In creating my new WordPress website—love redacted—I also created a new Gmail account of the same name. This means that the welcome-to-your-new-account emails were all addressed to “Love,” as in “Hello, Love” and “Dear Love” and “Get the most out of your Gmail inbox, Love.”
I didn’t set it up this way on purpose. But I like it. Just like my new project: What it’s turned into has not been on purpose, but I like it.
Here’s how it started: I was mad about some things in my life, things related to love or what had been standing in for love or what might have been real love had the timing or geography or emotional readiness been better or different or even more different than that. It had been real, I know this, but along the way it had morphed into something slippery and painful and depressingly undefined. So I was mad. Which really means that I was disappointed and heartbroken—and I’d allowed myself to grow like moss around these adjectives.
I’m 42 years old and I know how to do heartbreak. The usual kind (the kind that has more to do with pride than true grief). This was not the usual kind; it was not going to pass like drugs out of my system. There was no hanging in there or sweating it out. I was going to have release my grip and let it take me where it was gonna take me. I knew it was not going to be an overnight trip. (Another thing I was mad about.)
With the help of a love that’s felt bigger than people-love, I got released like a stone from a sling shot so I could hit that wall that often waits for us at the end of things. And the only thing that mattered was attending to my injuries. Emotional triage. I had been working on a memoir, but digesting and examining my past from this current vantage point—slightly crumpled, seeing stars—seemed a ridiculous endeavor.
Taking a Sharpie marker to a New Yorker magazine, however, did not. I could use other people’s words. I could take a column of text and let it tell me what it had to tell me, let it show me what I felt.
And loveredacted.com is what I have, so far, to show for it all. I should be so lucky for something so fulfilling to come from pain. So I just keep coloring.