a marriage: scene one (version two)

It is dusk.

Rapid rain drops forceful against glass, an angry wind, lightning followed by the thunder – startling in its force and depth.

From the outside looking in, a reflection of The Husband, standing tall, tense, erect.

He is staring, blankly, pass his reflection at the lights, skyscrapers, and rain. In the room, elegant and austere in its demeanor – only a faint light from a lamp to his right.

On his feet, tan burnished leather cap-toe shoes. On his body, a three piece impeccably tailored striped wool black suit. Hands in his pockets forcing his jacket open, reveals a vest framing a narrow waist; a navy-blue shirt is fitted perfectly to his broad chest and wide shoulders; a thick matching tie crafted in silk is expertly knotted around his neck, sitting just below a prominent Adam’s Apple. He wears initialed gold cuff links, an anniversary present from The Wife.

His face: serious,

Eyebrows scowling,

Jaw, tense.

Nostrils, flaring as he breathes slowly, deeply, deliberately.

Eyes, tender, sad, tangled in thought.

A loud sigh, then quickly and suddenly, his face falls into his chest.

Slowly, his hands slip out of his pockets and reach up to encapsulate his face.

His wedding band of silver and diamonds shimmers in the relative darkness.

“How did I get here?” he whispers. “How did we get here?”

A gentle knock on a door, luring him reluctantly to the present Moment.

“It’s me,” she whispers, her voice filled with joy and anticipation.

He looks up, turns his body as if by force, and fixes his gaze on the door, frozen.

Another knock, slightly louder than the first and a little less confident.

She hesitates; he deliberates.

A bit of a stalemate.

He finally gathers himself, walks to the door and – slowly – opens it.

Their eyes meet, their lips smile.

She exhales; he inhales.

Both relax just a bit.

He reaches for her hand and gently draws her in, closing the door.

As her eyes adjust, she takes in the space – a large, elegant living room occupied with two massive couches facing each other and separated by an intricate modern chandelier that hangs low from the high ceilings, a baby grand piano, coal black and glistening, is framed by a wall of windows, floor to ceiling bookcases, and art everywhere – paintings and sculptures – a distinctly masculine vibe emanates from both the room and her host.

She continues to study the room, beyond the couches, a bar comes into view as if an oasis. A sudden urge for drink, for calm and grounding.

He is studying her intently, standing still, by the door, hands in his pockets.

The only sounds in the room – rain against the windows, the occasional howl of the wind outside, abated breaths.

She begins to remove her coat (long, fitted, soft black leather). As if by cue, he is behind her, helping.

He takes her coat; she moves toward the bar.

Her attire: a shiny cobalt blue, two-piece silk tailored business suit – slim jacket paired with a pencil skirt that fell a few inches above her knees. On her feet, four-inch black pumps. No jewelry. Manicured hands, minimal makeup. Her dark black hair pulled back in a tight bun.

“What would you like to drink?” he asks, joining her at the bar.

She settles into plush stool, feeling its softness on her hands and the back of her thighs.

He is behind the bar, waiting and watching.

She looks fully into his eyes for the first time since arriving, searching…

“I’ll have what you have,” she says – never losing contact with his eyes.

They smile and blush. He breaks their gaze to pour their drinks.

Every move he makes, she notes and remembers why she is here, why she is taking such a risk for the first time in her life.

“He is worth it,” she thinks. Her heart softens, her smile broadens as she accepts his drink.

Their fingers touch and eyes soon follow suit.

Cheers!” she says.

Cheers!” he responds, himself beginning to relax, just a bit.

The potency and complexity of the cognac are a welcome to both.

Feeling somewhat fortified, he says: “I have never in twenty years, been unfaithful to my wife.” Another, fuller hit of the expensive spirit.

“I have never even considered a married man,” she responds, and quickly takes in a mouthful of the cognac, swallowing quickly, craving the subtle burning at the back of her throat.

