The other day I found myself admiring earrings and bracelets, stones of turquoise and jade, imaginatively penciling them into my picture of her.
Matching them against the shade of her skin, seeking an image that’s new and reflects my presence in her life.
I was searching for some such decoration with which to flatter her smile and that favorite dress of hers, or, better yet, complement that smile held sweetly above her unabashed, glistening nakedness.
But, none of those trinkets quite fit the picture.
Her smile and dress, already complete. Her nakedness, clean and unadorned, perfectly ornate and balanced.
I came to the end of the jewelry case with an idea of her, but no idea of an absence surrounding her that I could possibly fill.
I envied the easeful minds of the men at Zales or Tiffany & Co., finding a new variation on the tennis bracelet they bought their wives three years earlier.
Last year, it was earrings.
The year before that, a necklace.
Now, back to bracelets.
And, here I was, in an international artisan crafts, fair trade store, imagining how ridiculous a diamond tennis bracelet would look on my lover’s wrist, like a satellite put in orbit around the Earth—sad, shiny hardware out of place against the celestial bodies beyond.
Leaving the jewelry case, I came to a shelf of wood and earthen bowls, handcrafted and carved in Nepal. Drawn to one, I grazed its reddish brown hue with my fingers and traced its carved webbing.
I lifted its lid and, inside, discovered the very emptiness I couldn’t imagine in my picture of her.
In this bowl’s perfect, hollow circumference, I found a space to offer her.
Not a space like a plot of land on which to build my own presence in her life, but a space for her to fill, on her own, with all she holds inside—her honesty, her magnanimity, her gratitude, her power, her truth.
I hold this space for her: a space for her to find full growth and expression, and for me to find joy in witnessing it.
Author: Travis Weedon
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Lars Plougmann/Flickr