Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Hit the Iron Bell

Move over Dan Savage (of Savage Love). A soon to be unveiled author currently writing as 'Sugar' for The Rumpus has been providing insightful, witty and often brilliant advice in response to reader emails. His/Her identity will be unveiled next Tuesday on February 14th. One of my favourite pieces to date is #41: Like an Iron Bell. After reading this a few weeks ago i thought to myself 'Yes, yes, a hundred times yes'. I've picked out some of the highlights below but the full column is worth reading.

Dear Johnny,
The last word my mother ever said to me was love. She was so sick and weak and out of her head she couldn't muster the “I” or the “you,” but it didn't matter. That puny word has the power to stand on its own...My mother’s last word to me clanks inside me like an iron bell that someone beats at dinnertime: love, love, love, love, love.

I suppose you think this has nothing to do with your question, Johnny, but it has everything to do with my answer. It has everything to do with every answer I have ever given to anyone. It’s Sugar’s genesis story. And it’s the thing my mind kept swirling back to over these five weeks since you wrote to me and said you didn't know the definition of love...The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of it. 

Do you realize that your refusal to utter the word love to your lover has created a force field all its own? Withholding distorts reality. It makes the people who do the withholding ugly and small-hearted. It makes the people from whom things are withheld crazy and desperate and incapable of knowing what they actually feel.

So release yourself from that. Don’t be strategic or coy. Strategic and coy are for jackasses. Be brave. Be authentic. Practice saying the word love to the people you love so when it matters the most to say it, you will.

We’re all going to die, Johnny. 
Hit the iron bell like it’s dinnertime.

To read the full letter and response (and to find more 'Dear Sugar') click here

Bell Image: PrindleStation

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