Monday, September 04, 2006

One

"Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

Two being one. That really is the ideal when it comes to marriage. Like most truly holy things, it's something that can only be captured and consciously experienced in glimpses. I cherish those moments. I can see a few in my mind now: An autumn afternoon on a sidewalk, moving a couch to my not yet husband's apartment in Midtown Memphis, him on end, me on the other, wondering just how we're going to get this thing up three flights of stairs and then both of us laughing for some reason I've forgotten. Simple, mundane, but completely aware that we were one and gifted with this unity. A hotel room where our reservations were mixed up and we were cramped in a double bed with C. as a pre-verbal toddler between us -- she sat up put one hand on my face, one hand on his and smiled one of those beatific smiles that disappear too soon in life. We knew, completely and without reservation, that we were inseparably intertwined. A Christmas at my parents when some moment with the family by the Christmas tree provoked the awareness that we were so apart from everyone else and completely together with each other, I can see the knowing smile on his face now and feel its echo on my own. And of course, we've had those moments of intimacy when all barriers, mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional, have been joyously destroyed by passion. Those moments are all mindblowing. They change the way you perceive the entire world.

I miss that. I've been missing that for a long, long time, and I want it back. It's not something any of us gets on a regular basis, even in the best of marriages. Having had it though creates a permanent desire for it and makes the distance that has grown between us more painful. I am a master of introspection, of regarding, cataloguing and analyzing my life to understand and improve it, and I still don't understand how this distance between us grew so wide to where it became more painful to be together than to be apart.

I just know that I have to be whole, intact and strong again even if it is at the cost of a husband and marriage that I have cherished. My husband didn't complete me as if I were some broken or half-formed thing before we met. Together we just became something more than we were apart, but that has changed to where we have each become something less. That is what we have to change, together or apart, and the question is whether to ravel or to braid.

The artwork is Bond of Union, 1956, a lithograph by M.C. Escher.


3 Comments:

Blogger Lisa :-] said...

We went through an extremely arid period in our marriage about five years ago. Actually, it lasted a couple of years. Didn't leave because there was nowhere to go. I'm glad I didn't, now... I sincerely hope that you and the dh can find your equilibrium again. (((Cyn)))

September 05, 2006 11:24 PM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Cynthia, I returned to your blog after so long to find this powerfully moving piece. My heart is with you, my dear. My marriage did not survive. After 18 years, I moved on, some 11 years ago. But you have so many more memories of togetherness and beauty than I ever had. May you find the strength, courage, and resourcefulness to find again those moments of unity, and the glue that bound you both. I am thinking of you and wishing you well.

Love, Vicky

September 06, 2006 12:07 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Well, he previous rant obviously cleared out the writing cobwebs. A sublime treatment of a difficult topic.

September 07, 2006 3:36 PM  

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