I was proposed to for the first time when I was eight, my engagement ring out of the candy dispenser. His mother had graciously lent him a velvet box to dress up the presentation. Hair combed he arrive at my front door. And as fate would have it, I wasn’t home.
In the Tall tale
Of an 8yr old’s Proposal
in the barn amidst
Hay fort fears
Born sparks alit
I know this tale intimately in its retelling, an urban legend of my youth, one the love stories that shaped my desires. I admit I wondered what it would be to marry my childhood friend-to have 40 plus years with one man, my model of marriage. Having two divorces under my belt, I clearly have not lived up to its expectations. (According to my bosses the first one is a mulligan. The second- a penalty)
Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. Always has been. Except in 8th grade when I was dumped following the Valentine’s Dance. Yet V-day (Is it a disease or an epic battle?) still remains at the top of my celebratory list. Even if cupid is my enemy. Damn nymph and his arrows. Sometimes a girl just wants to be left alone.
L-O-V-E -Such a little word for so lofty a subject. For me it finds expression in poetry- words and writing, art and expression. As a kid one of my favorite cartoon strips was Kim Caselli’s Love is…It taught me that love showed everyday in the ordinary, the simple moments.
I’ve made no apologies for my unabashed romantic nature. Okay I have but I’ve tried desperately to contain it. (ssh! I’m telling this tale) Still my heart walks into chasms, engulfed again and again by the same fire. You know what they say the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.
But I have known its tenderness
The curve of our story
Along the soft pads of my toes
In colors composed
Let me be your canvas
Lay upon me your embrace
I’ve seen its grace in life’s toughest moments
A Love note scrawled
her grocery list backing
Words touched Bare
and the art of goodbye
I’ve known loss and felt the sting of divorce’s onset.
The part ways,
The little bits,
The weight of all that’s left unsaid
It tethers you to us
To a life grown small
I’ve waxed romantic in its epic fantasies.
A heart beating out my name in whispers
between walls palms pressed
Upon butterfly’s breathe
Floating atop the flowering treetops
Soul emboldened in your embrace
I will love you ever steadfast
we will become immortal
Oh, to be your bright Star
I’ve even written love letters never delivered, just whispered coding in a digital age.
Here I go again like the first time falling for you word by word, line by line and in between. I refrain from casting my feelings upon each page as tomorrows turn into today. I don’t want my admonitions to tip the scales of your destiny so I hold them tight-lips sealed. And audaciously dare to hope that my confession could even hold sway over your heart’s compass.
Yet I find myself wanting to encode secret messages into every line I write, craving you to know, and willing you to want the same. But I refuse to influence the choices you make or the direction you choose to go. I am torn between dreaming the universe delivers your every desire flung to the far edges of the world. And secretly hoping the winds of fate and change and time all conspire to blow you backwards. I reach out from my lifeboat so long adrift through this digital universe clinging to hope like the last vestiges of shoreline. Oh that I might again feel your breath upon my lips.
And I’ve found it in myself, Met my muse
The power of vulnerability lives in how we share our stories, our capacity to give another a peek inside. Thus began a long path of self-discovery, imaginings and story building. I began to draw the lines that connected the dots and gave me a glimpse inside people. Wrecking ball relationships turned demolition zones of a soul. Navigating the landmines of psyches for the beautiful nuggets buried inside flawed humanity.Character mining I call it.
Rooting out the solace found inside, seeking reflection like breathing. Moments of true presence where the image of myself collides in perfect harmony with another’s vision of me. The truths of expression that bring forth intimate heart connections.
Show me your heart’s longing
The interior monologue,
Utter me your truths profound
Bleed your words onto a page
Cry colors on canvas
Scream choruses of the crimes you ache
I may be your worst enemy
Strip you down
Bore to your core
To the simplest barest whispered words
I will push you
one master piece at a time
And I have seen love in its quiet divinity, at its most raw. I learned along the way that love is not a game. Relationships at their very best are fragile and deserve respect. Nurture them all.
Valentine, to you I offer my Hallow Heart and Susurrus Soul. Dive in if you dare.