Boxed Up

Beloved has a few boxes that have traveled with him everywhere he has gone. I’ve never seen the contents of these boxes, just the containers themselves.

At some point, Beloved heavily taped these boxes shut. I’m not sure if it was to keep the contents safe or keep himself safe from the contents. I’ve never asked, and he has never offered.

Each move results in these boxes coming with us and being tucked away for safekeeping. Sometimes I see Beloved pick up the boxes and hold them. I’ve never seen him remove the tape or try to peel the tape off.

They are a part of him in a way that I can’t describe. He needs them near him, but not too close to him either. He needs to know where they are at all times. He needs to be able to touch them or see them. He doesn’t need to open them up, touch, or visit the contents. The boxes themselves are more than enough.

Over time, the boxes seem to have become more critical than their contents. Once, we thought we had left them behind. Beloved pulled apart everything we had just taken out of the containers in his search for his boxes. As my heart was in my throat, Beloved found missing items, and all was right for him again.

What He Knew

A smile emerged from his heavily wrinkled face as he pointed towards his discovery. The more he indicated, the wider that smile grew until it seemed to cover his whole face.

I wasn’t sure what he was pointing at, but I was willing to go along with it just to see that smile. In all the time I had spent with him, I’d rarely seen him smile. Instead, those dark eyes always were so serious as they seemed to peer right into my soul.

Around his laughter, he explained that when I had tossed the sticks to the ground, as instructed, the truth had been told. The fact was I was supposed to continue to learn from him, even if it wasn’t my heritage, my people, or even my full understanding.

He said that he had been almost certain to his core when we first met that this was how it would be. The beyond had provided him with the final piece of the answer he was waiting for, even if I hadn’t seen it yet.

I had been learning from him, not for practice purposes, but to keep these stories alive so that they wouldn’t be lost. He was okay with this because he told me many times that if it were meant to be told, it would be told, and if it were to be practiced, he would know too.

Those Moments

Beloved was talking about taking his yearly goal and breaking them down to something more manageable. I suspect most successful people do this. They have plans by the hour or day or week and months and years. They probably readjust their goals as need be, alter their schedule, or rearrange this to do what’s most important.

These people are probably exceedingly organized, from when they wake up to when they fall asleep. I admire these people in some ways, while in other ways, I feel sorry for them.

The goals are lovely. They are how dreams become a reality. They may require belief and effort, hard work, and determination. And they also require an understanding that sometimes, no matter how hard you work, they elude you.

I can’t help but wonder what happens to spontaneity, though, when things are so regulated and set out. I mean, how do you just drop everything for a picnic or a walk along the water when you have such scheduled days. How do you allow for time for surprises, changes of plans, and frankly just stuff that you cannot control?

To me, not having time for any of this means you are missing out on the wonderful randomness that happens with life. I cannot imagine missing out on things that are spur of the moment. After all, some of the best things in my life have come from those moments.

Just A Snap

I’ve a favorite picture of Beloved and I.  It is from when we were first exploring the world, every place could be seen through fresh eyes-each others.  He took me to one of his favorite spots, a lighthouse on a rocky outcrop which bravely jutted into the angry sea.  We had climbed the gentle green hill, and stood at the top, me watching the powerful waves with awe while half listening to him explain that we had to go down a carved staircase to get to the light house.

I recall the rock it stairs were slick and the wind was tousling our hair about as we made our way down.  Once we reached the bottom w carefully plucked our way across the rocks to a small patch of turf and the lighthouse.  I’m sure I knew how many stairs we climbed to reach the top of the lighthouse.  I’m sure I smelled the tang of the salt air, heard the cry of the birds, and felt the coolness of the wind.  I don’t remember.  The picture is of the two of us, standing on the top, laughing with a freedom that happens when you aren’t tied down to obligations.

When I look at this picture, I feel as if I am there again, and I can’t stop smiling like an idiot.  I wantd to put it where I could always see it, but it isn’t Beloved’s favorite one.  His is from a different trip, one wth steep mountains and amazing waterfalls.  In this one we are grinning like a couple of kids who have just discoverd a massive secret.  

