Friday, November 03, 2006

Big Love

“It’s easy,” he said in his email, “to love our lovers. Much harder for me to love you, to lean into our love. But that,” he wrote, “is the Big Love.”

We’d been calling this creation Big Love from its inception, two years ago when we first met the ballerina and her husband, and at it’s best it is just that; big love, more love, an opportunity to express yourself past the four square walls of marriage, though we've mostly applied that to loving other people.

“Much harder,” he wrote, “for me to love you, to lean into our love.”

After 18 years together, this email from my husband who is working down the hall from me at home and who I haven’t made love to in two months, reminding me that he and I are the love you need to get naked for, more naked than you get with your lover, naked in the midst of your life.

Ours is the love that isn’t about the sexy underwear, the white lacy ones I bought for my new lover, or the garters or the short kilt I bought to wear on our next date. Ours is the love that lives in the chaos of picking up carpools and dog doo. Ours is the love that has to remind the other to get toilet paper and pay the bill. Ours is the love that sleeps night after night in a bed that needs its sheets washed.

Ours is not the phone call my husband makes to the ballerina on his way to visit her, requesting she meet him at the door wearing only heels and stockings. Or the message her husband leaves me to “just be naked when I get there.”

Not that kind of love.

It was once, sort of, a long time ago.

And while I'm tempted to start listing all the small things I’m grateful for; the way our feet find each other at the end of the bed, at the end of the day, our hands clasped, quietly breathing. While I could try to convince you that my husband and I really do love each other, a sentiment that would make you and me both feel a lot better, I won't.

Because as the man said, this is Big Love and so we’re shelving the fairy tale ending for now, we’re going off road, a path we don’t actually have a map for, but which feels more real and more appropriate for us. Destination unknown, but destination true.


Stef said...

truthful, honest, dug out deep from the heart..real. that is what i love about you.

I get you. said...

this is as real as it gets- i only hope to have a love like this...

Burning Woman said...

i like how you don't wrap it up just cuz someone may need a happy ending. last night we got naked in the hot tub, as is our Big Love practice, and found ourselves yelling at each other, for the first time in a year. i read your words this morning and reminded myself this is a small bump on a very long road of relationship. thanks darlin'.

Maya Stein said...

I am, as I'm writing this, making a list of the rewards and challenges of being in my relationship. An assignment from my girlfriend because she keeps wondering whether or not I'm actually more interested in being together than being apart. I think she sees me as bridling at that the demands and expectations of our relationship because I seem them as...demands and expectations, rather than opportunties to come together for the goal of being together. I'm not sure, though, if that's the issue. I know that I'm an independent person who needs to feel a certain distinct freedom and spontaneity and adventure within the relationship, and not all of it needs to happen with my person...

Anyway, I'm doing it. One column for rewards, one for challenges. Rewards first, because even though I'd rather get the rough stuff out of the way, the list is more greatly weighted in favor of Reward.

But your entry reminds me that it's not really about either category separately defining the relationship, or determining its success. It's the confluence of both, the interweaving and collision of those moments that come bearing both challenges and rewards, and that this big love is holding both and loving / wanting both. Thank you for the dose of intelligence, perspective, and you-really-know-where-you're-coming-from-ness. I needed that today.

Deezee said...

I love this examination. Love it.

And I love how you both come towards each other with awareness...

Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

The feet finding
each other
at the end
of the bed.
The heart staying open.
The lip being bit, sometimes hard.
Big love,
true path,
because there are rocks,
The other love
is true air
and lifts our wings.

ecm said...

I love your use of the phrase Big Love. Somehow it seems to say so much in two words. Your writing is so brave.

andrea said...

beautiful writing, musings...

love love love to you,