Mawwwage

In the immortal words from the Princess Bride, “Mawwage is what bwings us togevvah today”.

 

This weekend we celebrated our fifth anniversary and all week I have been reflecting on the shaping influence my marriage has been on me as an individual and on my life generally. I’ve been specifically impressed with how astoundingly powerful the marriage relationship can be. How is it possible that two individuals, united in marriage, can become so much more than they were separately? It seems obvious that the result of many such unions is much more than the sum of the parts. I know with a visceral certainty that in the short years my husband and I have had together so far, I have grown, deepened and developed in ways that I would not have been capable of on my own.

 

Anyone who is or has been married knows that marriage is a lot of hard work. It’s not all roses and romance. And happy families don’t just “happen.” However, the very differences that often seem to make marriage challenging, allow us to stretch ourselves and to let go of control. Living life so intimately intertwined with another person who is so vastly different from oneself, allows one the opportunity to step up and be the better person. We all have that person inside of us, but we too often allow them to lie dormant. Sacrifice, compromise, loyalty and forgiveness–these all require that person to come forth, to leave the indulgent shadows of comfort and selfishness and to show true commitment, true compassion, true companionship. Hard times and challenges have the ability to bind husband and wife together as we cling to one another and work through difficulties together, striving to be patient and to withhold judgement.

 

Building a strong marriage and family is the most rigorous and important endeavor I will ever engage in. I think we all know that is true, both for us as individuals and for society at large. Despite the challenges and bumps in the process, we all know that the joys found in family life far surpass any other.

 

These lyrics have been rolling around and around in my head this week. They are the words to a song I wrote for my husband and played for him on our wedding day, marking the start of our life’s journey together. I never expected to share this publicly, as it feels like such a chunk of my heart. But I feel a need to share it here. It’s not the same without music and perhaps the rhyming feels out of place outside of a folk song, but I hope the words resonate with you and what you feel is most important in life.

has destiny been too good to me?
or are you too good to be true?
I know you’re real from the truth I feel
and my heart, it aches to be close to you.

and when you treat me gently
and when you love me soft
I remember the words about eternity
and mighty kings and queens
and when I stand next to you
I know I’m safe right here
I want to do my part,
do my part.

you dance me ‘til
I’m just bones and chills
in the kitchen still, though it’s time to sleep
do you know the thrill that your words instill?
you’ll keep your promises, I know you will

and when you stand so firm and tall
and when you lead my certain heart,
I remember the words about eternity
and mighty kings and queens
and when I stand next to you
I know I’m safe right here
I want to do my part
do my part.

as the moon pulls the tide
as a moth seeks the light
you draw me close to you,
I feel whole by your side.
your soul’s so bright
it in me ignites a burning flame
as our two lives collide.

and when you treat me gently
and when you love me soft,
I remember the words about eternity
and mighty kings and queens
and when I stand next to you
I know I’m safe right here, I want to do my part
do my part.

I love you, yes I do
I love you, yes I do
I love you, yes I do
and each day eternity is new.

heart-shaped cereal

heart-shaped cereal

 

Last night I cradled your fevered body
and nursed you through that fitful darkness
hoping you might rest.

In the morning we rose
and shook off our fuzzy slumber
as we bathed your drenched and tired body.

And then we sat together on that dark leather couch
and you fed me heart-shaped cereal
pinched between your chubby forefinger and thumb.

As each heart was placed in my open mouth
a look of joy and satisfaction stole across your face.

And the moment became a sacrament.

Jackson Pollock in my kitchen

At certain times of day
the tile floor in my kitchen becomes a collage
a veritable masterpiece of texture and color.
Splattered applesauce, smashed blueberries and drips of marinara
somehow come together in a random, yet cohesive, arrangement.

At such times of day I am inclined to feel impatient
or to resign myself to apathy.
What is the point of cleaning up, anyways
when I know I will discover a new composition within hours
done in the next meal’s medium.

Perhaps I ought to take a step back
to appreciate this creation
flowing naturally, as it does, from Childhood–
which is in itself the ultimate
in abstract expressionism.

I pause now to examine the artist
who sits, majestically enthroned
on his booster seat
the little king of his little world
his whole life stretched out in front of him.

As I lift my gaze from the mess to the meaning
I am filled with awe and admiration.
Yes, he is the true masterpiece in the making.
I am watching him become,
enjoying the discovery of him
layer by layer
and day by day.

Flutter and Rise

Thoughts flutter
and rise from my soul
like paper cranes
lifted by an updraft from some hidden vent.

Cranes like the ones my grandfather
used to make for me
during church when I was small
to help me be reverent and still.

Yes, these thoughts are like those cranes:
reverent and joyful,
fluttering and rising
toward something beautiful.

Perhaps God gives me such thoughts
to help me pause
in reverence and awe
and be still.