I once wrote that I didn't want to ever see things differently. I wanted the poetry I had written to always mean what it meant at that time to me. And yet, in the same paragraph, I claimed to be letting things go and understanding that my current view of love was a working definition. But I wasn't really letting things go, and I wasn't willing to let my definition of love be molded. The truth is, I was terrified to let things go. And oddly enough, part of the reason I was afraid of letting it go was because I really, truly, deeply dislike when my feelings are invalidated. Even in this case, when it meant damaging my heart deeper and deeper because I stubbornly thought I had to be committed and keep clinging to something that wasn't really there and hadn't been for a long time, if ever, I couldn't bear the thought of my words, my poetry being invalidated and meaning nothing.
My poems are like horcruxes, the darkest of dark magic in the Harry Potter world, where I've placed pieces of my heart, thinking that it's safe, but I find out later that when the feeling behind my poetry finds itself invalidated, it not only destroys the poem, but it destroys that part of my heart that hid there. It's a gamble to spread myself so thin and create all these horcruxes. Shakespeare liked the idea of immortalizing himself (and others) in his poetry. He said that his lines were eternal. I kind of wonder if he ever experienced something where the woman/man (who knows?) he wrote sonnet 18 for turned out to not be as lovely and temperate as he thought. And if he did, what did he do with that poem afterward? Would he even have wanted it published?
In the aftermath, though, I find my poetry still belonging to me. The feelings are still mine to hold. Just because I don't feel the same way now doesn't mean that those feelings were invalid. That's the beauty of literature, isn't it? Literature lives on, takes on a new shape, and means one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. And mine is no exception. So just as I originally thought, my heart is safe hidden between the lines.
And as it turns out, I really do have a working definition of love. Having a working definition of love means that as I grow closer to the Lord, I will learn how to love others more and more as Christ would have me do. And that's a Good thing, with a capital G. I regret that I wasn't able to love better in the past. But I realize that I was where I was, and just because I'm not still where I was does not mean that the way I felt then is invalid. That's why my horcruxes haven't been destroyed. The nature of [good] literature is that it lives on, even if the original muse is gone. In Sonnet 18, Shakespeare thought about comparing his beloved to a summer's day, but he realized that summer fades. But his eternal lines, well, they're eternal.
Likewise, my eternal lines continue to morph as my definition of love is refined over time. So when I think of poems like "Lavendar Petals" or "Grounded," I now feel the freedom in knowing that these poems can live on and mean something different, as my viewpoint changes. Because that's good literature, right? And that's Good to know for life. My definition of love is being refined, praise God! And as my definition of love deepens, the poetry I write is becoming deeper, and the poetry I wrote yesterday changes shape to mean something even more to me than it meant before. Maybe that's why I love poetry so much--my feelings can never be invalidated in my poetry, so long as I remember that my definition of love is a working definition and that seeing things differently is actually a good thing. No, it's more than a good thing, it's a Good thing.