Late Have I Loved You – 100th post

(My twin sister loved this painting.)

I miss my twin.

I’ve missed her like hot, searing fire lately… right down to the bone. My skin melting off, charred ash… and the bones still ache, and the ash still smokes from the ground, sending up aching like incense to the sky. These times come without warning, and I don’t know why. I just know that everything in me hurts, especially the empty little space that nests just beneath my rib cage.

I was reading a book this morning, just starting out. One by Richard Rohr; two friends have recommended him to me. So I finally picked up one of his books. And in the first few pages of the first chapter, came a quote by St. Augustine:

“Late have I loved you,
O Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.”

Stephanie loved this quote. And when I read it, I almost felt like she resurrected from it, right in front of me. Spiralling up like a genie out of the Nag Champa I was burning. Suddenly, she was present.

I hate and I love those moments, the ones where I can feel my twin sister’s presence. I love it, because then I know she is not truly gone. But I hate it, because though I feel her, I just cannot see her. I squeeze my eyes shut, tighter…tighter… just hoping. Maybe she’ll be there when I open them. Maybe I’ll smell her, maybe I’ll feel her arms and the sweat-softened, ugly red velour sweater she always wore. Maybe if I just wait long enough there with her, in the silence, she’ll step out from behind the hologram of our existence and be there. I can see her behind my eyes…  maybe, just maybe, she’ll still be there if I open them.

She never is.

And the ache grows. Tears prick my eyes. I just want her back most days. These days, where I grow like a tree split from our same root, my mother’s womb. The womb we shared. And I branched off some time ago, and we were so different back as girls. I didn’t want to be like her, because too many times she stayed in her roots and never dared to touch the sky. But sometimes, oh sometimes… leaves danced with blue like the magical feet of a flamenco dancer. It took my breath away. Her obstinate stillness, though, put me off. Her black and white ways.  So I never grew towards the parts that reached for freedom-blue-sky, because those other parts that held her back were still too present.

But now, my branches grow back towards hers, reaching for her limbs, but coming up empty always. I only find her inside the dark, secret places… like Neruda says, between the shadow and the soul.

“Late have I loved you,
Oh Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for you.

——

This just so happens to be my 100th post on this blog… I think it’s fitting that I wrote about my twin. Love you, Stephanie.
For the story of what happened to my sisters, start here.

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21 thoughts on “Late Have I Loved You – 100th post

  1. A fitting post for your one-hundredth. Written with exquisite beauty and all the storm-cloud behind it.

    I truly haven’t the words to encompass what this writing, and the three which precede it, must have taken you, and what they are worth. You leave me speechless and awed with the strength of character you show in having put them out there.

    SW, it’s a privilege.

    1. Thank you, Lizzi. It’s a privilege to have you reading this, and to have you as a sister wife! 🙂 It means so much that you took the time to witness my life and story. It was hard to write, but also so healing. I needed to have a voice around this out in the world. It’s been good to be able to share and have people understand why certain things affect me so.
      So glad I know you, my friend.

      1. It was beautifully and heart-breakingly written, and I am still a bit in awe of what you’ve gone through and how you’ve turned out so well. I don’t mean to condescend, rather that (and I hate myself for doing this because I’m always telling people not to compare) it took relatively so much less to nearly break me. And there you are, blogging with such honesty and replying with grace and humour and…

        …just wow!

        Glad I know you, too 🙂

      2. Lizzi I feel like it just takes what it takes, sometimes. There’s been moments in my life where silly little things (or things that I judge as silly) nearly break me, too. Sometimes the small(er) stuff is harder.
        Thank you, though, for your lovely compliment, and for taking the time to read through this… it truly means a lot.
        Love you SW!!!

      3. Ack! Nested comments came to an end.

        I guess these things shape us in so many ways, and change us so profoundly, there’s no knowing how we’re really going to turn out.

        I think you’re doing alright though 🙂 *hugs*

  2. Oh Laurie. I was just telling the Boyfran all about you last night. Is that creepy? I can’t imagine the ache of such a loss. I love the Augustine quote– I love Augustine, really. I’ve read his Confessions a few times… and I can see why your sister loved that painting. Who doesn’t want to be a beautiful maiden with some handsome dude bowing down? Take heart, Sister Wife 🙂

    1. That’s not creepy at all. I think it’s kind of sweet ❤ Ugh. Some days it just aches without end. Sigh. And so much lately with my twin. Haha my twin was all about the old fashioned… she would have lived in the 1860s-1890s if she could have, a total Victorian girl that one. (She also collected tea cups and tea pots…)
      Thank you Sister Wife… so glad you are in my life. ❤

  3. This is what I was talking about before. I have chills and tears in my eyes. I know this is nothing the same, but my sister moved to Seattle from Florida. She could not be further away. And sometimes I miss her so much it causes physical pain. I cant imagine losing her the way you lost yours. She is still a voice on the phone and a funny picture, at least. And now I am crying.

