Our Love is Art
By Mackenzie L.
This story is a poetic account of Esme and Carlisle's relationship as soul mates, studying the growth of their love over time, and how their personal experiences shape that love, creating art from intimacy. Each chapter will be a one-shot inspired by a different color. The point of view will alternate from chapter to chapter between Carlisle and Esme.
*The Twilight Saga and its characters are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer.
As a man prone to pointless pondering, I often find myself revisiting the melancholy days when love was still a mystery to me. My knowledge of love, sad though it may seem, came not from shared embraces or words of kindness. From the birth of my second life, everything I knew of love came from literature, from Scripture, from dry parchment and blotted ink.
There was a time when I regarded love in its several stricter forms: Agápē – sacrificial love, a love shared in fellowship; Philia – familial love, a love shared in virtue; Storge – begrudging love, a love shared in affection.
Yet there remained outside this fine circle of safety, a form of love I had persistently, and perhaps somewhat bitterly, refused to acknowledge. Eros – erotic love, a loved shared in passion.
To own and control such a love – the love reserved for a husband and his wife – was all too unthinkable in my eyes. I had accepted my curse with heavy arms, but the weight of that burden had become comfortable. There was a beauty to my loneliness, I must confess, and I owe my passion for spirituality, my faith in an all-seeing, all-protecting power to these ages I spent alone.
It does not shame me to admit that loneliness shaped the man I am today. Without these empty years of solitude, I would not exist as I do. These words: "I am" – such a delicate pair – they mean everything to a man.
I am a believer. I am a doctor. I am a father. I am a husband.
But with a simple injection of passion, I am a soul. I am a healer. I am a shepherd. I am a lover.
Many men would claim that they would be nothing without their families or their wives. However, this is not a claim I am foolish enough to make. For as much as I value such sentimentality, my faith forbids from believing the soul can be purged from its owner. No man, whether he is alone or surrounded by thousands of beating or un-beating hearts, is ever nothing.
I would not be nothing without my family. But I would be less than what I am without them.
The fulfillment I have found in my life thus far cannot be reversed. If I were to leave the earth this night, I would perish in flames of utter contentment. If I were to lose a loved one, I would lose a piece of my heart, but that piece would grow back in time. It would be weaker, perhaps, but it would mend itself faithfully.
For so many years, I could have never imagined my heart to be capable of such profound love and such enticing strength. Years were only numbers on pages. These pages I saw, burning in fire as time caressed me coldly.
Under my frozen flesh, I felt a fire of my own. In my neglect, I let this fire burn uncontrollably. Its flames were volatile, unpredictable. My heart was burning for something greater, for something I could have and call my own; for something that would have me and call me its own. Yet for centuries this burning went unspoken. I refused to acknowledge my loneliness in favor of accepting solitude with a silent strength. In the face of that strength, though, I was weeping inside.
I sometimes wonder how I lived without her, without Esme. It seems preposterous that my world had been real before we'd met. To think each step I took in that world had purpose, had weight, and made an impression in the ground when I walked without her. I can scarcely believe I left footprints in the dust back then. I was but a mere ghost of a man before I found her.
Colors had once been dull, gray, watered-down – like streaks of ash smeared over a cold canvas of concrete. I could only dream of colors, but I never saw them. Then, on the night I stole Esme from her wistful death, my fire was fueled with a new hope. My world was rippling with new possibilities; my heart was beating once again. She was everything I had never dreamed of having, and everything my heart so desperately needed.
If there is one thing for which I will never forgive myself, it is that I was blind to these needs for far too long.
Esme, however, has forgiven me. Countless times.
In her merciful grace, Esme showed me all the colors I had missed before. She showed me colors that I never noticed, colors that were pure enough to bring tears to my eyes, colors that were bright enough to break my heart, colors that defied science and gravity and senses; colors I did not know even existed.
She held out her hand to me, and with her fragile fingers she was as sure and strong a guide as I could ask for. Esme was my guiding light in a cave of endless black. She was a bonfire in the dark forest of my doubts. She was – she is – the very thesis of eternity.
My mind will sometimes wander back to those times when the female was a mysterious vessel, clothed in secrecy, veiled in a man's sheer fear to sin. To wonder how I would behave when faced with a woman in the most intimate of contexts made my heart tremble with a wanting I refused to permit. Just wondering about such things was dangerous. I had trapped myself out of fear for the unknown. It would take courage to love a woman. The duty itself was deliciously daunting as I imagined it, and the more it pressed around in my mind, the more I needed to have it. I needed to embark on this unmentionable test, this unexplored realm of loving a woman.
To this very day, I have never found an adequate means to thank my wife for granting me the chance I'd feared I would never have.
Esme challenged my masculinity in the most unspeakable ways. Her every whisper, expression, and movement forced me to see just how capable I was of offering a love greater than my imagination had ever fathomed. The mere idea that I alone could explore the mystery Esme offered me with her mind, heart, body, soul, and spirit was intoxicating.
When the fire inside my heart grew too hot to bear, I stole Esme from the clutches of solitude, and she returned the noble favor with passion flowing, rampant and reckless. I was enthralled by what my love had unlocked within her – this woman with so vast a heart, so fierce a soul. She was a fire herself, the flames of her spirit wrapping around me, protecting my spirit, searing my flesh and scorching my soul. I wanted to drown in her, and drown in her I did. Never again would I return to the surface.
Our love has not dwindled over the years. It has only grown stronger, more impenetrable by the day. Our love is harder than diamonds, but loftier than the clouds. Our love is as constant as the light of the sun, but as changing as the feathered ends of the universe.
We ask for nothing of each other but this very love. It is all we have needed, and all we will ever need. As the times undulate with great forces and pressures around us, we remain the same. There is a humbling beauty in this curse that I would never have grown to appreciate if not for my wife. My Esme.
Constant she may be, but my wife is multi-faceted. Each facet is more hypnotic, more fascinating, more perplexing than the last. I may spend hours and days and weeks and years turning her over and over in my curious hands, but I will never completely solve the puzzle of her soul. She is deceptive from the outside – an innocence of facade, a gentle countenance – careworn and humble are her eyes. She is pure, and always will be. I alone have her permission to delve past these lovely layers she shows the rest of the world. She will part the curtains for me, and only me.
I am confounded in her presence, yet I know her so well that it frightens me. She knows me, I believe, far better than I have ever known myself; perhaps even better than I know her. But these variables are impossible to mark. It is perfect this way. I am satisfied with the undefined, because the search itself is where the thrill resides. With an eternity to discover more yet in this endless harmony, I have nothing left to long for. Only more of her.
The miracle we have encountered in our union with one another comes not from any sacrament. Matrimony only gives us permission to commit to this union, in the form of two golden rings sealed around our fingers. Our miracle is strictly ours, so unique it cannot be replicated by any other means than our bodies, our hearts, our souls.
Our medium of choice is always changing. Our hands are feverish. Our canvas grows more colorful by the day. Together, we have committed ourselves to this eternal journey – this never-ending expression of love without boundaries, without limitations, without restrictions. Together, we find inspiration in each other; together, we are unafraid to share our deepest passions. We are artists. We are masters of the art we practice, but with every waking moment we are perfecting it past the very point of perfection.
Our love is our art.