Transcend the Syllables

©Mandible|Photography 2013
©Mandible|Photography 2013

Sometimes I look at you and I think we’ve lost everything. Our hearts sing for honesty, but we are left to crumble here in the grip of deceit. I love you, but we need to bring honest love back for both of us, where it no longer writhes in the recesses of recent memory.

I can’t blame you entirely, though. The stresses of life, which come unannounced, break across our backs and turn us into monsters. Our children grow up way too fast watching us fight. We keep our voices low and our hands to ourselves but they read our body language better than we do now, and our flashing eyes give us away. There’s nothing I like less, but they can read the tension in our limbs and the anger in our pursed lips. They can see our twitching fingers and bared nerves, whipping through us as we try to hold back our wildness.

I have faith in us. We’re in love – we always have been. In the thousand lives we lived before this collection of moments, we were together. You said that to me when we first met.

“I feel like I’ve know you for a thousand years.”

I felt the same. Even after only a few weeks, as we fulfilled our wild and impassioned dreams, sipping coffee at a table in the middle of an open field and traveling across Ireland on our bikes, exploring the Eiffle Tower and the Louvre, ducking into the small shops of Cluj, it felt like we had known each other our whole lives, trust already a solid foundation beneath it.

We knew each other: our hearts were our churches, we both admitted it.

But life has a funny way of turning our heads away from those beautiful and inspiring memories and toward these moments of frustration and anger. It has a way of making us forget the immense love that so encompasses us it transcends being an emotion that is palpable by the transmission of a single syllable and becomes instead the whole of an existence. That is ours. Not many people can say they know how that feels. Many will claim the feeling, unaware that they have confused their passions, their lust and need for physical connection coming to represent what they believe is love. What we have transcends physical existence.

So I write this to you, husband, to grant you forgiveness, and to ask for yours.  We have both descended into the dark depths of forgetfulness, where lies abound and all of the happiness and joy we shared before has largely disappeared; I love you.  I love what we are.  I don’t love what we’re becoming, and I want us to remember that our churches are in our hearts – that our God lives in the mountains that we’ve hiked to watch the sun rise – that you and I are the absolution of each other.

I can’t imagine how we’ve let all of our troubles affect us so intensely.  Maybe because we know now we have two little ones who carry us in their own hearts, which are also forming into their own churches; we suffer for them.  And when you said that we have bigger things to worry about now, you were right.  We have them.  We have these two little souls who smile even after they’ve seen our transgressions in the warm kitchen where the wood stove blazes; they yell “we want hugs!” when they see us arguing quietly, trying not to wave our arms around, and they burst that bubble of frustration and come barreling towards us, smiling and giggling, arms open wide, trusting without doubt we will catch them and swing them around and wrap ourselves up in a big knot of love.  You’re right.  We have bigger things to worry about, these small little futures barreling towards us.  They too transcend the one syllable transmission; they too transcend love as a word and instead embody it as a sense of being.  They are children, as yet unwavered by the world’s expectation of love, our culture’s horrifying twisting rendition of it.

Before they came into our lives, these troubles didn’t affect us like they do now.  We smiled and knew we would get through them, trudge through them patiently.  Now, we have to worry for them too, because they don’t have to worry about money or jobs or how they’ll get to school and back; how they’ll get food into their mouths.  We worry about that for them, because they shouldn’t worry.  We are the shelter that covers them, the shelter which turns its back towards the oncoming storm to protect them from the onslaught.  We take our frustrations out on each other but these frustrations are not with each other; they are not with anyone, only the general world, the general space we inhabit.  We are just caught up in the dancing lights in front of us, our lives summed up by green pieces of paper and the desks where we waste our lives away.  We’re frustrated that we have transcended the verbal boundaries of love, but have yet to transcend the other imagined boundaries put in front of us.

I love you.  I have faith in us. We’re in love – we always have been. In the thousand lives we lived before this collection of moments, we’ve lived and loved and transcended.  Across the epochs we’ve transcended the boundaries put in front of us.  We’ve transcended death again and again to find each other, and to transcend that great veil is the greatest victory.  These petty boundaries stand no chance.

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