This is dedicated to Helen Bayly, my ex-lover who I had the fortune to share the past 5 years of my life with. And to myself, and further, the relationship itself. Its so strange, how a relationship develops between 2 people where you're lives become so integrated, and you learn each other so well, and an end point comes of separation, and the discipline of space is created so as to become one again. All who experience this, deal with it differently. It is a place that begins with deep happiness, and in cases of separation to deep sadness. As I go thru the drawings, paintings, words that my ex created over the years, it is too painful to confront. I turn away, and want to burn it all. But this doesn't feel right. It feels to me, more horrible than reading each word itself. I love/loved this individual, and my conflict here begins as I feel it a disservice as to lie to myself as an act to quick healing and moving on pretending the relationship never happened. But it did, and it ended and so i confront this. Reading each letter she had written me, promising that we would be together forever with a drawing of her and i in yellow and red pajamas, me holding a balloon and her hugging me. The tears come, the earth disappears from my feet, and anxiety robs me of the present. And this is all okay. It is pain, it is loss. And I embrace it all, just like the love I embraced from the beginning. And this is the greatest gift bestowed upon me, as a result of separation with a person I, despite circumstances, continue to feel a connection with. That I see love and pain as one in the same. That there is nothing to fear in these regards. That this is a law within nature, and to live in accordance with it is to live a complete human experience, beyond cultural limitations. Many friends, who I am deeply grateful for continued support, thank I'm a little crazy. They tend to pity me, and want to rob me of the pain. But I do not. I want to experience it. I want to complete the relationship in this fashion. I want to live, not to deny life. There is no denial here, and this painting is created in acknowledgment of these principles. Sure it is a positive homage, focusing on solely the happy memories. The ending of the relationship is evidence of the opposite, and so I choose to express the former as an expression of respect for this relationship with an amazing beautiful human entity. An expression not denying, but embracing the memory that it happened. And as stated in the piece, even with the same outcome, I would do it all over again with her. The following is the introductory excerpt in the piece- " The universe is infinite and we are tiny microcosms existing in it for a short period of time. And within the universe we create our little worlds in which to live, and in these worlds we create, we intersect and find one another, inviting and being invited into the world of others. And sometimes two people remain in these shared worlds, and unify to create a single world together. This makes the human experience special. Meaningful and worthwhile. The experience of LOVE. So let these words be of the deepest gratitude in honor of Love. Expressing my acknowledgment in how I take the memories to heart, and for where they will always remain sacred. And lastly, with the reflection of these memories, where discovery and love would result in loss and pain. If I were given the choice to do it all over again, with you, with the same outcome, I would not hesitate to do so, with you. Love Akira". The rest of the text was automatic free writing where I drew on every happy memory I could think of. This was difficult, emotional to the point of tears as I wrote. But after swimming in these waves, I feel the earth under my feet again, and I face the morning with the sun on my face bringing an involuntary smile to it. I am happy again, present again. I have completed another ritual in the celebration of life, or rather the mourning of it.