Three Roads To Get To What You Love
In Emily of New Moon, Emily tells of something she loves so much it hurts. “Do you understand that kind of hurting,” she asks, though she doesn’t use a question mark, and instead, uses a period to end her sentence. Emily is young, and so this could be a mistake. Maybe she didn’t use a question mark because she knows her reader — the one she is writing to — cannot respond, and the pain is too great (a different kind of hurting entirely) so the lack of a question mark is actually an act of self-preservation. But she’s also brilliant in that magical, clever, understand-the-rules-so-you-know-why-you’re-breaking-them sort of way. I bet she knew exactly what she was doing: Tell me you know the kind of love that hurts.
I don’t know too many people — myself included — who would admit to loving something so much it hurts. I certainly don’t know anyone who would actually dwell in that kind of pain, but this is precisely what Emily does. In fact, this is her favorite place to play. What’s more, she’s stuck around this place long enough to learn there are three ways into the place she loves and that hurts her:
- There’s the Today Road — a road that is lovely now.
- There’s Yesterday Road — a road that used to be lovely.
- And there’s Tomorrow Road — a road that is going to be lovely someday.
Emily’s willingness to play and to find different ways to get at what she loves is what strikes me. Here, Emily is showing us what’s to be done with this kind of hurt that love causes. We can play. We can find new ways in.
And even the roads that were once lovely, still take us to what it is we love.
Try It: Three Roads To What You Love
Can you name a place you love so that it hurts you? Consider three ways into that love. Are the roads lovely? Were they lovely once? Will they be lovely again? Write a poem in three stanzas (one for each road) telling us about what it is you love.
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