I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person.
It’s plain to me in retrospect, that I was drunk off the abundance of you. The fact that you were the most wonderful person to find me worthy in so long opened my mind to the possibility that I could meet and be loved by women as beautiful and intelligent and kind as you. That, bizarrely, was part of our undoing. In my youthful un-wisdom, knowing you introduced the possibility of finding someone more wonderful, even, than you. Years later I struggled for the words to tell you this - that you were perfectly worthy of my love, that we didn’t end because of your crazy but because of mine. I was young and hungry and stupid and inebriated with the idea that I might have even more of a good thing.
Everyone forgets that Icarus also flew.
It’s the same when love comes to an end,
or the marriage fails and people say
they knew it was a mistake, that everybody
said it would never work. That she was
old enough to know better. But anything
worth doing is worth doing badly.
Like being there by that summer ocean
on the other side of the island while
love was fading out of her, the stars
burning so extravagantly those nights that
anyone could tell you they would never last.
Every morning she was asleep in my bed
like a visitation, the gentleness in her
like antelope standing in the dawn mist.
Each afternoon I watched her coming back
through the hot stony field after swimming,
the sea light behind her and the huge sky
on the other side of that. Listened to her
while we ate lunch. How can they say
the marriage failed? Like the people who
came back from Provence (when it was Provence)
and said it was pretty but the food was greasy.
I believe Icarus was not failing as he fell,
but just coming to the end of his triumph.
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And what of Marriage, Master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
-Khalil Gibran, The Prophet (Chapter 3 - On Marriage)
I’ve been trying to explain to people for years the importance of standing apart and on your own even as you love someone. Now I just refer them to this.