The Grand Canyon on a tightrope in the wind would be easier to crawl across than the six feet we sit apart staring at separate screens.
His work after work has his left-hand scribbling data from a graph into a notebook, his workday slacks still working, his dress shirt still alert. And yet his shoulders dip and sag, and when he finally swivels ’round my way, his eyes are worn.
We are holding on to our thirteenth year of marriage. Holding on with oven mitts lest we get too close and do something outrageous like stoke the fire. God knows we’ve tossed our share of paper plates at the flame and held our breath as our faces glowed and we remembered–even briefly–what we were doing in this marriage before distraction came. Before life became a division or a diversion of his interests and my stay-at-homeness and what the kids were doing next. Before the ash glided to the ground and someone stomped out the spark.
Right now it is late. And already a child in half his pajamas has asked from the doorway if we’re ever coming to tuck him in.
There is a head turn and a promise. And yet we do not budge. Because before the asking, before the clock barked ‘bedtime’ a log was tossed. Courageously. An invitation to talk about more than tomorrow’s rain and the length of the lawn. Or the kids’ math. Or any other event in the last thirteen years. An invitation to fan the lonely coal.
And so we sit on office chairs, our eyes in the same direction, squinting at each other, as it were through smoke. Eyebrows furrowing. Legs crossing and re-crossing. Hands gesturing.
A second child hollers from the stairway. And still we stay.
“Know me,” my heart whispers. And I plead it aloud. “Know me.”
And Husband nods, “I want to.”
And though it isn’t much—a humble piece of kindling–it is our humble piece of kindling.
And it burns of hope.
A year ago, I pre-ordered a book I believed in before I even held it in my hands. I’d read snippets of Glennon Doyle Melton’s writing through various blogs and every bit of it had changed me. I could only imagine what a book would do. Well. I have wept privately on my couch and in my car and even more bravely in front of a friend or two, as I’ve read pieces of Glennon’s book aloud. I have laughed, until in the end, it’s tears I’m wiping again. When a friend says, “I need a good book to read,” I thrust Carry on Warrior into their hands. Which is the same, I’ve realized, as thrusting it into their hearts.
I’ve written this piece,”Crossing the Great Divide,” as part of the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project — To learn more about Glennon’s Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!