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Distant Thunder // Trembling Future

To love and be loved

By Zack GrahamPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 6 min read
Distant Thunder // Trembling Future
Photo by Artturi Jalli on Unsplash

I’ve never approached another human being with the intent to fall in love. It’s never been part of my plan or approach to personal situations. Falling in love is much like a streak of lightning: an unpredictable flash that demands every sliver of my attention. It overwhelms my eyes and annexes my vision. If I’m close enough, I feel the electricity tracing through my veins, making static in my muscles. I search for the column of light across a swirling black canvas, but the bolt fades to night before I can behold any part of it. After the initial spark, a great ruckus follows, like boulders falling just above my head. Like the thunder and lightning, love steals my breath before I can recognize it.

For as abrupt as love can be, it remains veiled in uncertainty. It’s called “falling in love” because not many expect to take such a tumble. I fall into love rather than jump because of so many attachments: fear of mistake, doubt for the future, dwelling in the past. Love is something that takes places in the present moment. That could be why I have such a hard time letting it go when someone I care for tells me they’re leaving: it’s like they’re still right next to me long after they’re gone.

The real quandary is that present moments are eternal. Whereas something may come and go in the blink of an eye, the moments keep occurring, regardless of any outcome. There will always be an oncoming change, logical overhauls, and emotional trapdoors. This is why adaptability is so valuable in a relationship; love must be adaptable to any moment in order for it to truly flourish. The secret is that two people who are in love will be constantly crafting situations they want to be part of. They actively mold their present experiences to ensure strong, stable bonds in the future.

Adaptation is proven to be one of the most important aspects to survivability. Is it coincidence that language, the skeleton key to existence, and communication, the bulwark of any relationship, are what enable adaptation and longevity? Through the honest use of words, both a species and an emotion begin a dialogue with eternity, as they are enabled to adapt to potentially anything.

Love is balanced on the pinnacle between faith and truth: what I have is true and I’ll trust that it will continue to be true as far into the future as I care to look. Love is rooted in soils of tenacity, watered consistently with spontaneous passion. It soaks up rays of sex, honesty, creativity, and satisfaction. To gamble with a pair of hearts, the vessels of such euphoria, is like swatting at a scorpion: to sting an open heart is to break it. When I compromise my heart, others call it love and devotion. When I compromise the heart of another, it’s reckless, and the victim is ensured it just “wasn’t meant to be”.

I’ve been told to love and let go, but that’s just an external reaction. I may stop driving by, stop calling, try to focus on any petty distraction… but internally, I attach the one I’ve lost to every fleeting thought and emotion that may travel through my head. I start to feel them in everything, from lyrics to television ads to the endless chirping of birds at sunrise. I wake up in the morning and remember that you’re the one that’s gone and not me. It feels like I’ve disappeared from the world and not the other way around. I come back from my dreams as a fragment of myself, stuttering to mimic what I thought I was before. Sometimes I find solace in the fact that somewhere in my past, you and I are asleep together, warm and entangled in the quiet, and everything is fine.

Now my ears only ring.

Love is the best form of trauma I’ve ever experienced. A broken heart can lead to a broken head, but it can also bring on salvation. Nothing puts things into a prioritized perspective for me quite like my love telling me it’s time for her to go. I’m left to reflect and analyze on everything I may have done wrong, things I could have done better. Such mental exercises have the potential to lead to major personal improvements in regard to almost anything.

That isn’t to imply the scars of heartache are purely beneficial. Having my ego obliterated, my spirit eviscerated, and any idea of a future stripped away – it feels like the fault rests with me, something I could have prevented from casting such a cold shadow. What eats away at me is that I’ll never know how much truth there might be behind thoughts like that. There’s nothing left to do when my heart fails to satisfy another. My brain can make sense of that. My heart continues to smash itself against hope and sensations of her like a splintering ship against a glacier. There isn’t any break or bend in the ice that is her decision, her preference for other company.

The irony in love is that for as necessary as communication is, miscommunication is equally detrimental. Language is a double-edged sword in the sense that there is just as much of a chance that what I express will be misunderstood as it will be understood. This illuminates the value of honesty and meaning behind what I attempt to share. There aren’t many things I carry in the world but my word will always be one of them. Love won’t find me if I’m not being honest with myself, and love won’t stay with me if I’m not honest with others. Like anything I come across, love is dependent on a number of components that I’m not even sure I have. The only way I can be sure to have something to offer another person is by soaking up as much knowledge and experience as I can, and to be consistently positive and grateful for the lessons I’m able to learn through my exposure.

[August 4th 2017]


Thank you all for taking the time to visit. This is an essay I wrote after a breakup I didn't think I'd survive; hurdles we all clothesline ourselves on. Since writing this I've gotten sober, fallen in love, and had a baby - I'm sharing this as a form of therapy, and to remind everyone that things get better.

Most of my writing consists of bizarre fiction, but I write motivational and technical essays every once in awhile: if you'd like to support me, PLEASE subscribe! That's all it takes and will very likely kickstart my career, and eventually change my life.

Thank you!


About the Creator

Zack Graham

Zack is a writer from Arizona. He's fascinated with fiction and philosophy.

Current Serializations:

Ghosts of Gravsmith

Sushi - Off the Grid!

Contact: [email protected]


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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (14)

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  • Benedetta Mancusi 2 months ago

    "Love is the best form of trauma I’ve ever experienced" - ouch! Beautifully written.

  • mukesh m2 months ago


  • Brannan K.2 months ago

    That was excellent my man. I loved this line "watered consistently with spontaneous passion.". I love that you focused so much on the integral foundation of any relationship. Honest communication. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

  • Victoria R Rise.2 months ago

    Really good 👍

  • Mohamed Jakkath2 months ago

    This article by Zack Graham, titled "Distant Thunder // Trembling Future," explores the unpredictable and overwhelming nature of falling in love. The author suggests that love is rooted in the present moment and that adaptability is crucial for the survival of any relationship. He also reflects on the personal growth that can arise from heartache, despite the pain it brings. The author concludes by emphasizing the importance of honest communication in relationships, noting that miscommunication can be equally detrimental to love. Overall, the article is a thoughtful exploration of the complexity and beauty of love.

  • ZaraSmith2 months ago

    Thanks for sharing the information...

  • I'm just going to say, "Ditto" to what Randy said. LOL. Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Beautifully, agonizingly, & hope-fully spoken. Your words are both sage & poetic. It's a marvel how such thoughts coalesce within our minds & hearts when we are at our lowest. Those who fail to adapt, perish. You have adapted well, my friend, & I wish you well as you continue through life. I can't imagine you receiving anything but encouragement from what you have written. You have pierced my soul with it, named the broken shards of my heart, & shown a path--though it may be difficult & painful--forward. Congrats on top story & thank you for your willingness to lay your heart bare.

  • Muhammad Ali2 months ago

    Love is like lightning, unpredictable and demanding attention. It requires adaptability, honesty, and communication to truly flourish. congratulations for top story..

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Lamar Wiggins2 months ago

    I did find this very therapeutic. It's not always easy to find the words to describe feelings of despair which are needed so the process of healing can begin. Great read!

  • Donna Renee2 months ago

    This was really good, Zack… lots of things to chew on in here.

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