is with a certain pride and tenderness that i look upon our friendship now, and a gratitude, a deep gratitude. but i remember walking suburban streets that summer with this song ringing in my ears, and knowing the weight of loss for the first time.

(italicized text is lyrics from sarah mclachlan’s do what you have to do)

14 thoughts on “scintilla – a song.

  1. Ughhhh. The feelings, you have evoked them all. And if I know you like i believe I do, i know this isn’t something that was easy to write; not memories like these that sit in the back of our minds and we find still hurt like an old bruise when we are brave enough to poke at them. I love you big. Bigger each day you let us in a little more.

  2. What I like most about this is knowing who you are now, and knowing that who you are now is a product of grace borne from turbulence. I am glad you still have a friendship out of the whole thing, too. That’s so rare.

    I will never ever ever get sick of lyrics threaded delicately and appropriately through a blog post, either. We should do this more often.

  3. I was thinking the same thing as Jason. I have this song on my ipod and it always makes me think of the same person. They say smell is the sense most connected to memory, but hearing a song must be a very close second.

  4. Sarah McLachlan’s music was the music of my high school and university years. It’s incredibly powerful. (Have you seen her in concert? She’s incredibly moving live).

    Your story echoes a very similar story of my own. Your words are beautiful. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Sarah McLachlan makes the perfect soundtrack to these memories. I read your words about only feeling “that” way when we are 15 (because we are 15) and I wondered whether that is the case – and if so, is it sadly the case or happily so?

  6. I can definitely identify with this. I was terribly in love with my best friend around that same age, and it hurt like nobody’s business when he said he felt the same about me, then started dating my friend a week later… :- lol It never went anywhere between us, but that pain was real. He’s still my best friend, and I think we’ve remained so only because we never did get involved that way.

    Strange how emotions feel so different, so all-consuming at that age. Thanks for sharing this story 🙂

  7. I so love this line: ” it was built in hidden corners and built in my heart, but only in mine.” IT’s so true … love is so complicated and it comes to us in the exact form we need at the right moment. Others on the outside might not make sense of it, but it makes sense to us. And it moves us forward.

  8. Is it any wonder that most of us who have chosen this prompt have associated a particular song with a past lover? Music recalls the intensity of feelings, no matter how much time has passed. Sarah Mc Lachlan has comforted me through much heartache over the years! The line about “I don’t know how to let you go” says it all… Thank you for sharing.

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