  4. Hi Laurie

    Congrats on your slamming. It only counts if it comes from the heart. I think.

    I havent commented here in sometime after I read your first post about the shootings. I thought I was a hardcore dude, but apparently I think I melted down for a week…..or a few. I;ve read plenty of heavy stuff and seen quite a bit in my life, but for some reason your writing brought me back to a place when I was 13 years old ,where I cannot remember any feelings or how I felt. I remember everything else though. Kinda like looking at a dream where you cant talk or actually feel anything. But I still hear the screams, the crying and begging and the two men with the gun laughing. I dont mean to tresspass on your thing, but I have been trying hard not to come here and sayit for the past two months.

    1. Oh Mike… your comment took my breath. I am so sorry. Don’t feel like you are trespassing, and please feel like you can say what you need. I’m sorry you had to have an experience like that. My words honestly cannot convey what I feel about this right now… I get what you are saying… like looking at a frozen dream. I’ve felt that.
      THANK YOU. For sharing. This is why I write. This is why I started this blog. To share it in hopes of finding others who may also need this kind of community. Please don’t EVER feel you are trespassing when it comes to this. Ever. I so appreciate that you shared.

  5. Thanks Laurie

    I wrote this on another blog this past february when I was going through it. It is my slam.

    Where did I grow up?

    30 miles from Staten Island. Alone. Afraid. Desk separated from everybody else. Force fed grass fists leaves and grownup cock. Daddy was there but he really wasnt. Momma said its because everything you touch turns to ash. We should have never got in those men’s car. Marched out into the woods. I remember how the sun reflected off the leaves. The men were laughing at me and Timmy. I cant remember how I felt. I cant remember feeling anything. I remember the laughter and the black gun they had and the way Timmy cried and begged when it happened. We lived. But we both knew each others sworn secret. Timmy had it worse than me. His father beat the living shit out of him, regularly. Black and blue. Broken teeth. BB gun welts. For some reason, I wanted his old man to beat me up too. Maybe the attention was worth it. Timmy was my best friend. The most best friend I have ever had. Two years later, during the last year of jr high; he and his family moved away. A couple of years after that, he hung himself. 40 something years later I am still here. But the feelings……they are with the sun reflecting off the leaves.
    Reply

    
    samara February 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I am glad you are still here.

    You need to blog that pain, that story. It moved me deeply. I related to every single part of it.

    Even today pain equals “I am here.”

    Who are you? Do you have a blog?
    Reply
    
    mike February 24, 2014 at 5:42 am

    No blog. Never had an original idea. More like a pinball triggered by what others write. If it was left up to me there would be a blank page. I don’t think we will ever graduate to the Junior League (or in my case what ever dudes do) and cant go back to avenue c, cause it isn’t there anymore.

    You know how kids body surf the crowd with the understanding they will be supported? In the past I have sorta body surf a crowd that didn’t give two shits about you and just wants you for your ass, your money, or to steal what ever glimmer of life you have left. Drugs and booze made it doable, plus the fact I gave up on myself early in life. There was no place to run and hide because I couldn’t get away from myself. And no outstretched loving arms to run to.

    My friend died last Sunday. She was in the welfare hospice for people with aids. Its a long story but the reason we were friends is because I could feel her pain. Our unspoken pain was our bond.

    Mostly my life is about trying to help people get sober from drugs and alcohol. Its not a career and I dont get paid. Its just what I do.

    This week I am feeling it. Self pity or it is what it is. Sometimes I want to go back because I just cant shake the feeling that I dont belong here.

    1. Wow. This conversation just floors me, beyond words. I’m sending my heart to you, Mike, and also to you Samara. I’m so very sorry about your friend who passed. You have a place among us, friend. Just one day at a time. Like the book says, “You will escape disaster together and you will commence shoulder to shoulder your common journey.” We’re on a common journey friend, and I’m at your shoulder along with so many others. Sending peace, and deeply acknowledging your brave story.

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