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Fresh Every Day

Before the great Bryce Lloyd fire of '15 (not an actual fire), on the ancient version of this blog, I wrote an essay. I wrote many actually, and many were lost in the (not literal) fire.

Two of these were such that keenly feel their loss, and I remember them with fondness, and also sadness.

What follows is an effort to recapture one of these again here, because I feel as if it had an enduring value, at least to me. We shall see about that.

When I was first married, I was drawn to symbols of permanence: gold rings, diamonds (which are not really forever) and things, in general, that seemed an unchanging touchstone that could represent the eternal.

These symbols, perhaps, were manifestations of my insecurity, but they also embodied an ideal: they were physical representations of a lasting love that could, and would, survive the years. I think that it is an image and an idea that society presents and we consume, unthinkingly, but it also did resonate with my own image and understanding of love, and its ideal realization.

But the thing about symbols of permanence, rocks and metals, is that they are static and lifeless. They are unchanging because they are dead. And a love that imitates that permanence is equally static and equally dead. And people, who are alive, cannot sustain a lifeless love, an unchanging love.

And what I learned, from experience, from listening, and from the greater portion of wisdom that my wife brought to this subject, is that love is something that needs to be brought fresh every day. Real love, love that is alive, spoils if it is left to sit. It is perishable, because the kind of love that cannot perish has already done so.

As I grew in this understanding, the symbols and manifestations of love changed: flowers, baked goods that would not last a day, experiences and adventures. And risks. All these things that must be brought fresh, every day, because they are symbols of life. And they became, for me, symbols of love that is alive.

It is an irony that, on my last anniversary, in my last year of marriage, I fully realized and embraced this. It is an irony that I came to understand love that is alive that Sunday morning.

We were in Montreal, and, with my excellent planning, I had no flowers for that special day. My French is atrocious, and I did not know the city and Google Maps was not being cooperative, but I walked until I found a florist (the train station, it's in the train station) and made myself understood in my halting, muddled French.

Because it mattered that I brought those flowers, fresh, that day. Because that day, and every day, love, fragile, perishable love, needed to be brought fresh.


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