No, love was first

No, love was first, he said. The colors outside were changing faster than we could keep up with, we never knew the sky could perform such wild shows.

I thought lights like that only happen in Alaska, I said. Or Greenland, or Northern Canada, you know? I kept trying to tilt to one side of him so that I could get another peek out of the window. It was too late: he was already shutting it, with a brusqueness that halted my curiosity at once.

Don’t bother about that. He said it like he was never one to wonder about magic in his life, and never one to find the whole wretched earth truly magical no matter how wretched it is. Which coldness and severity made the following even stranger: Did you hear what I said, he asked. That love is at the bottom, and at the start, before any of this dust you’re taling about. It’s important to remember that. That the particles and clouds of things can spread out infinitely, infinitely back and forward, but they would be nothing without love. All that dust would never collect anywhere, nor would it ever attain any shape, nor would it ever get to disperse in the freedom of shapelessness if it were not for love.

It was like he was all of a sudden inspired by a creative spirit as I witnessed him press his thumbs against the window sill like wet clay. I could tell that he was tired and that the night had kept him up too long already. Before he had said this to me, all his tears and passion were dried up, but when he said Love was first his eyes began to grow puddles again and his body more full of color and verve. He stared at the blinds he had pulled moments before as if he had a way to look right through them.

If you are looking for love in the workings of things, he sighed, turned away slowly from the window, ambled towards me then sat down on the rugged bench next to me. If you want to find love there, then it is a mistake to go looking for it in the outcomes of the tiniest bits of things working together. Go looking for it rather in there being any bits at all, even imaginary bits. Think of the wonder of a mote all alone, the wonder and love that mote must have undergone at the enounter of another with which to share the expanse.

Just at that moment, what I saw astonished me: where he had been pressing his hands, there on the window sill was a pile of dust, and a trail of dust a good size along the path he took to sit next to me. Then a gust picked up, and began to blow away bit and speck after bit and speck of the man until there was nearly nothing of him left. When I heard him remind me in this little dust bowl in the living room how he loved me and how much he loved me, I was unsure whether I heard the words from lips right before me or echoing from down the hall out of the ashes of his lips.


  1. Stacey C. Johnson says:

    This: “All that dust would never collect anywhere, nor would it ever attain any shape, nor would it ever get to disperse in the freedom of shapelessness if it were not for love.” Cheering.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Richard Q says:

      Thank you. I kept coming back to these lines long after they were written. Sometimes they linger….

      Joy to you, Stacey!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That was very creative. I enjoyed reading it.


    1. Richard Q says:

      Thank you, Paula! I hope your days are joyful…!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I’m busy editing

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Richard Q says:

        That sounds sweet. Even if it can sometimes be the not so sweet part! Joy to you today, Paula.


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