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Anonymous asked: Is it ok if we ask you questions?
Of course. I don’t know what one would ask though.
Someone asked me to write about the “realest love” there is. At first reading the request I found myself incredibly intimidated. Realest love? Does this mean the love of all loves? Did they mean the undying love that makes us restless and gasp in our sheets, or is it the love we settle for because we realize the world isn’t a fairytale composite and “real love” is the best option we’ve got. I don’t know. I’d have to say I’m not a guru in either. I’ll tell you what I do know though.
There was this one time I was lying restless in my bed, not the “realest” kind, the sick kind. My head was thick and I couldn’t sleep. The magic of the world felt dimmed on me and when my eyes opened I saw spiders dancing within the cracks. They crawled and caved into me and she knew, this girl that I loved. She knew that my lungs were like an anchor heavy and black. God, the weather in me was so hard. She knew that no matter where or how I tossed or turned my world would be a difficult place to live in, and still she tried. She threw me line after line from the shore, pleading with me to come back in. Over and over. She crawled into that bed beside me and I felt her soul resuscitate me as her lips parted and she began to sing. I knew real love the moment she sang “Hey Jude” and I closed my eyes for what felt like the first time in a century. She sang me to sleep many nights, and despite all the fears of abandonment in my life, when I woke she was still there. I know the world is going to roll it’s eyes, but that was “realest” for me.
It’s real when your eyes are bloodshot and you can barely think, and her need to sleep settles down beside your own. Like a martyr she cups her hands together and somewhere, from some place inside her a fountain is running wild. She’ll ask you to drink and everything else from that point is merely stagnant. For years I fell asleep to the sigh of daisies and the breathless flutter of butterfly wings. I don’t know if I will ever rest to the sounds of anything as sweet ever again, but that’s the gift we’re given in weightless love. This is the cost.
Say what you will, “realest” love isn’t found pressed between pages or on the inside of fancy greeting cards. It’s found in your home, in your bed, in your car. It’s found in all the places you carry her even when she’s not looking or around anymore. Because, somewhere inside you she let you taste life and that fountain will start to bubble within you too. It will reach out and compel you to release it — to spread it. Real love is sharing and not holding it all in, it’s learning to let go and lift others when they’re falling down. Real love is saying I know I’m wrong and I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m not perfect and I never will be, but I’ve got this fountain now, too, and any time you feel parched of life, I’ve got you. Don’t worry about all the small things.
This is why I write. It’s not for the numbers or the fame, though I doubt there would be any of that either way. I write because all this love I have for the people in my life gets choked up inside me. I wrote recently about how fires get set inside when life feels like it’s coming down. No matter how painful the burn, I know that fire was made in love and life — the realest kind there is, for me anyway. I think that if any of the people I loved were standing here they’d give you a different story on what kind of man I was or am. They’d tell you to embrace me or leave me. I’m only human and I can’t be bound by my mistakes forever. I think each and every one of them, though, could tell you that I loved. No matter how tainted or imperfect the gesture became, I loved. That’s why I write, so I can remember I loved them and that the lights are not all dim and hopeless. They can’t be that way forever.
I’ll part with saying it’s important to write from the heart and remind yourself that real love comes from within you and the experiences you’ve shared with others. The only way you’re ever going to know it is to share it with someone else. Don’t fear the fall. Real love truly is bottomless, even when it might seem like it’s gone forever. So make love and be wild. Share real stories and cry over them, laugh over them too. Build meaningful connections and relationships that stand through the storms. Love the person that chooses to lie beside you and sings “Hey Jude.” Remind them that they’re beautiful.
And inevitably you will be too.
All the people I love, I cannot keep them inside. They spread and grow within me like wildfires, burning the whole damn place down. I thought that if I rolled my sleeves up high and built this place, every stick and stone, that they’d find this home warm and welcoming. I thought that in the summer breeze they’d sit on my porch and talk to me for awhile. The grass would turn shades and the landscape would change with each passing season. I thought it would all matter someday, and that this life I built wouldn’t be so tattered and torn. I thought all the people I loved would somehow someway love me too, but they don’t — they can’t. I’m learning fast that there is no true way to hold onto anything in this life. I need to take it as it comes. I’m trying to. We are all humans puzzled and pieced together by our own imperfect mistakes. I don’t want to live in a universe painted with regret after hopeless regret anymore. I will tell you this much, I just stood still as I watched my whole life go up and flames and in the end I had to wonder what, or if, any piece of me was truly be left behind.
I suppose I’ll never know. All the people I loved, they wouldn’t stay inside. I admit, it was a poorly built house anyway.
A gift from work. This album is bloody fantastic and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Each song will move you from place to place like a tender river. Never have I wanted to hold something so intangible so restlessly. Give it a listen and always support artists you love.
In a single day
I think of you
for one thousand
and twenty-eight minutes,
and twenty-two seconds
And you still
only give me
numbers really are