— Hands Wide Open & Doors Banging: To Have Without Holding

June 10, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Online Ministry | Leave a comment

The birdies outside our purple first-floor bedroom chirped “Wake up, wake up it’s the break of day – the day of  your  25th anniversary and three-year old legal marriage! Each of us barely opened one eye, the opposite ones, smiled and promptly fell asleep again!

The day breaks between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Cape Cod. Outside our windows lupines, irises, coreopsis, astilbe, hydrangeas and newly green oaks appear to be still droopy from the night’s dew.

The month of June holds many celebrations for us, chief among them is our anniversary. Well, actually, our three anniversaries: one on June 10, 12 and 21 – legal, religious and since way back when, respectively.

We woke up again at a decent hour and very happily headed out to Grumpy’s where we always giggle and feel the opposite of the joint’s name.  We’re happy and so grateful for each other. The name of the restaurant and the singing birds, however, struck me funny. And for some reason, a poem by Marge Piercy popped into my head.

Sometimes other same-sex couples ask us how we’ve stayed together. We never know whether it’s a query for some advice or a comment on our relationship!

We tend to our relationship quite intentionally and purposefully. We both have our hands and hearts open to each other even through difficult times, and we trust each other implicitly.  Also for anyone who knows a little about quatum mechanics, we suspect we have entangled particles, which leads me to Marge Piercy’s poem:

To Have Without Holding

Learning to love differently is hard,
love with the hands wide open, love
with the doors banging on their hinges,
the cupboard unlocked, the wind
roaring and whimpering in the rooms
rustling the sheets and snapping the blinds
that thwack like rubber bands
in an open palm.

It hurts to love wide open
stretching the muscles that feel
as if they are made of wet plaster,
then of blunt knives, then
of sharp knives.

It hurts to thwart the reflexes
of grab, of clutch; to love and let
go again and again. It pesters to remember
the lover who is not in the bed,
to hold back what is owed to the work
that gutters like a candle in a cave
without air, to love consciously,
conscientiously, concretely, constructively.

I can’t do it, you say it’s killing
me, but you thrive, you glow
on the street like a neon raspberry,
You float and sail, a helium balloon
bright bachelor’s button blue and bobbing
on the cold and hot winds of our breath,
as we make and unmake in passionate
diastole and systole the rhythm
of our unbound bonding, to have
and not to hold, to love
with minimized malice, hunger
and anger moment by moment balanced.

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