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Posts Tagged ‘love’

Maybe today.

Since you left

I’ve had a chill.

It is somewhere

on the edge of my heart…

or my head.

I feel like a lizard lying on a rock

soaking in the sun

to keep her alive.

I bask in the memories

waiting for them to warm my heart.

Maybe today.

But, so far, I feel the same.

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And there is a story that a good friend told me that I think of quite frequently.  It goes like this:  There was a poor man in Mexico who attended mass daily.  Before mass several people would approach the altar to “pray.”  This man would do the same.  When he approached the altar he would simply say, “Soy yo, Dios.  Juan Manuel.”  It is I, God, Juan Manuel.  For a long time he did this and for a long time the other people would stare at him for this seemingly strange behavior.  Finally one woman asked him, “Why do you approach the altar where we are supposed to be praying and call out to God and just say your name?”  And he responded, “Because only God knows what I need.  I simply need to tell Him who I am and He will give me what I need.”

When I think of this story, I think of you…………………………………………..

 

Waiting.

“I had a dream about my father last night.”  I pause and wait for some response.  There is none.  Only silence.

“We were watching or hearing something painful.  It had to do with a child.  I don’t think it was my child.  I think it was someone else’s child.  The child had been sick or injured or sad, but was now better.  I was sitting to my father’s left on a bench.  When I glanced up at him, his eyes were moist with tears.  He made that guttural sound that he makes when he is about to cry.  That sound makes me feel awful.”

“Why does it make you feel awful?”

“I’m not sure.  I think it’s because it is too overwhelmingly painful for me to see him like that…in pain.  Anyway.  I wanted so much to tell him something.”

“What?  What did you want to tell him?”

“Well, that’s just it.  I can’t remember what I wanted to tell him – but it was urgent.  It was urgent, but I knew that he wouldn’t be able to hear me.  When I thought this – in my dream – he reached for me.  Like in a sideways embrace.  He held me.  And I do remember what he said.”

“And what was that?  What did he say?”

“He said, ‘You see?  They have gone through it.  They have gone through pain and they are on the other side.  Do you see?  Do you see how that feels?  How joyous?'”

“What did you say?”

“I can’t remember.  But, I pulled back from him so that I could see his face.  It was wet.  Or my face was wet.  He was crying.  Or I was crying.  I pulled him back to me.  Close.  Then I woke up.”

“Then what?”

“Then I just had this amazing feeling.  It was like I was still in that embrace with my dad.  I could even feel the warmth of his face next to my face.  It was weird.  It was so vivid.  And the feeling I had…it was like a feeling of – my dad is so smart.  It doesn’t matter that he can’t hear me.  He doesn’t need to hear me.  He already knows.  He already knows what he needs to know.  There is nothing that I could tell him that would make it any different.”

I finish saying this and I wait for him to say something.  I wait for him to tell me what all of this means.  He is quiet.  Then after I have listened quietly – so quiet that I can hear my own heart beating – and he has said nothing – he says simply and with a definite air of finality, “Your time is up.  I think you’ve made progress.”

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Snow.

And sometimes love can be like a light dusting of snow in South Texas.  It is beautiful, exciting, and real while it lasts.  But, when it is dissolved by the heat it is often hard to remember what it looked and felt like.

 

I did not marry you because I thought you would be a great dad.  I think I married you out of lust.  I am still unsure.  I did not think you would be a particularly great father or any father at all.  

I bolted up in my bed and my mouth felt like cotton or paste.  I looked at the clock and it said “3:45.”  He was saying, or shouting, “Momma, it snowed.  It really snowed.  It did!  Do you want to see it?  Do you?  It snowed.  I didn’t actually see it coming down, but I set my alarm and I missed it coming down, but it’s there now and I can see it.  Do you want to see it?”

I think that I said, “Sure, baby.”

I followed him through the unlit hallway into his room.  Together we looked through his drapes and we saw a light blanket of snow on the yard.  It looked so soft and clean and white.  He was so excited it was hard for me to not be excited along with him. 

I left him in his room and told him to try to go back to sleep and we would play later.  I made my way back to my room.  You were there in the bed.  Awake. 

“Did he say it snowed?”

“Yes.”

You have vehemently told the kids that it will not snow.  This is a characteristic you have.  You do not allow those near you to anticipate anything or get excited.  You do not want them to be disappointed.  You do not want to be disappointed?

I am silent.  Waiting for you to make a move or further comment about the snow.  Oddly you say, “When he was born people all said he looked like you and I thought he looked just like you, too.  Now everyone says he looks like me.  Do you see it?”

“Mm hmm,” I say.  And yet it seems inadequate.  It seems like your heart might be bursting right now with feeling.  Some vague, tentative feeling

You got up without saying anything and I called after you, “Are you getting up?”

“No.  I’m just going to see the snow.”

When you came back you were restless.  Then you said, “I think I need to wake the girls up.  What if the snow is all melted by the time they wake up?”  There is an urgency in your voice that is almost like love.  Love?  I can recognize that urgency, yet I cannot place where I have heard it before.

“Ugh.  No.  They will be awful this afternoon if you wake them now.”

Pause.

“All right.  Do it.”

A few seconds pass and I hear shrieks of disbelief and wild cheering.

You traipse downstairs with three of the four kids.  I roll over and know that this dusting of snow will melt in a few hours without leaving any trace that it was ever here.  The memory of the snow, however will last a while.  I hope that they don’t forget it.  I hope that the memory will last until the next time that they see snow.  And vaguely before I drift off to sleep I am sure that the urgency was love.

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