The Insider’s Guide to Life: You’re the One I Love

ColumnAbout that heart.

Did you know? You’re the one I love.

I love you for loaning me the money even though you didn’t have it to loan.

I love you for lying under oath to protect a child.

I love you for standing by my side on the beach the day I really, finally left, holding just the silence with me.

I love you for needing my desperate hope in the aluminum boat in the pounding storm as much as I needed yours; I love you for making me an equal in that moment despite the decades in difference.

I love you for taking the blame because I was the good one and you were the bad one.

I love you for reading to me through every winter.

I love you for letting me make my own decisions – and mistakes. I love you for that more than you know.

I love you for year after year.

I love you for reminding me that I define who I am, and letting the present be enough, the memories their own.

I love you for the encyclopedia of me you retain in your memory, the intensity of your listening so strong I feel if this is possible, it is possible for us all.

I love you for letting me be.

I love you so much for the full heart behind the skittish glance.

I love you for wanting to marry me though you knew it wasn’t enough.

I love you for the four-minute voicemail demanding I believe in myself because you believe in me, a rapid-fire roller coaster of tears and force and defiance. And on the other end, me listening, in tears.

I love you for forgiving my lashing.

I love you for remembering me just the way I hope to be remembered.

I love you because you are fresh.

I love you for seeing the value in the adventure for its own sake; for never asking why.

I love you for so many things, and I worry you don’t know.

Most of all, I love you for breaking my heart.

“Why are you an artist?” a friend once asked me.

“Because art is for the broken ones who want to love the world.”

“Dear God, woman,” he said. “I’ve wanted to marry people for less than that.”

A broken heart is an open heart. And the truth is that we are all broken.

This is the latest installment in your editor’s column, The Insider’s Guide to Life, exploring topics such as media, culture, sex, living, and anything else. Cheers and spellcheck!

Image: Franco Folini