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  • Disappointments in love, even betrayals and losses,
    serve the soul at the very moment they seem in life
    to be tragedies. The soul is partly in time and partly
    in eternity. We might remember the part that resides
    in eternity when we feel despair over the part that
    is in life.

    Thomas Moore

    1. Did you know that there is a kind of radiation in outer space that is thought to be leftover starlight from a future universe? And that every radio and TV program ever made is spinning around out there too?

    2. Most of our relationships are nothing more than a brief fluorescence, so best to learn to treat them with detachment, with an appreciation for the cyclical and transitory nature of things, viewing certain aspects of your life as you views an opera from the last row of the top balcony, enjoying the music but not identifying too closely with the characters.

    3. Is there a comparison to be drawn between this matter of romance and the sport of hangliding? You choose a precipice and rush toward it, hoping that your wing will hold the wind, that no sudden downdraft will send you to earth. You rush to embrace the open air as though meeting a lover. Always there is the threat of power lines. Always there is the possibility of a forced landing on a highway. Uh oh!

    4. The element of risk itself has an almost sensual attraction to it, tangible, earthy, scented with jungle gardenias.

    5. When I saw the two of you together that morning at first I felt sick and afraid, as though the blue sky around us all had turned without warning into ice. In an instant, everything changed forever.

    6. I keep asking why our universities cannot offer courses in Silence, in reorganizing our priorities, in coping with toroidal physics and in Terminating Relationships. Then maybe we would be better prepared for that ten thousand foot drop through cobalt blue, for the dizzy reeling in the face of new and unanticipated information that strikes to the heart with its irrefutable facts. Certainly there is a need. (Note to self: Write to Congresspeople.)

    7. Intermediate, or even Advanced Statistics cannot prepare you for that instant when the wind changes and is no longer in your favor, when the love light suddenly goes out. From all of the prevailing myths and doctrines of selfhood, you now must learn to select only those articles of clothing that fit.

    8. Those who have had their arms or legs shot off in a war simply learn to do things another way, making use of artificial limbs, wheelchairs, and specially outfitted cars. Emotionally, as well, the system has been designed so that in time it can recover and reconstruct itself back into usefulness, can even learn to turn heartbreak and disability to advantage, so that the shock of loss or betrayal has in the end a peculiar virtue and economy, a symmetry even, setting one free.

    9. Here is my grief, distilled into these tears that I now hold up to the sunlight. My sadness catches the light like a prism, separating each of the colors into its proper wavelength, so that the hues can be measured and recorded in a journal kept for this purpose.

    10. At the very moment the two of you walked by, hand in hand, I was right there in the blue telephone booth, there on the corner of Illusion and Reality, dialing your number! Now, I find I cannot remember why I was calling, and your contact information has disappeared from my iPhone.

    (Photograph by Alex in Bora Bora Islands, in the 3-D virtual world of Second Life)
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