08 October 2019

On JR Ward and Rune-Carved Bedrock

"A letter always seemed to me like immortality because it is the mind alone
without corporeal friend." ~ Emily Dickinson

I don't think I'm alone, as a writer, in seeing another writer's work and thinking IF ONLY I COULD WRITE LIKE THAT! Well, recently I stumbled across this perfect little paragraph in The Savior by JR Ward:

As the cold wind blew his hair around, and sadness darkened the night even further, he realized that even though the pair of them were not destined to be together, they would never fully be apart, either. Their relationship had carved runes in the bedrock of their souls, the suffering on both sides longer lasting than any resonant joy could have been.

We all have these people in our lives I think. More than one, generally. We have good examples: those other souls that we thought were our perfect match, and they were, just not as a life partner or spouse. Those folks stay in our lives, maybe close by, maybe far away, but they always are there when we need them. I wrote about one of mine a couple of years ago here at the Lettuce - he showed up in a dream when my brain was searching desperately for familiarity and comfort. The runes we carved in the bedrock of each other's souls became anchors. Silver threads. A constant in an often unstable world.

Then there are the others who are the embodiment of the passage as written. One such, for me, was the inspiration for Taeben in my Nature Walker Trilogy novels. While that relationship is still present, more or less, it is much more virtual than visceral. I know that I can never fully be apart from him, and I think the same is true for him. We turn up in each other's lives from time to time, remind each other of a distant past when our lives were very different, and then fade out again. Each time I wonder if it will be the last time. Each time I hope that it won't - but have learned to expect that it will. I think that's what Ward meant by "the suffering on both sides longer lasting than any resonant joy could have been."

We are not together for a reason, in either situation. In the first case, we both had much better things on the horizon, and our relationship is only made better by the distance and the significant others (and children, in his case) that we have found in the time since. In the second situation, we were and are two very different people - and in this case, our differences would have been our undoing. We are traveling different paths - the first parallel and the second divergent.

We all have these runes in our bedrock - some are just carved more deeply than others.

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