knee deep in weeds

notes on living a life

dessert time || week 26

“No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I've been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I've learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won't stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.” 
― Madeleine L'Engle

the week is full of 40 plus years of memories, new beginnings and love.
i remember some moments, like they were yesterday,
and others i have forgotten, or buried.
bits and pieces float on the top while others sink into the muck
deep below the surface. . .  and that is okay i tell myself. 
it is time to let them go, let them slip into that muck and settle in, 
because right now is so grand. 

“Every healthy marriage is composed of walls and windows. The windows are the aspects of your relationship that are open to the world—that is, the necessary gaps through which you interact with family and friends; the walls are the barriers of trust behind which you guard the most intimatesecrets of your marriage.” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

there are forgotten days of course, but also full months and even some years
that seemed to have zoomed by with such speed, i barely remember them. 
what year was that? i ask, both of us guessing, both of us wondering
how on earth we could forget. but the exact date does not matter,
what does matter is all the hard work and commitment we both shared, 
and the love. 

“Marriage is those two thousand indistinguishable conversations, chatted over two thousand indistuinguishable breakfasts, where intimacy turns like a slow wheel. How do you measure the worth of becoming that familiar to somebody—so utterly well known and so thoroughly ever-present that you become an almost invisible necessity, like air?” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

we gather some of the kids and the dogs around us to celebrate,
but mostly just to be together. we talk, we eat, we drink a bit. . . 
there is some adjusting, everyone finding their place, their role, 
and this takes a few hours or so, but we settle in, just like we always do.
soon there are long walks on the beach, grilled pizza, vegan s'mores around the fire at night, game playing on the deck, laughter, reading and a bit of napping. we even do some site seeing. 

the beach is just footsteps away and the tide is low so we
walk and walk, letting the dogs run while we
look for treasures, and sink our toes into the sand.

"Love does not consist in gazing at each other (one perfect sunrise gazing at another!) but in looking outward together in the same direction." 
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

i take note of deep love growing all around me; plans being made, lives merging.
and i admit, it feels good to have other woman In the house. 
i hear mumblings of late night conversations and laughter
in the early mornings, i see kindness and respect.
my heart fills and i see that now is really all that matters. 
the past is over, and i really need to stop living in it. 

“The act of quiet nighttime talking, illustrates for me more than anything else the curious alchemy of companionship.” 
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage

40 years is a long time i think, 47 if you count the dating game.
we were just kids. . .  
i remember a line from one of my favorite movies, The Four Seasons,
where Alan Alda says something like this about marriage. . . 
some days we are riding the waves out, crashing into each other,
other days we are riding them smoothly into shore, where we meet. 
boy, that is the truth. 

“[Home Economics Textbook from 1950]: "Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so you'll look refreshed when hubby comes home from work. Touch up makeup and put a ribbon in your hair. He's just been with work-weary people. Be a little gay. His boring day needs a lift."

Mama Celia: "Get knee-walking drunk. You've earned it. You've been with four kids under the age of seven all day. Put a ribbon in your nose and try to pull it out of your mouth. You're wasted, after all. Announce you're gay. The look on his face will give you a lift.” 
― Celia Rivenbark, Bless Your Heart, Tramp: And Other Southern Endearments

after four amazing days, we pack up and head for the ferry.
i feel my old self emerging as the car makes its way
across the ramp, leading us to shore.
old feelings make their way out of that muck, and stick around
for a few days. . . 
and then something comes over me and i boot that old me out. 
it might take some work to keep her at bay, i think,
but i am pretty head strong and determined. 
my eyes open to what i have, the beautiful world around me,
and so much love i don't want to miss out on.

i want to be fully present for it all. 

"They had fun together these days, they really did. It was as if marriage had been a long, complicated meal, and now there was this lovely dessert." 
— Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge)
"The most significant gifts are the ones most easily overlooked. Small, everyday blessings: woods, health, music, laughter, memories, books, family, friends, second chances, warm fireplaces, and all the footprints scattered throughout our days." 
— Sue Monk Kidd
"One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach—waiting for a gift from the sea." 
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

how was your week?