Reading…

After ending my affair with a married man I’m overwhelmed with grief
— Trish Murphy (2016, November 4th) The Irish Tines

From the Irish Times
‘My heart is breaking and I am struggling not to pick up the phone if even just to hear his voice.

The Situation

I have just ended an affair with a married man that has been going on for the last number of years. It started out as a flirt and then a fling and for the sex, but we soon fell deeply in love. He is quite simply the love of my life. I am married myself but very unhappy with my husband. My lover is not unhappy in his marriage and loves his wife and family. But I know that he loves or at least he did love me, by the way he has shown that love to me, respected me and treated me like a woman but at the same time his equal. No one else has ever treated me this way, least of all my husband. We both agreed that we would not break up our marriages to be together.

It ended badly and I am largely to blame. I was very resentful of his wife and almost to punish him for being happy with her I picked fights and put distance between us when my heart and body wanted more than anything to be in his arms. In the end he ran out of patience with me. When it came to a head a lot of very unkind things were said by both of us. We have had rows before but it’s different this time because he has not tried to smooth things over as he normally would and I’m ashamed to say that even when I was in the wrong I used to let him be the one to make the running.

I know that this was wrong from the very start and should never have happened. I’m not writing to ask for absolution or seek advice as to whether or not to continue. I am writing because my heart is breaking and I am struggling not to pick up the phone to him if even just to hear his voice. The only other person I could have spoken to about this is him. He really was my soul mate. I have hurt him badly, and him me, but I know him and if I did call he would be kind and gentle and probably forgiving.

I can make myself cold and close his memory out, but not all day and not every day and when I let myself think of him and how wonderfully he treated me, I am just overwhelmed. I have never had a close bereavement but this feeling must be what grief is like. My biggest fear is that he will go through the rest of his life not knowing exactly how I feel for him, even if we are finally over.

The Council

You sound as though you are deeply in grief and the difficulty is that the lost person is not gone and you still have the opportunity of contacting him. This keeps you caught up in that possibility and perhaps the acceptance phase of the grief is eluding you.

You say your biggest fear is that your lover will not know how you feel about him but if you open up communication again, you are doing so at a lot of risk to yourself, your ex-lover and his family, and your own family. That is a huge responsibility when you know you could not handle the small part of his life that he offered you and you are likely to again demand that he choose you over his wife and children.

You sound surprised at the level of respect and dignity that you received at the behest of your lover and this begs the question of what kind of relationship you are in now. Does your own marriage need attention and decision-making and what affect is your affair and heartbreak having on your husband?

Even though you were treated well in the affair, there was never the option that you would be number one in the life of your lover and this might be something you should set as a bottom line in your current or future relationships.

To go back to your lover would be to assume a secondary role and, as you found out previously, this ultimately is not acceptable to you and unhappiness and fighting is the result. From your letter it seems that you do not feel number one in your husband’s life and he is definitely not top of your list of love.

This situation sounds intolerable and it is likely that you are causing emotional damage to each other and instead of addressing this situation you are investing in an impossible love affair. Facing into and tackling your marriage difficulties would be the first step in dealing with reality and then perhaps you might begin to create a new reality in which you can construct a relationship worth fighting for.

✍🏻 Tempestuous

her siren call rings still —

  (1) I’ve been trapped for days
  (2) Summer heat does blaze
  (3) Enrapt by her gaze
  (4) I’m in a deep daze
  (5) I’m into her ways
  (6) I love all she says

The Tempest
‘The Tempest’ (1886) painted by Ivan Aivazovsky

Tempest
noun
A violent windy storm: “a raging tempest.”

Wilfred Thesiger

[English | 1910–2003]

a.k.a. مُبَارَك بِن لَنْدَن‎

From Thesiger's album (Vol. 13)
Do you remember?

Thesiger was a writer, an amazing photographer and an explorer. His most notable works are Arabian Sands (1959) which documented his journey across the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula and, The Marsh Arabs (1964) which documented his time living in the marshes of Iraq.

In the desert I had found a freedom unattainable in civilization; a life unhampered by possessions.

Wilfred Thesiger was a distinguished gentleman

I tasted freedom and a way of life from which there could be no recall.

Arabia
Arabia

p.s.
I haven’t been (yet) but Wilfred Thesiger’s book collection and his photographs are on display at the Pitt Rivers Museum (part of Oxford University 😍). For maps of his journeys in Arabia see here and here for his photographs of Arabia.

Edmund Spenser

[English | 1553–1599]

And all for love, and nothing for reward.

It's love that inspires
It’s love that inspires.

And he that strives to touch the stars, Oft stumbles at a straw.

Edmund Spenser was an English poet who is recognisef as one of the premier craftsmen of early Modern English verse. In fact, he is often considered one of the greatest poets in the English language.

I hate the day, because it lendeth light To see all things, but not my love to see

The Faerie Queene was the first epic in English and one of the most influential poems in the language for later poets from Milton to Tennyson. Dedicating his work to Elizabeth I, Spenser brilliantly united medieval romance and renaissance epic to expound the glory of the Virgin Queen. The poem recounts the quests of knights including Sir Guyon, Knight of Constance, who resists temptation, and Artegall, Knight of Justice, whose story alludes to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Composed as an overt moral and political allegory, The Faerie Queene, with its dramatic episodes of chivalry, pageantry and courtly love, is also a supreme work of atmosphere, colour and sensuous description.

Her angel’s face, As the great eye of heaven shined bright, And made a sunshine in the shady place.

✍🏻 Dark Light

Pure White vs. Jet Black

darket-light

In the dead of a feverish night
He’s opposite me, sat bolt upright
My legs and lips drift slowly apart
The power of lust makes this a must
I close in and flick off the desk light
Side by side, we prepare for the fight

He’s white like a virgin’s bridal gown
Rays of blinding light do still shine down
The Son will consume Venus adown
Solar storms flair; I refuse to comedown
The sun breeds life… am I all alone?
Circumstance & sun have left me brown

Angel dust white, he’s just like cocaine
I go down to make him rise again
On my knees between his, it’s sublime
My tongue will endlessly entertain
Let me lick below, I’ll lay supine
This is the drug that relieves my brain

The moon gives us solace and nightglow
In it, poets pine and wine does flow
Must this munificence be hallow?
This lunarscape, despite our harrow?
Paradise lost, we’re nowt but shadow?
Lit by it, I bite on my pillow

Like heroin, you touch me down there
Shoot me up into the stratosphere
Hands to clasp what did the silk brassiere
Flip me over and lick everywhere
Deal harshly with my soft derrière
Be animalistic with no care

Eve oscillates as the knights draw in
Milk & Honey will put out this drought
Pull my hair as you push it all in
This is heaven; I have not one doubt
Hold me tightly and push it deep in
I want more, I want to pass right out.