• Shanley McConnell

How To Learn That Love Is Never The Go-To Let-Go

Updated: Jul 18

when you read: listen to Juliet's Dream by Abel Korzeniowski.


"Love is like dried flowers sometimes. Even though you watch the petals shrink and change colour, you cannot help treasuring them."

~ Munia Khan, author of 'Beyond The Vernal Mind,' 'To Evince The Blue,' and 'Versified.'


Today is the first day of Lent, and I am already at a loss.


I am thinking about all the things I have lost, and I am thinking about all the things I am ready to lose, and I am thinking about love.


I remember love the way it was. It was the way of our life: to love and be loved.


Love was the way our lives | interconnected.


I remember when I felt the loss of it. I grieved and drenched this loss of love as if it was dried-up-stiff.


A long time since has passed, and I am forced to face love again. and again. and again. and I wonder how the yesterdays & maybes & tomorrows & apologies start to suffocate something so strong so resilient as love.


I watered my soul yesterday, weeping. It knows love, and I know it knows what love is not.


And love was not the way it wrapped around my heart life lungs. Love was not too tight. Love was not skeptical.


I cried into my arms and knees and wondered how I could ever think something so beautiful so precious so priceless could be defined by happenstance and desire.


I was asked to accept love. To them, it didn't matter who from. To me, it mattered more than life itself.


They said: love is seasonal---circumstantial. It is easy to give-up.


I said: I do not know this love. My love,
is never easy to give-up.
It is the holy within.




It was Autumn when I first stepped inside the little Herbarium; it was so dark, so cold, so windowless; I wondered if dried flowers felt the absence of breeze.


Earlier in the month I had been asked, alongside a few of my favourite poet professors on campus, to compose a couple poems in response to an Herbarium Exhibition at the University of Dundee. At the time I honestly didn't know what an Herbarium was; it wasn't at all what I expected.


I dreamt that the flowers waved & whispered; to the wind---to me. They didn't. They were pressed & they were pressed-flat, stuck to soiled paper. I traced the page and saw the petals in full colour; in colours that the petals would never---had never---worn.


We spoke of how beautiful they were | preserved. We spoke of them as if they were alive. As if they were dead.


At what point is a picked flower considered dead? How does something live without breathing in, breathing out?


I thought of love, and I wrote.


not every dead thing is meant to be buried.


I have loved much, I have watched love die, and I have lifted it up from out of the grave and wrapped it in the warmth of my heart. I remembered of all those who have died, and I have loved them all over again.


I thought of love, and I wrote.


just because it was dried flattened | forgotten |

did not mean it was to remain so.


unwanted things are often of the most value.


I thought of all the times my l felt unwanted, unknown, forgotten.


I felt love rise within me again, and watched its words rest in your ears, and there, come alive in your ears.






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