Friday, July 20, 2012

Marriage Letters: If ever two were one, then surely we

Dear Aaron,

I tried to mow the lawn with that push mower and I think I broke it. Is it really possible that two loose screws can stop that hunk of plastic to move? Those weeds near the back patio just keep rising; they twist and shoot out of this dry Texas earth like jutted limbs - alive and ready to devour - reminding me of their purpose to kill anything that is growing.

I promise myself that I will let walks become therapeutic... so it must mean something that I'm becoming a part-time dog walker. You would laugh if you saw me - skinny arms extended, white knuckles grasping after a leash and a hefty dog pulling me along like it's his job. Even still, when those pink tongues flail like fish out of water and the leash loosens because we are both tired of fighting, I look up at the cave of trees above me - folded hands granting me shade and clarity. We picked the prettiest street on the block.

I am learning to trust more: Our sovereign God, the spider in the bathroom that I can't muster up the confidence to kill, Zoey with our mail when I go to the grocery store. She still runs to the window - tail wagging - whenever she hears a motorcycle drive by... not when it's whizzing down our street, but when the engine makes a slow, low roar and comes to a stop. She keeps me going when it's time for bed and I'm satisfied to fall asleep on the couch because our bed is too big without you.

I am missing you something fierce and I promise I am fighting to be the kind of wife I want to be to the kind of husband that is away and working hard for our family. It is harder in quiet moments, when I feel empty here. I had to throw away bananas again, and I won't buy them again until you come back.

But sweet love, there is always a silver lining. I was listening to this song in the middle of the day when I noticed that our window has the best view and the deafening sound of rain can drown out everything else. I was overcome with a sense of comfort, safety. How He draws me in! His irresistible love pierces me, and I pine after you, because "if ever two were one, then surely we."

The easiest way to kill weeds is to keep them from gaining a foothold. If I can't stop them in my yard, I intend to rid them in my heart. 

loving and missing you, 


The Weed
I dreamed that dead, and meditating,
I lay upon a grave, or bed,
(at least, some cold and close-built bower).
In the cold heart, its final thought
stood frozen, drawn immense and clear,
stiff and idle as I was there;
and we remained unchanged together
for a year, a minute, an hour.
Suddenly there was a motion,
as startling, there, to every sense
as an explosion. Then it dropped
to insistent, cautious creeping
in the region of the heart,
prodding me from desperate sleep.
I raised my head. A slight young weed
had pushed up through the heart and its
green head was nodding on the breast.
(All this was in the dark.)
It grew an inch like a blade of grass;
next, one leaf shot out of its side
a twisting, waving flag, and then
two leaves moved like a semaphore.
The stem grew thick. The nervous roots
reached to each side; the graceful head
changed its position mysteriously,
since there was neither sun nor moon
to catch its young attention.
The rooted heart began to change
(not beat) and then it split apart
and from it broke a flood of water.
Two rivers glanced off from the sides,
one to the right, one to the left,
two rushing, half-clear streams,
(the ribs made of them two cascades)
which assuredly, smooth as glass,
went off through the fine black grains of earth.
The weed was almost swept away;
it struggled with its leaves,
lifting them fringed with heavy drops.
A few drops fell upon my face
and in my eyes, so I could see
(or, in that black place, thought I saw)
that each drop contained a light,
a small, illuminated scene;
the weed-deflected stream was made
itself of racing images.
(As if a river should carry all
the scenes that it had once reflected
shut in its waters, and not floating
on momentary surfaces.)
The weed stood in the severed heart.
"What are you doing there?" I asked.
It lifted its head all dripping wet
(with my own thoughts?)
and answered then: "I grow," it said,
"but to divide your heart again." 
Elizabeth Bishop

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