Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Concrete Wall. A Waterfall. A love story.

Once upon a time there was a lovely concrete wall. It was well designed, but through the years you could see the wear and tear had diminished it’s vibrancy a bit. So the powers that be decided to paint a lovely, realistic waterfall on the concrete wall for all to see.

Many would come to admire this lovely waterfall, and in particular one man. This man would sit and admire the waterfall and would speak to the wall and tell the wall of his admiration. The wall would become very excited when she sensed that the man was coming to visit and tried desperately hard to pretty up the paint and mortar whenever she knew he’d be coming. The man noticed this and was glad, however one day he let slip hurtful words about the wall and that she was not an actual waterfall at all, and he wished that she could somehow be different. The wall was deeply hurt by these words and decided that she would not allow the man to hurt her again so she reinforced her concrete and prepared for the worst.

Over time, the man came to love the waterfall and expressed it to the wall as often as he could. The man began to see the waterfall as an actual waterfall and not a concrete wall and shared this with her, often. But the wall would not listen or believe, for after all it was just a concrete wall.

One day after many months of sharing time together, the man came to visit his waterfall in a driving rain-storm. He explained to the wall that he saw all the beauty in her and that she was in reality an actual waterfall; after all, the proof was there for all to see.

The wall began to believe the man, that she was an actual waterfall and was very happy and at peace. But after the man had left and the sun came out, the rain stopped and the wall became dry again. She began to doubt the words the man had spoken, doubted his adoration, doubted his love, and doubted even that she was a beautiful waterfall.

The man returned the following day, but the wall was silent and non-responsive. She would not speak to the man or be waterfall-ish because she looked at what she perceived to be the facts, and thought that he had lied to her. The man was very hurt, yet still remained and attempted conversation, to no avail.

The man continued to visit for many weeks until one day in another horrific rainstorm he exclaimed “see, I told you that you are a waterfall!” and she began to believe again. The rainstorm lasted for several days and the waterfall was overflowing with joy because she knew that the man really loved her and that they would be together forever. She knew that there were differences and challenges but also knew that they would work on them, together, and be happy in their love.

Alas, in the morning the sun came out and dried away the rain, dried the wall back to just a wall and when the man came to visit, the waterfall would not flow, the wall was silent, and the man was sad yet again. The man thought sadly to himself about this because in his heart he knew she was just a concrete wall, but it had stopped mattering long ago as his love was so deeply felt for his waterfall.

The man made several more attempts to love the concrete wall, despite being coached not to by all who cared for him. He even bought paint to help fix some areas that had faded a bit, but the wall even took that as a slight and went further within, away from the man’s love.

Several more times down through the months there would be rainstorms and the man would rush to his waterfall, only to find that she would pull further away every time he attempted to get close. The man became complacent that it would always be this way and now expected that, despite his best efforts, the wall would simply ignore him, listening to the inner voices that damaged their chances to be together. She would no longer communicate with the man and so, the man walked away.

One day when walking by the wall on his way to work, the man felt a drop of water on his cheek. There was no rain in the sky, so the man decided that the waterfall was now attempting to actually BE a waterfall and not a wall at all! The waterfall resumed communication with the man and for a time things seemed normal, (as normal as things can seem between a concrete wall and a man, that is!) yet every time the man visited the wall, he had to wait. The waterfall had received a new coat of paint and all passing admired the new vista. The man however had loved the old vista and did not understand why the wall needed to change. The man continued to visit, but the waits became longer and longer and on occasion the wall just didn’t have time to see the man at all.

The man began to doubt the love that the waterfall professed to have for him. He discussed this when he occasionally could visit with her and she would continue to tell him that she loved him, but he did not feel it from her anymore. He no longer told the wall that he loved her because he sensed that she was pulling away and that she now desired another wall, or perhaps waterfall, and not a man like him at all.

The delays became overwhelming to the man, yet despite this he decided that it was just part of who the wall was and that he would accept that as part of his growth in their relationship. The wall seemed surprised, even upset that the man no longer minded the delays and did not get upset over them. The man waited and the delays continued on into the day, into the evening, and yet still the man waited, patiently. The wall could not handle this new direction from the man and shut down her communication with him yet again. Despite his best efforts the wall would not talk to the man and so, the man walked away for the final time.

Later that day there was a terrible accident and the wall was damaged. She did not reach out to the man from fear of how he would react, not realizing that he had already decided to move on. The wall made a slight effort to contact the man in a manner that he had asked her not to on multiple occasions. Despite this, the man attempted to contact the wall several times, to no avail. He was worried but she simply would not talk to him and it was not even clear in her message what really happened.

The man left her a final message that despite his love, and hers, that they were just too different to have any sort of relationship. Their relationship was one not based in reality, toxic and not healthy, guilt ridden and not based on mutual respect and trust. And although the man still loved his waterfall, he knew that she no longer had any ear to listen to his love and allow him to share and receive his gifts.

The man shed one final tear and hoped that his beautiful, shining waterfall would heal, be grateful for all she has, know that the man did love her with all his heart, and only remember the good that they shared. The man hoped that she would remember that she is indeed a beautiful, life-giving and flowing waterfall and not a concrete wall at all.

The man will always love and miss his waterfall.


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