A Postcard from Ribka’s Bedroom: Where does love go when it’s over?

A Postcard from Ribka’s Bedroom: Where does love go when it’s over?

“A Postcard from Ribka’s Bedroom” delivers truths — harsh and kind. Can a truth even be harsh, kind, subjective or objective, Ribka Desta asks.

As she pens in her postcards, perhaps it is impossible to view things as they are — maybe you can only view things as you are.

I’ve always defined events and milestones by the people who made them worthwhile. Years 13 to 18 were memorialized, then kidnapped from me by an indescribable, yet irreplaceable, cast of people.

My adolescence was full to the brim. Each moment was soaked by my overflowing friend group. Because we had grown up together, our youths were, or maybe still are, intertwined. We became inseparable chains of tangled friendship bracelets.

When that fell apart, it was like time was nothing but blank space. Plenty of paper and nothing to write about. I say that, but of course I dumpster-dove for dirty details and threw what was now dead onto pages of poetry. It was all I could write and think about.

Growing up with anyone imprints them on you. It was with them that I turned from a sapling into a tree, from a person into a poet, from a girl into a woman.

The first time I wore makeup — my first “big girl” move — it was those friends I asked for advice. How could I not see them in Sephora ads and vanity mirrors?

How do you grow up with someone, let them entangle into your roots and metamorphose as your muse, and then grow away from them? 

It’s an impossible, inconclusive process. I’m mad for a moment and numb in no time. Sometimes, I want to take a match to my camera roll and burn any carry-ons from the cocoon. Sometimes, I think these photos will end up in a museum — and in this exhibit, you can see just how massively the mighty have fallen.

Then again … who the hell keeps wilted flowers? Who leaves a dead body unburied?

Photographed by Ribka the Resuscitator: Grief, Gardens and Graveyards.

When I was a little girl, I did not believe in ghosts. I did not believe that things could end. Here’s the thing: I still don’t.

In science class, I once learned that energy can’t be created or destroyed. If I put all of my energy into a relationship, and the relationship expires, what happens to all the love and effort? 

I’m not sure. I’m no scientist. I just don’t think that love ever disappears. I don’t think that any memory, bitter or still warm, ever becomes useless. 

I’ve learned that it’s best to accept that it’s possible to both love and hate a thing: biology, flashbacks, the truth. For example: the other day, I was reminded of an inside joke I had with a girl who is now completely gone from my life. For a brief moment, the memory stung, but the bit itself was still funny.

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