Monday, June 05, 2006


Our flowers are all blooming around here--making me love summer all over again for its ability to generate life, light, and heat. Things all ripening, coming to fruition...the outdoors driving me to distraction, luring me away from this desk with a lyrical siren's song. Summer is striking...I am powerless to pull away from that. So, if I am not working as much as I should be, forgive me--I'm in love with the honeysuckle vines threading through our wood fence...the tree leaves resounding like ocean waves with the faintest hint of a breeze...and the rhododendrons sultry purple petals who speak volumes just by opening up--so much more than I can ever dream of.

This past weekend, M. and I attended the wedding of good friends of ours. The bride was gorgeous, as they are often known to be--her satin dress like the icing on the wedding cake itself. Their eyes on one another were luminous--this always sets me off into pure sappiness. But, M. has adjusted to this over the years, running his finger along the inside of my palm when I grip his hand--rapt over the vows, the bride crying as she dances with her dad, and the way the groom lights up when someone calls her his wife. This is my concession to silly "girlishness"--otherwise, I'll likely be arguing about politics, gender, and philosophy. Just let me dab my eyes when the bride and groom share their first dance...I'll be right back to calling you a patriarchal, male-chauvinist pig in just one second.

We saw old friends we hadn't seen in quite a while--met some new ones. After a steady rain, the weather broke open to reveal a velvet night sky, half-moon outshining the flickering stars. I drank white wine and listened to the stories of everyone's life. This is what relationships are, really...the best ones--hearing out the memories, dreams, and fears of the people around us. Then, if we're especially lucky--getting a chance to share our own. Babies are coming, marriages are beginning, adventures are underway...we're all trying to live on our own terms, making things up as we go along, revising whole chapters of our narratives.

I stood there in the cool grass and just drank it all in. I wasn't thinking about my students, my book, my articles, my editing work still to be done...I wasn't thinking about paying the mortgage, taking the kids to the dentist, or faculty meetings. I was breathing everyone in...breathing in the budding summer night...M. reached for my hand at random, unexpected moments--and, I have to say, more than once or twice his eyes lit up when I walked towards heart skipped a beat when he said, "This is my wife..." A decade in, should this really still be happening? Then I think of Neruda and his love sonnets for his wife, Matilde--Sonnet XVII speaking to me about my own life...what has drawn through me these past ten years, and what always, inexplicably, blossoms from my heart at each and every wedding...

by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way.

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.


Blogger Laini Taylor said...

What a beautiful post -- a beautiful marriage, and an amazing poem! It's lovely to read about happy marriages and eyes lighting up, and people who don't take each other for granted. Not that it's all bad, taking one's spouse for granted -- to just know someone is there, day in and day out, without drama or chaos, that's the good kind of taking for granted. Congratulations!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Kim G. said...

So beautiful. Yes - this is how it should be, one decade, two decades, three, four and five plus into the journey of marriage. We can all hope and pray that it will be so for us and the new couple. Thanks for sharing this!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

Every time I come here to your blog, I am so impressed with your writing and insight! This was just as touching as always. What a poem!

I still get that flutter when my husband introduces me to the people he works with, or his old friends... It is nice. So nice.


4:15 PM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

This is beautiful and touching - an ode to love and joy. Thank you for sharing your tale of your beautiful time. That's the thing about real love- it's constantly reasserting itself, reminding us of its power and magic. Great Neruda poem, as well.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Colorsonmymind said...

So glad you had a chance to escape thoise daunting thoughts/to do lists and got to "be" and experience romance and love.

The poem is terrific too. I am really enjoying his poetry lately.
Thanks for sharing.

9:31 PM  
Blogger deirdre said...

I love this poem. And I love hearing that a long marriage still has sparkle and magic to mix in with the day-to-day stuff. Your husband sounds like a truly good man. And that he knows he's lucky to have you too.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post took my breath away. Each and every time I come to your site I am blown away, transported or my heart races. I just loved reading this. What a magical, life full of love you lead. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

This was my favorite line in the sonnet:

"love you without knowing how, or when, or from where"

Now that is pure love.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...


5:30 PM  
Blogger liz elayne said...

oh i took a deep breath as i finished reading this. literally took a breath.
what a wonderful moment to realize how much you love someone. to be reminded of what it is all about.

2:07 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

I am still floating on the breath of love that drifts out of this post.
You have defined the wonder of a good and happy marriage - I know my eyes still light up - we are working on our 45th year of marriage.
I must agree with amber - I am so impressd with your writing and your insight!
thank you

8:23 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Lovely entry today and that poem is so incredibly beautiful. Very touching.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Waya said...

Wow, that was a really great post! With 9 years coming up, our feelings for each other haven't changed since the day we met 15 years ago at college.

A few weeks ago, I was driving the kids home and my husband was driving in his car in the back, without knowing that he was there until I looked back in the rear view mirror and saw him. My heart skipped a beat just when I saw him and when I told him this, his reply was "I had the same feeling!" WOW!!

9:35 PM  

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