Today rolled in moody cloud, heavy sky face, thick. Weather that feels like Nashville Tennesse where family lives, not San Diego California in July. Hot as hell peaked and softened into wet and warm, bringing thunder and rain in the late afternoon. Stepping out of air conditioner and into a warm shower, back and forth. Ever is kicking hard as I write, and the thunder is rolling lovely. The sky has the dim bright corners that suggest a veiled threat, the rain is tiptoeing on my roof. The anxiety fluxed as the weather.
Last weekend we had our first marriage therapy appointment and it was good. Afterward, later, I fell apart, full of named and unnamed fears and self doubts and panics. The panics. I sobbed on and off all weekend, in and out of Mr. Curry's arms. And then a stillness inside, an eye of the storm. I am worn and look worn, but I am loved and look loved. I move with Mr. Curry through these things, sometimes as if underwater, but always within fingertip reach of each other: there is the sky and his face, the sudden overcast and rain and his sex, the talk of others and the still meeting of our eyes. There is everything else, and Mr. Curry. This is how he has always made me feel and in eight years of marriage I have only ever lost this during his worst Bipolar struggles. Losing touch with him...like losing his face underwater when we are drowning. Like thinking he is on the bottom of the ocean and I cannot reach him. Every single time I think in wonder and fear to myself This is how the world will be for me if we cannot find our way. The emptiness that is left after you have been understood, connected and loved by someone day in and day out is a grief I hope to wait out until death. I was happy before Mr. Curry. I was strong, and smart, and connected, and loved, and inspired by life- I was alive. And. There is nothing that can replace or negate the profound joy that comes from being a team bound together in love and commitment. There are other things. But they are not this thing.
It is the way when we walk together our bodies find each other and bump. It is in travel and the stark emotional contrast different geographies evoke, and how we are always in sync, experiencing and reflecting and absorbing, always with a backdrop of gratitude to be alive, to be doing. It is in reading side by side. It is in the arguing and the amazing way an argument suddenly disappears in your mouth as you laugh. It is the ugly hateful feelings that can arise from the prodding of the oldest, sourest wounds, and the intimacy that rises with the expression of those wounds, the trust, the connections formed from secrets said and heard. It is the middle of the night and heat. It is the middle of the day and our children around us. It is the washing of dishes. It is the making of dinner. It is the sound of his voice reading to Lola. It is the thump of his body wrestling with the boys. It is the heft of his hand over Ever. It is the kissing, the groping, the making out, the quickies, the romantic notes. It is the total honesty, something we have had always, through mental illness or not. It is the faithfulness of our bodies. It is the fact that we both love Barack Obama. It is the way we both hone in on the character of people quickly. It is the kind of people we both agree are our kind and the fact that that kind has nothing to do with religion, color, race, accent, sexual preferences or political association. It is how no matter where we have gone, how strange or how wonderful, surrounded by filth or beauty, safety is next to each other. No matter what problems or arguments or hurts, we never abandon protecting and loving one anther.
There are the children, their love and smell and voices and needs and struggles, and Mr. Curry. Always he is the constant, the traveling companion, the sanctuary...at times, from myself. When I was half insane with grief after the loss of our 13 week pregnancy and the physical trauma of two blood transfusions and that tiny body sliding out of me, Mr. Curry stayed in that current with me, sheltering me as he grieved himself. What I remember most from the hospital is the loss, and then Mr. Curry- his hand on my arm as I went in and out of consciousness, his voice talking to the nurses, his eyes meeting mine and his body sheltering me from the eyes of nurses and doctors, how he was there for two days, every single time I fell asleep, and every single time I woke.
At the end of the day I cannot wait to tell him everything and to hear his everything. At the end of the night I cannot wait for the ten, twenty minutes we might eek out alone before he falls asleep, to feel his heavy strong fingers in my hair. He rises at 5am and works all day. We meet in the in between spaces of our family life and those spaces are more than enough to cultivate the deepest intimacy I have ever known. To be seen clearly and still loved and wanted...to see clearly and still love, still want- still choose. Thunder rolls and nothing can be better than these atmospheric disturbances with his companionship, our mutual appreciation of Nature and it's glorious Religion we both embrace. To lose yourself in another's heart and body rolling with you as the skies roll over must be what God thought of as passion, as love, when made man and woman. If we both believed in God we would say thank you. I believe in not knowing, and say thank you even more reverently. For every day is a complete mystery and blessing both.
The miserable times must be carved away at-
This is the therapy. The man who sits before us, and we sit on his soft colored couch, looking back and forth between him and ourselves, revealing our gross inadequacies and failures before a perfect stranger we are paying to make us stronger, more loving, more knowing. Here, I am an abuse survivor, at times ridden with anxiety and panic. Here, I come from a deeply troubled home, struggling with Bipolar. For the intellectual non believer, perhaps therapy is a facet of faith. Heal us. Help us heal. Love is not enough but it is essential, and we have it. Help us not to damage this gift beyond repair.