Sunday, April 14, 2013

Moon and Stars


“A star falls from the sky and into your hands. Then it seeps through your veins and swims inside your blood and becomes every part of you. And then you have to put it back into the sky. And it's the most painful thing you'll ever have to do and that you've ever done. But what's yours is yours. Whether it’s up in the sky or here in your hands.” —C. JoyBell C.

The thing I understand more and more is that my mother has felt the quiet ache of missing me for decades, ever since I left home at 18 and never came back. She feels it still, even now at 91, sitting in her chair in Jamaica, one of her grown children at hand, the other across the seas. This missing our children, this letting them go and trusting the world to treat them kindly without our vigilance or intervention, it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, but mothers and fathers have been doing it for eons.

This thought is not unrelated to Mary Moon's daughter getting married yesterday. I have been thinking all weekend about this luminous young woman standing up before the ones she loves best and pledging to love the one she found for the rest of her life, and her young man doing the same. The thought of it is so achingly beautiful I can hardly stand it. It takes me back to my own wedding day, and how impossibly young we were, how innocent and bright-faced and in love. And yet I love the one I married more now than I ever thought possible, this man who fathered my children, who reports on his day while cooking me dinner most evenings, who curls up against me and reads his medieval mysteries at night, who takes me to see the orchid show come spring. I am thinking about what it means to join your life with someone, to raise children with them, to let those children fly when the time comes and to relearn the quiet in the far reaches of the house, just the two of you together again, the way you started out.

It is the most unbearably beautiful and holy act of faith I can imagine, this joining, this pledge to love one another as bodies soften, as hips ache, as waists grow plump and laugh lines and frown lines no longer hide when the laugh or the frown is spent. I read something the other day about making marriage last after the fluttering excitement of new love inevitably diminishes; it cannot be sustained through the years of piled up laundry and skinned knees, homework drama and tuition payments, teenagers slamming doors and testing limits, the lovers' fading youth. What makes love last, this writing said, is the decision to love the one you found (barring abusive circumstance, of course). You choose to keep loving them. You have to actively choose it. I felt a rush of recognition, reading this passed-along writing that someone had shared on a social network, and that I clicked on. I realize I do choose it. I choose him. Now and forever. And I am blessed every day that he chooses me too.


14 comments:

  1. These words are painstakingly beautiful and so very true. I am so fortunate to have such a love. Thank you for painting this lovely picture and yes, I can't stop thinking of Sister Moon's sweet Jessie either.

    Sigh.

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  2. Lasting love does require some degree of active choice. Shared experiences also serve to cement couples together -- the things you've done together that no one else can really understand or envision. You've captured all that here really well.

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  3. I know the TV show is a little on the sappy side but one conversation between Charles and Caroline always stood out to me...

    Charles: I shouldn't have brought you here.

    Caroline: It's not your fault.

    Charles: Oh, yes it is. We're here because it's where I want to be. I took you away from your home, your family.

    Caroline: Now that's nonsense! My home is where you are. And you and the children are my family.

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  4. That is it. And with the choosing comes the reward which Steve speaks of- that massive rich trove of shared experience which no on else can share. Loved this so much, Angella. And I love you so much.

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  5. Beautiful words, and true. I love that picture of the two of you.

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  6. sorry, been so busy lately i have been reading but not commenting--but have to, on this. what a testament to love. it makes me get teary-eyed, too; we who have been lucky enough to find this...
    thank you for your beautifully crafted language. as always.

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  7. You are indeed blessed. It's inspiring to read of such love, and the photo of you two is remarkable -- like an embrace.

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  8. Oh....this just takes my breath. Marriage is a crazy, magical, extraordinary dance and you do it so beautifully Angella. And the kids...well, there just isn't anything harder or more heartbreaking is there?
    I've been thinking and thinking of you after reading your last post, wanted to say something but can only find these quick moments to write in between running after Dear Leader and laying in a stupor. Maybe later.
    love,
    yo

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  9. Oh, I was still sniffling from reading Mary's post and then came here and I need more tissues. So Beautiful. Your words, their meaning, that photo.
    I too, choose. I also mourn a bit for who and what we were, but try every day to embrace who we are and celebrate that we still have each other, and the memories of the journey we have taken together, and the amazing beings we have created. I could never have imagined any of this all those years ago when we found each other.

    I have been out of town and am catching up on so many posts. I've missed you.

    xo

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  10. Your words paint a beautiful picture!

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  11. This piece and that picture are incredibly beautiful. It's funny that it takes growing up to feel what our parents felt, isn't it. No one could have told you in a way you would have believed when you were younger. Just in reading your blog entries, I've come to see what a wonderful person you are and how much you deserve the love you created and continually work on. Sweet Jo

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  12. Teary-eyed, yes.

    Beautiful.

    You are blessed in so many ways.

    T.

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  13. You are such a gifted writer. You manage to say so beautifully what my heart aches to express but cannot.

    Choosing - and being chosen - is such a marvelous blessing!

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  14. You make my heart ache. So nice to have a soul-sister who understands the true meaning of marriage:)

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