love is watching everyone you love leave you.

{by Mary Murdoch of Wild Tigers Have I Known}

(photo credit)

In order to accumulate a soul, you have to suffer.

As if, once enough suffering has tumbled down upon you,
building up like a mountainside,
your second life will begin.

Like Athena you will sprout from Zeus’ head and appear in a ball of light, naked and red.

Love is what brings all the suffering.
Love is watching everyone you love leave, die, perish- each person wilting slowly.
Like day old geraniums in a Mason jar that sat on the kitchen counter when I was eight years old.
They dried and mummified like King Tut wrapped in cheesecloth.
Carelessly, I knocked over the glass jar and at once, everything fell to the ground.

Two weeks later my dog died, and I was convinced the falling jar was an omen.
A sign from the other side that death was creeping over into the living’s territory in a dense fog
(like there are chalk outlines dividing space between life and death, war zones, agreed upon plots of land.)

I watched my mother through a crack in bathroom door.
She cried until her entire face was coated with salt, damp and dewy;
ethereal in a way because all her crying made her beautiful.
It said something about her heart.

I imagined a blind man running his stubby fingers over her cheeks, beneath her heavy eyelids, around the curve of her lips, and only collecting a wetness on his fingertips. He would say that he was touching some great satin seashell or a massive, expensive pearl, not a woman’s face wracked with despair and loss.

Watching your mother cry troubles you inside. It is a deep burning feeling, a fire that is impossible to tend to.
It is fingers gripping your stomach, the same squeeze a fist uses in order to draw juice from a tangerine.
It is a silver knitting needle in your plump, pale thigh, sharp and bothersome.

I did not understand death at that time.
I thought it would be easier to cross into some other territory, another world,
once you had spent enough time in this one.
Like sailing to a forgotten island for a vacation,
forgetting to mention to your family and friends that you’d be leaving.

I thought of human beings as being single minded, single hearted,
just one single body holding everything together.

But, we are an assemblage of parts, our hearts are separated into compartments
and our minds have doors behind locked doors behind brick walls.

Pain shakes it all like an earthquake and in the destruction,
how is a soul supposed to ascend from the ground like a ghost rising from a tomb?


Mary is a writer of pith and metal.
Find her old-soul here.
Subscribe to her feed here.


Featured by Story Editor –Sara Sophia /@sarasophia

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15 Comments to “love is watching everyone you love leave you.”

  1. love is watching everyone you love leave you.

  2. Sara Sophia says:

    I will never stop loving this.
    You speak of the dark places and bring them perfectly to light.

    <3 <3 <3 S.S.

  3. Sara Sophia says:

    Gorgeous words that strike straight down to the bone–"love is watching everyone you love leave you. @storybleed

  4. January says:

    Stunning. Please read. "@StoryBleed: love is watching everyone you love leave you."

  5. love is watching everyone you love leave you. heartbreaking poetry featured by story editor @sarasophia

  6. Yumi says:

    For me, this is an awesome post…Great job!!
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  7. [...] Love is Watching Everyone You Love Leave You {by Mary Murdoch via Story [...]

  8. Denton says:

    Letting go of someone you love is the hardest but still you have to have the heart to do it. For me this is one of the best way to show someone you love them. Did you have someone in mind when you wrote this beautiful poem?

    Denton recently posted..How To Attract Women

  9. gdireneoe says:

    EXCELLENT. This whole business about LOA (= ALWAYS happy) is bunk. As a premise, it is its own antithesis to happiness. Happiness is not found (OR LIVED) by smacking on the clown’s face, masking the under belly of all that is ugly in life. The underside of happiness…true, rich deep happiness, is every unkind aspect in life that creates growth. TOWARD happiness. IF we choose to grow through the muck.

    Sharing this post. EXCELLENT.

  10. Beautiful post on @storybleed: "Love is watching everyone you love leave you."

  11. Beautiful post on @storybleed: "Love is watching everyone you love leave you."

  12. Emilee Shake says:

    Agreed! “@kaleighsomers: Beautiful post on @storybleed: "Love is watching everyone you love leave you."”

  13. Erricch says:

    This is really a beatiful post!!I am lucky I have found this…Great job!!
    Erricch recently posted..Everything You Need to Know When Apply for Auto Loan

  14. Nica says:

    Hi…Thanks for the very inspiring quote and post here…
    Nica recently posted..Changi Rise

  15. LuccyT05 says:

    Love makes no limit! Love is more real if you don’t expect something in return.
    LuccyT05 recently posted..MMA strength training