We have all fallen for temporary people.
They come as swiftly as they go from our lives; with their reeling minds and striking bodies and genuine, wide-open hearts. They are hurricanes and madness and wrecking balls; they’re sunshine and blissful surrenders.
We want to shelter ourselves from the storms that these people embody but we also want to walk right into the center of them. We want their chaos and their madness; we want it the way others once wanted ours.
We are advised not to fall for these people. And yet we do, knowing full well we can’t keep them. How could we not, after all?
We want their nows and forevers. We want their sleepy half-smiles over coffee every morning and their sturdy arms to lull us to sleep. We want their wine-drunk Saturday evenings and their lazy Sunday mornings. We want their words and their silences; their downfalls and their strengths. We want the whole of the people we love but we’re sometimes only given a fraction. And so here’s what we do with that instead.
When we don’t get to hold on to the people we love, we wrap their memories in between our heartstrings and we carry them with us. We remember the lilt of their laughter on the days when the rain comes pouring down. We envision the curves of their skin when we need to know that all is not lost. We take the moments we share with these people and we freeze them, we immortalize them, we keep them preserved and alive inside the ancient museums of our minds.
Because love doesn’t need to last forever in order to make a lasting impression.
We don’t need to curse and resent and forget the people life didn’t let us hold onto. We don’t have to rid ourselves of their impressions and shelter ourselves from their impact. We’re allowed to let them in. We’re allowed to let them matter. We’re allowed to engage in the temporary foolishness of falling for someone who is not going to be left holding our crippled, wrinkled hand fifty years down the road.
Because some people simply are not meant to stay forever. Some people come into our lives for a season, for a reason, for the simple purpose of showing us the world in a way we would never have seen it otherwise.
And what else can we do but hold onto these people while we have them?
What else do we do but grow enchanted by the brilliance of their minds, by the purity of their spirits, by the strength and intensity and contrast that they cast into the colorless corners of our lives?
What else do we do but memorize the scent of their skin and the taste of their bodies and the wisdom of their ever-reeling mind, so long as we still have them captured inside the tangible corners of our Universe? What else do we do but love them with everything we have before they’re gone?
After all, we never know how much time’s left.
Maybe anyone worth knowing is worth knowing for only a short while. Maybe anyone worth loving is worth loving inconclusively.
And when you look at it that way, it doesn’t seem quite so unbearable at all: to allow yourself to love someone with everything you’ve got – and then to fully and completely let them go.