Their eyes meet, anxious smiles on the surface, desire simmering underneath.

That desire propelled them here today, arising – subconsciously – from the moment they first met, three years ago when she arrived at his firm, adeptly lured away from a formidable competitor by his younger brother and partner.

She quickly became an invaluable asset, working long hours by his side – they, the first ones into the office, and always the last ones to leave.

Professional and respectful always, she had met his wife, and admired her a great deal – creative, smart, funny, and utterly fearless, she perceived His Wife.

He had met her longtime boyfriend and got along with him famously. So much so, there were many double dates. Fun, memorable evenings – hours filled with exquisite food, excellent wine, intense, endlessly flowing conversations, and so much laughter.

One day – exactly a year ago – it all changed. She felt it coming. Her boyfriend decided to leave, citing the need for a more traditional relationship, one where the woman did not willingly work twice as many hours as her man and earned substantially more.

Tethered to no one and now a vested partner in The Husband’s firm, she worked harder, giving her all to work she adored and found profoundly meaningful.

He, too, invested more of himself to work. They would often share late dinners and early morning breakfasts.

Professionalism and respect continued between them, although it was becoming more and more challenging – she grew closer to The Husband, becoming a confidant as he pulled farther away from The Wife, his first love going back to University, and the mother of his children – twin boys now in college.

One late night – just last week – as they prepared to leave the office building to their respective homes, there was a passionate, lingering kiss as if long destined, a wave they could not contain.

No words were spoken nor plans made aloud.

There was an impending and important business trip that had been diligently planned six months earlier.

And here they are now, at the bar inside a dimly lit hotel suite, silently taking each other in. Outside, a cacophony of sound and sight: rain, wind, lightning, and thunder.

Another Year

Another year
I am granted
to celebrate
my mother
on her birthday!
How many more
chances
will I be blessed
to hear her voice
on her special day;
to see her
physically
in front of me,
not just in a
picture,
a snapshot
of a long ago moment,
or in vague memory.

No Ordinary Love

Sometimes, to love someone best is to love them from afar.
It is not to entangle or become entangled into the mundane Mess.
Rather, it is to leave and make space for Self and The Other.
This is especially true for the most sensitive Souls,
the free Spirits and creatives,
the misfits and the misunderstood –
the ones who readily absorb external energy,
in whom the skin is relatively thin and the mind too malleable.
One can be a loner and a lover – different type of love, yes,
and equally as rich, sweet, and intense.
Love and intimacy are too big to be contained, restrained and
forced into a box, told what they are and are not.

COURAGE

At the root of the word Courage is Coeur – heart in French. Apropos, I think, as courage stems from the Heart. It is not an endeavor of the head, of logic. The head would have us run, flee as fast we can, as far as we are able, from fear – our edge, that which is uncomfortable and elicits angst so powerful we become physically ill. It is the Heart, like a loving, nurturing parent, that gently encourages us to stand our ground, to face what is terrifying, to look over the perceived edge. Is it any wonder then that the Heart beats so seemingly violently – almost impatiently – as we commit to pushing ahead, pushing past our fear and self-imposed limitations. It is speaking to us loudly, boldly, forcefully. Lup Dup. “Yes, you can!” Lup Dub. “I got ya!” Lup Dup. “Jump. Fly. Let your Light shine.” Lup Dup. “Be the Change. Set an example. Be the exception.” Lup Dup. Lup Dup.

Pearls from Tears

I remember well my fascination with oysters – rather unattractive on the outside, very rough around the edges. Yet, inside, lay a much sought-after jewel, the pearl. When later I learned that the pearl is the by-product of an irritant entering its sensitive insides, I understood why the oyster so resonated with me. This was me, my life: nothing particularly compelling on the outside – by typical standards – but inside, my heart and my mind, utterly extra-ordinary, beautiful, invaluable and unforgettable. 

