K.S. ANTHONY: Decaying Angel: Thoughts on Love

11 August 2011

Decaying Angel: Thoughts on Love

The golden-haired little God falls in decay, his wings lifeless, his tarnished bow clutched in a cold hand, his quiver empty and his arrows lost in flight.

The feathers fall out one by one until there's nothing left but yellowed bone and strands of skin where once were wings.

They fall out because you stop talking, not because you argue or because you disagree, or because he leaves the cap off the toothpaste or the seat up, or because she forgets to fill the tank when she takes the car. Those things, the manuals will tell you, start off as minor irritations and blossom into major ones, but that is not why death comes to brush cold lead over Eros' arrows and breathe ice into your hearts. No love ever died because of hair in the sink or someone forgetting to buy butter.

The feathers on those golden wings fall out when you forget: when you forget what it was like to long for her, when you forget what it was like to want to impress her; when you forget that you used to become your better self for and because of her. They fall out when you forget that no other man ever made you feel safe before he did, when you forget that you used to feel butterflies when you saw him; when you forget to call him at work to tell him you love him and when he forgets that a meeting or a project can wait a few minutes so that he can stop, listen, and tell you that he loves you too.

Love never dies in fires or by drowning. Love dies of starvation and neglect. The feathers fall out one by one and at first you notice and then you don't and then, when those wings cease to beat, you ask why.

A pair of rings does not guarantee anything but a smile from the jeweler who sells them. They should, I think, be more like Eros' arrows. They should pierce the flesh, draw blood, cause aching and longing and pour fire into the blood. We would not forget then.

But rings are just rings. They do not nurture. They do not protect. They do not guard against fickleness and idle hours and temptation. They do not negate the questions of "what if my life had been different" or the malignant regret in the false promise of "if only I had..." They do not stand between anything and they are not as sharp as arrows.

When feathers from Love's wings fall, they fall upon beds of broken oaths and wedding rings. They scatter over love letters that should have been written and angry words that should have been left unsaid.

Love dies in indifference.

Do not forget what you feel now. Learn longing and sear its agony into a scar that will never heal. Never let the wound close around the arrow. Carry desire with you always. Love should be the stone of Sisyphus: every day, force it to the heights and every day, start anew. Let it be a bittersweet agony, an enduring pain.

When the sound of wings grows distant, twist the arrow in your heart until it sounds like thunder.


birdpeux said...

This is very well written. I appreciate this.

K.S.Anthony said...

I am glad you found such a pleasant young fellow. He seems very pleasant from what I gather, I mean. I approve.