I just re-read a collection of love poems I wrote about my husband during the first flush of our relationship. Poems are the easiest way for me to capture intense emotion—having to be linear and logical inhibits the deepest things I feel. The poems capture the fear and uncertainty of new love, but also the awe, the wonder, the radiance.
I read A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson a few months ago. One of my favorite concepts of the book was the idea that the early phase of love—the honeymoon phase, when all you see is your lover’s perfection, is not an illusion. Rather, that image of your loved one is actually the truth. That is who they really are, in all of their God-given perfection and wonder. The fear, the doubt, the ennui, the annoyance, that creeps into every relationship over time is the illusion, the world getting in the way of divine love and goodness.
Do I buy that? I don’t know, but I like it. I’d like to think that my husband is truly the man who inspired crushing love and devotion in me all those years ago. And that the person who leaves his coat on the couch, his piles of schoolwork all over the house like a dog marking his territory—that person is the illusion. My focus on the idiosyncrasies that make him sometimes hard to live with, or my perception that he fails to meet my expectations, that is the world obstructing my ability to see him as God does, perfect just the way he is.
I still have glimpses of that first, perfect person. Fairly frequently. Sure, it’s easiest when he’s sleeping (because then he can’t mess it up by doing or saying anything.) But also, sometimes I am overwhelmed by affection, just seeing him reading in bed at night. Or slumped on the couch watching tv. Or running in circles around the kitchen island with his nephews. He is still my shooting star.
Below is one of the poems for your consideration.
Santa Barbara Mountain
Crossing the retreat grounds
the nighttime air caressed me—
cool, fresh, clean.
My eyes turned amazed
toward the heavens,
to the moon as bright as the sun,
and stars twinkling against a velvet blanket
that wrapped me in beauty
as I lay on the grass to moonbathe.
I imagined us meeting there—
the breeze scattering my hair
against my face,
the crickets our only witnesses.
You look into my eyes
and silently offer me your heart.
It is that simple.
The spark of a shooting star
tore me from my reverie
just as your form emerged
from the shadows.
Did you see my vision?
I waited in tense anticipation,
before you flashed
through my vision again,
another star trailing
across the sky above you.
You both disappeared,