To this day, I draw my sense of self-worth and place from what lies beneath my skin, that which cannot be seen or felt by most. Alas, residing in a world where the outward appearance is a major determinant of one’s currency and where the attention span continues to rapidly decrease, what place is there for the pearls that lie within? Will anyone pay attention? Does anyone care?

For us, the human oysters, the world’s daily dismissal serves as the irritant; our tears, fodder for the formation of precious pearls. They pile up, the pearls, on our delicate insides, yearning to be seen, worn, to adorn. They were not meant to be stowed away, these iridescent fruits of vulnerability, discomfort and despair. No, they are gifts to be brought to the Light and shared.

And so, with lips quivering, hands trembling and hearts pounding, we take a tentative step, and then another; we open our mouths to speak, softly at first; we pick up our pens and write, allow the pearls to flow out, and then quickly hit send.

Some of what we offer will fall on fertile hearts and minds and be valued; most will be discarded or just plain ignored. No matter. The response is not our responsibility; we are tasked only to release.

Loaded Head

where is my Heart in the Moment?
what does It wish to express?
what needs to come up
to come out,
to be said,
seen,
and lovingly released?

i feel no thing,
which can mean
numbness or peace,
cold apathy
or searing heat.

“just leave Me be!”
The Heart begs,
“focus on this Moment instead.
live outside your loaded head.”

Waking from a Deep Sleep

I am

waking

from a deep sleep,

wondering

Where am I?
What is it
I had to eat?
How did I get here
to these beliefs?

I rub my eyes

as I try

to make sense

of what has become complete nonsense.

I hear the ancestors cry;
they ask why?

Why are you and your kin moving back?
Do you not realize this is a slap
in the face
to those who were brave?
Don’t allow our sacrifice and pain
to have been made in utter vain-
wasted blood, sweat, and tears
over the course of hundreds of dark years!

Wake up from your deep sleep,
the antecedents weep.

It is now your turn to learn
that freedom ain’t free;
it is your sacred responsibility
to the past, present and future
family.

#MoreLove

More Love

this is what the world

needs more of.

More time spent together

remembering we are

keepers of each other.

We’re all made of the same stuff,

crafted from sanctified dust;

unique yet the same,

OneLove with different names.

In you, I see my divinity;

In me, you see your humanity.

We are but mere mirrors –

brothers, sisters.

We must re-member

What We Really Are,

never from our Light

shall we stray too far.

More Love

that is what our world

craves more of-

give It,

receive It,

preach It,

commit

to

Love.

Make It your religion,

your only reason for being.

Two Friends

Two Friends

on a beach

walking,

talking,

planning,

dreaming,

birthing

their visions

into existence.

One Friend,

compelled by her Soul’s necessity;

The Other,

moved by an insatiable curiosity.

Both,

desiring to leave behind

an indelible legacy-

to inspire,

empower,

unleash creativity;

to free the masses

from contraction and boredom

by en-couraging

expansion and freedom!

These two friends

on that beach

were destined to meet,

brought together

by old friends

now deceased.

The story continues

until it is

complete.

 

 

 

America

“O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me. And yet I swear this oath-America will be!” Langston Hughes

 

My country

strives to be

a sweet Land of Liberty,

a Crown of Beauty,

from sea to shining sea-

an example

a beacon

to other countries

and peoples

to witness

the possibility

of beloved community

amidst vast diversity,

of justice

amidst adversity,

of kindness

in the midst of such plenty.

America,

this grand, young experiment

in democracy-

governance

of

for

by

We, The People.

Still struggling with its meaning,

back and forth, we go;

to and fro,

from the high

to the very low.

Another birthday,

America 

tentatively celebrates,

expressing gratitude

for what is good.

While also cultivating

a firm commitment

to manifesting

for all

that which is

honorable,

innocent,

hopeful

within the

imperfect,

complex,

uncomfortable

experiment

that gave birth to a nation

of immigrants.