The moon hangs low in the sky tonight. And it’s quartered, too. You know, in the shape of the kind of lemon wedge you’d see embellishing a glass of iced tea in August. Served on a wide veranda. And we’re wearing hats while enjoying it. And white gloves, too. Since I’m making this up, why not?
I am not sure why the moon hangs low in the sky sometimes, I only know that I like it when it does. I think that no matter how many years are written on my face and heard through my laughter, I will always feel young and small when I look at the moon.
So hopefully I will never stop looking at it; never stop seeing it.
We can look at things and not really see them. It happens all the time. It happens to couples. I used to wonder when it was that my ex stopped seeing me. God knows he still looked at me, from time to time. I was right in front of him, begging him to.
I wonder sometimes how I’ve changed from that relationship to this. Change is inevitable; you jump in a pond, you come up dripping wet. Surely life is more effective than a pond, surely those effects more lasting than water.
I think about the story of Adam and Eve. Do you know it? I think, specifically, of the fall of man. How Adam was made to toil for his food, and Eve–well, here’s an interesting one–was told that her “desire will be for her husband…”
I’ve heard different takes on this passage. Elizabeth Barrett Browning refers to it, writing:
Get leave to work
In this world–‘t is the best you get at all;
For God, in cursing, gives us better gifts
Than men in benediction.
And it’s true, God did not condemn Adam to wander uselessly–he told him to work. And work is, or rather, really can be fulfilling. Destiny driven stuff. When fitted correctly, I mean.
And now–the Eve thing.
Her desire will be for him.
Is this a bad thing?
Or, like Adam working, is there some purpose in it, too?
Because when you love someone, you can feel the shape of your heart shifting, allowing room–always room–for that person. There’s this whole sense of OTHER now. Even buying eggs is no longer just buying eggs because you’re standing there in the grocery store, staring at the different options and realizing there are no organic eggs to be had and he only eats organic eggs, darnit, so now what?
You want to raise a chicken yourself, feed it only the best chicken feed this world offers, and present him with a perfect, Grade A, grass fed, organic, natural, definitely brown–because brown is ALWAYS healthier than white, it seems–no added ANYTHING egg. Heck, why not cover it in chicken crap? You know, make it real, REAL organic! The point is, give him the best organic egg New York City has ever seen.
I’d do it if I could.
Oh, gosh: Hi, Eve, it’s Jessica–we should start a group, maybe.
It starts with eggs, but it doesn’t end with eggs.
I remember my mom telling me about her first pregnancy with my oldest brother. “It happened in one moment,” she told me seriously. “And suddenly my hips shifted and spread and made room for a big baby to grow. I heard it and felt it–my bones changed and never went back after that.”
Between that and hearing my grandaddy talk about the lion in the woods who BIT HIS BELLY BUTTON CLEAN OFF, you can understand why, as a child, I fostered a healthy fear of both the woods behind my grandfather’s house and pregnancy in general.
But, all that to say, sometimes I think I can hear my heart shifting and changing and getting wider–big enough for a whole new human.
And me and Eve, we could compare notes. I’d tell her that I get it. I get that she wants to be with her man. Spend weekends in. Learn to cook just because he’s hungry–though there was a time when a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would’ve done just fine. I’d tell her that I still feel sad sometimes, but he makes me laugh so much, I want to see him NOW and tomorrow and I’m mad at all the yesterdays that passed without seeing him. And if Adam makes you feel like that–like you’re finally in a safe kind of ship built of teak and endless secret passages in a harbor that for so long looked to be all parts turbulent wake and no parts ship–then, Eve, hun, I GET IT.
Let your heart feel that way.
Don’t forget about who you are and don’t stop taking care of yourself and don’t build your whole life on a land that is borrowed for who knows how long–hopefully forever–but still: FEEL it.
And I’ll do the same, Eve.
I’ll also look for a space to start a group just as soon as we can, too.