“Sometimes when I am walking well it feels like I am still. Instead of moving through the world, the world moves about me. I walk still and the world moves about me. These are the thoughts you can afford when you’re still. If you walk too quickly you scare them. They fly away like frightened doves”. [joe bunting, thewritepractice]
yea, it was like that for us. we were the only clear things in the midst of the blur. there was so much life between us that the world lost it’s pull.
this past sunday evening ben and i decided to load up the baby and go for a drive. we bought coffee and a diet coke – we couldn’t wait for johnson’s farm a whole twenty minutes away to start relaxing.
settled with our drinks of choice, i saw the moment open to say what had been pressing into my heart all day. i jumped in before the opening could close. we talked past the wawa, through the interstate, beside the dunkin doughnuts and into the parking lot. i told him what God’s been whispering, making clear to me, these days. my words were sharp and clear as i described the picture of releasing anxiety as He speaks to me, deep to deep – Spirit to spirit. he knew exactly what i was saying because he’s lived this way for a long time now. in the parking lot at johnson’s farm he told me that he hasn’t seen me dancing with the Spirit like this since our sophomore year in college. “i love it”, he said, “your beautiful”. i beamed.
at johnson’s we watched sheep from afar, laughed at the sign that said tickets must be purchased for, um, everything, threw atticus high into the crisp fall air, and ate apple cider doughnuts. while eating them we thought aloud that every season has such a strong association with a sugary treat that you can’t help but eat that food in its proper season. we are but helpless victims to the seasons stacked on top of each other. and that these seasonal treats we are destined to consume are really just God’s food put to sugar. like weavers weaving, our stream of consciousness spun a most delightful conversation, each statement more brilliant than the last.
ben talked on the way home. he too spoke honest words from the heart and i too thought them beautiful. breathed them in with no desire to exhale. but the interstate was upon us and our trip was winding down. we spent the rest of the ride in comfortable silence. i noticed how twilight makes the earth glow. i was not sure what he was thinking anymore but was oddly ok with that.
hand in hand we were “walking still”.
today, right now.
we fought last night. the same fight we always fight when i fear losing him. for these moments the fear is all i know – the lies become true. i am losing him. i have lost him. my words feel so true but i know they will sting. i say them anyway. if i say them and he fights back, i will feel his presence. i need him here. he knows the drill that makes him so tired. it’s not right to demand affirmation like this, but he speaks anyway. not forcing the words but releasing the truth..
he musters his strength, then halts me mid-breath, saying that if i am about to say…[and i am]….to stop. “it’s just not true and you’re always changing” he says. he tells me what i am thinking, why it’s there, and what will come next. he speaks my unspoken words before me and labels them “lies”. he takes the heart from my chest and does the surgery i won’t choose. under the truth the fear begins to quiver, a low rumble of things shaking loose.
quieter now, he tells me he loves me. that our drive was the best part of his weekend, that he too felt the “walking still”. he says that he holds me the closest and that’s why this is all not. true. not. fair. not. right. he tells me he needs me so much – he needs me to not accuse him of not. under his tenderness the rumble gets louder. louder and louder ’till the fear rattles, then shatters. a million pieces of glass lay between us.
sighing, he tells me that i’ll start to feel better now but it’s not right to do it this way. i need to do my own work, contain my own pain. he hangs his head, throws his bag over his shoulder, and leaves the room covered in glass. he’s tired now; his strength is gone because he’s given it to me.
walking still then barely walking.
it is a curious powerful thing, my marriage. it is the place where “my hells and my heavens are so few inches apart”.