Things I would not yet like to know about the Future.
“What is going to be is what is,
That is love.
There is no fear of leaping into the immeasurable space of love.
Fall in love/ Or, are you in love?
Such questions cannot be answered/ Because in the peace of an all-pervading presence/ No one is in and no one is falling in.
No one is possessed by another.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
I would not like our love to be about infatuation or money or time. I will only ask you to marry me if it is right, if our hearts fit together like legos, separable yet complementary.
How long will I love you?
We can not know. But as the song goes, longer if I can.
I would not like to know if it will work out, I would not like to know if we grow old and white-haired and weatherbeaten together. For our love will not be about the romance in movies, it will be about us.
And we will not be about us, but rather we would like to walk a path of service, and a life of gentle smiles in all weathers.
And so I will walk one step at a time, left, right…but not carefully—rather, as if I were entering a wide dance floor and you were on the other end, which you are (if the dance floor is time and space). You are wearing a dress that hugs your body, a simple dark blue dress out of ten dresses that you spent twenty minutes too long choosing: and you chose well. Your hair is cut short in the front, this is new, and I like it, and you do not mind if anyone likes it, which is what makes you so likeable. It is the same with the lilt at the end of your laughter, the wink in your joke, the shrug in your smooth shoulders. You could care less, and that is what will first draw me to you.
No: what will first draw me to you will be sense-able, sensory, sensual: your hair, or eyes, or laugh, or legs, or the way you lean back in your chair, or our conversation about politics and economy and social justice, or the reason I read The New Yorker in my hot tub…
…and before we know it the proud old red velvet couch will hold you on one end and me on the other and a dog in the middle and another below and popcorn with coconut and children’s laughter and my booming voice, banning iPhones from the house yet again. And my right hand will fold about, relaxed, your black white socks, your favorite socks that have just been dog-chewed.
“On soft Spring nights I’ll stand in the yard under the stars – Something good will come out of all things yet – And it will be golden and eternal just like that – There’s no need to say another word.” ~ Jack Kerouac
I have not found you yet, but I would not like to know the color of your hair, or eyes.
I would not like to know if your skin is dark, or smooth, or if your eyes may be blue, or hazel, or your hair may be yellow, or black, or brown, or short, or long, or curly, or parted in the middle, or fro’d. I would not care to know if you may be tall, or if your nose might be cute, or proud, or you may be short and strong. You may wear duck boots when we go for a little hike through the perfect snow that has quieted our town below and made it look gold-lit, cozy and slow, like a town out of the past.
I would not like to know if things will go well, because things can not go well, always.
I would like to know that we live each moment with appreciation that each moment is full, yet fragile, golden.
When I am lazy I will not be lazy, for you. When I am weak I will find strength, for you. When I am frustrated I will find the door and walk out of it, for you, and go for a walk and remember the clouds and forget my thoughts and remember my breath and forget your supposed insult and so remember my humor and big-ness and charm and forget my pettiness and my pride and my self-concern. A breath where no breathing was. And I would like to be back in two and half minutes, for that is how long it takes.
I would not like to know how our sex life is, how many times we do it a week, how many foolishly-named children we have, or whose turn it is to make breakfast (it is mine) or do the dishes (I would prefer to always do it together, I will rinse and dry and I will sing a song I learned as a child).
I would like to know if you notice the slight breeze that comes through the window, or if you would like to sleep with the curtains open and blinds up or if you like to wear my pajamas, for wearing flannel pajamas two sizes too big is the right size, or if you teach or garden or need to work on the other end of our globe for a year.
Bamboo tilts when the wind blows, it is strong but does not break, it is not rigid, it bows with strength.
I would like you to know that when I work too long, I work for the world, and the world is the inheritance of our children—and our children, whether one or two or three or four or five or more of them, whether popular or bookish, or both…are your first love.
I would like you to know that you are the officer in our home, and I am the sergeant, and they are the troops, and we are an army of troublemaking, service, and good humor and, chaos!
I would not like to know if you have an affair, for if you did, that is a wrong turn, and I am not your love, and the brass locks shall change, for there are second chances at most things, but some plants can not survive a cold winter out of doors and I am not one of them.
Life is hard and sharp and it hurts, but there are some who wear it lightly, and mindfully, and with class, and are frank yet wise yet light, and if our recipe is right our household shall be one of the hardy and cheerful ones. Life is often lonely and sad and unfair, but if we are lucky we shall work hard and earn our luck, and when we are hit broadside we shall return fire as we sail away with the wind at our backs, and trouble shall find it is bored with us.
Life is long and lineage is longer, and life is short but tradition is fragile, and we shall care for the things that deserve our care. The look in your eyes when I kiss you on our bed—calm, open—it is a look I shall guard and cultivate, for if I lose it we are lost.
Our sex is not an act—it is a passion that needs itching, and if I lose that itch, I know I had better take better care of our hearth and mantle.
Life will get busy but I am strong—I will be rich and generous and active but quiet sometimes, too. I shall balance making speeches with reading books and drinking coffee with drinking tea and I will play with our children hour after hour and day after day and week after week, they shall distract me from our greatness but I will serve anyways, working in my attic castle with the foldout ladder that drops out of the ceiling.
You will come home one day and find I have cut a hole in the second floor’s floor, and have installed a climbing wall. You will not be so sure.
These words are words, only, but they help me trace the outlines of your as yet unknown face and invisible red heart, like an old-fashioned frilly pressed paper Valentine card. You are in the high white cold hard mountains, and I am just below, in these Great, Golden Plains—beware: for I am coming for you.