BellaOnline Literary Review
Sorcerer by Deb Bonam

Non Fiction

Cliffs, Wings and Love

Kimberly Tilghman

SoÖ there are many theories on dating, sex, relationships and love. I think each of us tends to start out in life rushing down the relationship road in a fast-paced frantic search for the Ďmother loadí of relationship bliss. Many of us skirt and turn a blind eye to difficult issues in hopes that the brilliance of the treasure - love- will more than make up for any tarnished spots beneath the glimmer. Sometimes this works out just fine, however, more often than not once the glimmer has faded and the act of removing the tarnish begins couples find that the items in the treasure chest were not what they initially had expected or hoped to find. Ok, I know that was a thickly analogical way of trying to say that by rushing into things, one can completely ignore the most basic principals and needs of a truly stable and secure relationship. The length of time necessary to ďget to knowĒ a person has been deeply debated for a very long time. Iím not sure what the point of that is really Ė since every person is different and every relationship is different, couldnít one assume that the length of time necessary would thereby be different as well? I certainly believe that not only from past experience but by considering the past experiences of my friends and acquaintances as well. Really, at the end of the day, love is a gamble with probably the highest stakes available in lifeÖ truly though, itís also a gamble that presents the opportunity to reap the greatest rewards. I think that has to be why we rush so much when we are younger, more naÔve and still wielding the belief that we are indestructible. There is this unerring drive to attain the presumably unattainable status and rewards of ďtrue loveĒ.

This same drive is what picks us back up and brushes us off time after time when we have fallen and not landed softly in the lap of love but rather face-planted on the cold concrete of a miscalculation of the heart. It happens; to some more often than others. I believe that each face plant teaches something very important. Climb slower and you wonít be as far up the mountain if the cliff dive should come. Great advice but sometimes very difficult to take when the new relationship is swirling around you like a maelstrom, sweeping you up into euphoric chaos. Iím finding myself in just such a place. Iíve never been happier. Go ahead Ė smile and nod, chuckle and say that we all say that at the beginning and itís just because of the newness-buzz. I mean it. This man makes me well up inside with a myriad of emotions and at the same time calms me and makes me more focused than Iíve been in a long time. I feel blessedÖ and afraid. Itís not a fear Iím accustomed to though Ė no fear that heís going to run off with the blonde bimbo down the road or that heís suddenly going to look at me and say ĎHa! Itís been fun but Iím done with you nowÖ moving on.í This fear is a little more ambiguous than that. Itís almost as though if Iím not careful this happiness will slip through my fingers and disappear into the sand. Itís a fear I can deal with Ė slowly. The biggest part of this relationship for me is the friendship. I can talk to him and he listens. There is a respect, acceptance and appreciation between us that is almost alien to me because itís truly something Iíve never had in a relationship before. The result is my having to temper the euphoria with a patience which will allow me to savor the newness of these feelings and circumstances. What a waste it would be to toss back and swallow the experience whole without lavishing on every extravagant drop.

I hope that my experiences of the past have allowed me the restraint to move forward at a pace that is both conducive to building a strong foundation for the relationship while still being honest and true to what I am feeling without compromising or suppressing my heart. What a balance that alludes to. FunnyÖ for once in my life I feel capable of attainting it. Perhaps I am finally in the place Iíve always needed to be and thankfully at the right time. So, I choose to climb the mountain beside this amazing man, slowly, one step at a time. Iím fairly certain there are many beautiful views for us to share along the path and a nice comfortable spot to nestle down into at the top, but should the cliff present itself, I hope to come to it with the understanding that the journey is when we grow and learn and eventually Iíll have the wings to lay me down softly where I belong, wherever that may be.

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