Sunday, August 25, 2013

Forty Years

Entry for August 18/19 2013: Wedding Anniversary poem for Diane.  This is the 500th entry of this 7-year old blog.

Part 1: Scenes from a Wedding

We did not know what we were
Getting ourselves into
On that sticky August night
In that little white church.

There we were:
Two families, ten kids
Recipe for chaos.

I thought it a brilliant idea
To borrow my sister anna’s
Giant inflatable hand
For the receiving line.
But in the confusion it disappeared
Never to be seen again.
Forty years later it lives on,
A piece of unfinished business
Her half-birthday un-present
Binding us together.

At least one former girlfriend
Entertained my little brother
Providing suitable distraction
For both of them.

Our LA friends were at first hurt
When they thought
They hadn’t been invited
Then greatly puzzled
By the idea of a dry Presbyterian wedding
With no alcohol, dancing
Or embarrassing speeches.
Eventually they forgave us.

We spent our first night in Livermore
Stressed and exhausted by the
Immensity of what we’d done.

Part 2: The Journey

Forty years is a long time:
Moses led his people through the wilderness
For that long.

Together, we’ve crossed
Four decades
Two generations:
LA to Glasgow
Nixon to Obama
Our 20’s to our 60’s
V-8’s to electric cars
Typewriters to iPads
Watergate to Wikileaks
Carly Simon to Lady Gaga
Fear of Flying to Life After Life
The Human Sexual Response to gay marriage.
The insecurities of youth
to the emerging infirmities of age

One year of marital therapy
Two children
Three countries
Seven houses or apartments
Eight cars
We are still together

Although we did not know
Exactly where we were going
And generally felt unprepared
For each new phase
And piece of brokenness
Unlike Moses
We have never stopped entering
The promised land.

Part 3: The Adventure Continues

Of course there are no guarantees and
Everything is temporary
But it seems that we are still
Determined to make
The most of the time we have.

Our covenant has become
A commitment to continuing
As if we were on some Star Trek-like mission.

We now recognize most
Of each other’s foibles,
Blind spots, and vulnerabilities.

Just as we continue to find
And finding, recognize
Each other’s strengths, gifts,
Moments of brilliance.

It’s true
We can still drive each other crazy
With a piece of oft-endured
But these knots are more likely
To bring a smile of recognition.
Like another Federation starship
Off course but also welcome.

At the same time
We are still capable of being
Surprised by each other
Each still finding in the other
An undiscovered country.

In each other’s finitude
A single look
A single touch
A single kiss
A single laugh
Feedback loop closed
Reflected each to each
Pointed toward infinity.

In so many shared singularities
We continue to find eternity
Compressed into a series
Of timeless moments

                                    -18/19 August 2013