All stories are love stories, even though it may not seem like it. Either one or all of the characters are searching for love, aching because of a lack of love, disturbed because of a lack of love, forever heartbroken because love hasn’t been kind, and on and on.
After writing this morning’s haiku, my thoughts continued to meander down the path of discovery. I’m working on this story about a young man who has been scarred because his mother didn’t love him. As I was thinking about the story and other things, I started to think about certain students who have come into my life. Students who I recognized potential in and spent day after day, week after week, and month after month trying to help to see their own potential. Some of these students had another need, one either I didn’t recognize or wasn’t equipped to satiate. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, until certain needs are met, some of these students will not be receptive to what is taking place in the classroom.
If a student needs stability at home, a place to live, food because he/she is hungry, someone to confide in about being abused, a good night’s sleep because they’re up all night listening to their parents argue and fight, to wash their clothes because they only have two outfits and no washer and dryer in the home, then until those needs are met, teacher and student may as well be bumping heads. It doesn’t matter that I am a good teacher and know my content. That’s why it’s important to understand that teachers do more than disseminate content. We have to love and educate the whole child, each and every one of them. No matter how good a teacher you are, if a child’s needs are not being met, they will not care about other things they think of as low on their hierarchy of needs.
So, no matter how good a teacher you are, if you are not giving a person what he or she needs at that moment, he or she may not be able to receive what you are offering. Likewise, no matter how good a person you are and no matter how loving your actions may be toward your someone, if you are not meeting his or her needs, he or she may never choose to accept what you are offering.
I used to be the type of person who would say, “But I loved you. I was good to you. You should appreciate that.” I understand, now, that every person has his or her own needs and those needs may not match mine and that’s okay. The same goes for the women who meet the protagonist of my newest story. The women who meet Victor online are all trying to forge a relationship with him. Some believe if they love him hard enough, he’ll ignore his own needs and realize they are what’s best for him. And that’s never true. So, the story I’m working on must be a love story, though the protagonist is a psychotic and narcissistic jerk. It all starts with love. And even Victor realizes that, even if he doesn’t know that he realizes it.
I opened my heart to you,
and watched as you closed
the door. You left. And closed
the door behind you. You didn’t
slam it hard, but closed it gently
as if though you didn’t want to wake the
sleeping baby. As if though you
weren’t ready to let me know that you
stopped loving me, stopped wanting my love.
Though you still sought to use parts of me.
I stood looking at the closed door, willing it
to open, but knowing you didn’t want me
anymore. Not like I wanted you. And a part of me
believed you loved me more than you knew and
just needed help to show it. So, I pried the door
of my heart open once more, placed a block of
my pride near the bottom to keep it propped open.
I hoped the memory of our love would drift
through the open door like the music that
drifts from our neighbor’s house every Friday night.
We never attended their parties. It wasn’t our type
of scene, but somehow that never occurred to me.
I just hoped the memories standing on the other side
of the door would be enough to draw you back to me
because it’s been enough to hold me here,
trapped in the past, avoiding my future.
Peace & Love,
I’m off to finish working on my love story, loves. Hope you’ll do the same. And, remember, if it’s important to you, you’ll make a way to do it. If it’s not important, you’ll make excuses. If you find yourself making excuses about something you think is important to you, maybe it’s time to re-think what you call your passion.