My Penance, My Restitution

The moment my fingers begin on the keyboard today I can only conclude it is my penance, my restitution for breaking her heart.  The days become weeks that become months that have now become years, but in my heart she lives still.  There as a watchman to any who might enter my heart she stands vigilant to question and interrogate.  Is she there to prevent a new love’s possible entry?  Is the presence a self-created protection I use her memory to maintain?  Is what I perceive as love instead just compulsion or obsession?  Such things she does not do to me.  I do them to myself.  It is me only who keeps this fire within.  I swear I don’t have control and instead the feelings control me.  But WHY?

Is what resides in my heart love and a wish it was still practiced today?  Or is it self-punishment for the pain and darkness I feel brought to her?  Have I ever known truly what love is?  What is the answer?  What is it I feel?  Have felt?  I know yearning and desire have been my companion, friend, enemy and foe.  There has been great joy and moments of grace that make me shiver with the sweetness of their memory:  and when I write those words I can only think only of her.

Having mistaken lust as love and for so long not being able to discern the different, I came to her trying to molt the skin of my past.  But those ways were strong and in weakness they took me over once again.  Those ways of being allowed me to blame her for shortcomings and dysfunction, and while factors, were not the cause of my behavior.  Admitting that gives some slight relief and solace today.

There are no answers.  I have searched for them for a long time now.  In prayer I have beseeched God to either help me understand or to relieve me of this burden that is rooted in joy that once was.  Even as inconsistent as it existed and was shared, that love lived large in an all-consuming way.

With a melancholy spirit I humbly give thanks to have known love that was so deep and strong, I grieve for it yet.  On one hand, I wish still to wait in hopes her forgetting catches up with her forgiveness.  Yet, she has made clear, so vividly clearly, she could never do that.  Over and over it was said.  There might be another and it is that slight crack in my heart that brings the battle for me with the watchman of my heart; the sentry of love that once was.  Patience with myself and understanding from another is my hope today with gratefulness expressed in advance for such grace and blessing.

Weep Not Too Much”

Weep not too much, my darling;
Sigh not too oft for me;
Say not the face of Nature
Has lost its charm for thee.
I have enough of anguish
In my own breast alone;
Thou canst not ease the burden, Love,
By adding still thine own.

I know the faith and fervor
Of that true heart of thine;
But I would have it hopeful
As thou wouldst render mine.
At night, when I lie waking,
More soothing it will be
To say ‘She slumbers calmly now,’
Than say ‘She weeps for me.’

When through the prison grating
The holy moonbeams shine,
And I am wildly longing
To see the orb divine
Not crossed, deformed, and sullied
By those relentless bars
That will not show the crescent moon,
And scarce the twinkling stars,

It is my only comfort
To think, that unto thee
The sight is not forbidden –
The face of heaven is free.
If I could think (she)
Is gazing upward now –
Is gazing with a tearless eye
A calm unruffled brow;

That moon upon her spirit
Sheds sweet, celestial balm, –
The thought, like Angel’s whisper,
My misery would calm.
And when, at early morning,
A faint flush comes to me,
Reflected from those glowing skies
I almost weep to see;

Or when I catch the murmur
Of gently swaying trees,
Or hear the louder swelling
Of the soul-inspiring breeze,
And pant to feel its freshness
Upon my burning brow,
Or sigh to see the twinkling leaf,
And watch the waving bough;

If, from these fruitless yearnings
Thou wouldst deliver me,
Say that the charms of Nature
Are lovely still to thee;
While I am thus repining,
O! Let me but believe,
‘These pleasures are not lost to her,’
And I will cease to grieve.

O, scorn not Nature’s bounties!
My soul partakes with thee.
Drink bliss from all her fountains,
Drink for thyself and me!
Say not, ‘My soul is buried
In dungeon gloom with thine;’
But say, ‘His heart is here with me;
His spirit drinks with mine.

Anne Bronte, 1777–1861

2 thoughts on “My Penance, My Restitution

  1. Who is this angel that you speak of? She surely does not exist in human form?

    Love and lust exist in separate form and we should be thankful for both.

    You have so much to give another in a true relationship. Tell the watchman to get bent and give all that you are able to a heart that aches for what you have.

    You are hiding from the gift of giving the world your true and honest self. I know you… you are one of the finest people I have ever met. I don’t know the love you speak of but I bet she wants you to be happy with another. The only bonds that hold you are the ones that you’ve created.

    Death is riding towards us on the path… Let’s live our greatest life. Regrets are for the grave!

  2. A man I know has often told me he has paid dearly for the things he did when he was younger…for his actions towards women and others…for the self-absorbed life he lived…for his egotistical ways. He was a pretty boy you see…and things came easy to him. Until they didn’t. Several years ago he took stock of himself and decided that, if he did not want to be alone for the rest of his life, things needed to change. So he changed. A girl he could not forget saw the change and did not turn away from him when he reached out to her…as she had on several occasions throughout the years. A love he thought he had lost was not lost at all…it was rekindled. There is always a chance. Never give up hope.

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