Neither of these pictures are on display.  Instead they stay in an album, one we pull out and  are transported back just by looking at them.  You see he is sure we will lose the magic of these Poitiers if they are where we can awlays see them.

Sharing Magic

These days when I take the four-footed one for our early morning outings, Beloved and the duck join us. The duck started long before Beloved because he has this strange idea that we shouldn’t be awake to witness the dawn sky, but to my way of thinking, it’s the most perfect time to up.

The duck doesn’t wander with us all the way, but she’s happy for the company, even if it means that the four-footed one had to wake her up first. Beloved, on the other hand, grumbles a bit about being awake so early, but once we get to a place where we can watch the gentle changing colors of the sky, his grumbling ceases to exist. A grin usually covers his face as he watches the sky continually change over a series of moments; he is caught up in the magic.

Most things worth doing come with some price to be paid or a sacrifice to be made to accomplish what we want. In this case, to capture the peaceful magic of the dawn sky, we get up early and go tromping across the land to find a new special place. And it’s worth the effort to wake Beloved up, listen to his grumbles as we make our way because the childlike wonder and amazement that fills his grin is magic all unto its own. If I could bottle that up for him, I would instead wake him up early for another trip and another chance of sharing the magic with him.

Just A Snap

I’ve a favorite picture of Beloved and I.  It is from when we were first exploring the world, every place could be seen through fresh eyes-each others.  He took me to one of his favorite spots, a lighthouse on a rocky outcrop which bravely jutted into the angry sea.  We had climbed the gentle green hill, and stood at the top, me watching the powerful waves with awe while half listening to him explain that we had to go down a carved staircase to get to the light house.

I recall the rock it stairs were slick and the wind was tousling our hair about as we made our way down.  Once we reached the bottom w carefully plucked our way across the rocks to a small patch of turf and the lighthouse.  I’m sure I knew how many stairs we climbed to reach the top of the lighthouse.  I’m sure I smelled the tang of the salt air, heard the cry of the birds, and felt the coolness of the wind.  I don’t remember.  The picture is of the two of us, standing on the top, laughing with a freedom that happens when you aren’t tied down to obligations.

When I look at this picture, I feel as if I am there again, and I can’t stop smiling like an idiot.  I wantd to put it where I could always see it, but it isn’t Beloved’s favorite one.  His is from a different trip, one wth steep mountains and amazing waterfalls.  In this one we are grinning like a couple of kids who have just discoverd a massive secret.

Neither of these pictures are on display.  Instead they stay in an album, one we pull out and  are transported back just by looking at them.  You see he is sure we will lose the magic of these Poitiers if they are where we can awlays see them.

Recollections And Trouble

Not that long ago, it seems, Beloved held out his hand for me to take while he started up the music. He suggested I kick off my shoes and join him in the garden for a bit of “fun” for a few moments.

I recall the sun had yet to set, the air was warm, and he pulled me to him. We danced as the sun started to set. We danced in the pale purple of the coming night, and it seems we were still dancing when the moon was bright overhead.

Somehow during that time, I didn’t worry about stepping on an insect, our neighbors, or anything other than being with him. I was aware of the time shifting, and yet somehow, it seemed like time ceased to exist. It was just the three of us as the four-footed one switched between watching us and joining us.

It wasn’t yesterday, still the same I can recall it as if it were. Perhaps because he isn’t here now, I find these moments surfacing again. Each detail so bright and vivid.

Memory is a strange thing. I can recall that time with no effort, but ask me about time in the market two weeks ago, and I have no way to tell you about it. Selective recall I guess, which isn’t bad trouble to have

Luck, Blessings, And I Don’t Know What

Her weathered hand patted my arm as she told me that Beloved was the lucky one in our relationship. She said it is rare for man to be able to hold fire in his hand and feel the passion of a woman who knows what she wants.

The truth is, I am the lucky one. You see, I am the one who is blessed to have a man who will put up with my stubborn ways, matched by a fiery spirit. Many others would leave, but not him.

He has weathered the tempests and the storms. He has held things down while I went off to see what I felt I needed to see. He has been the steady one, the one with the plan and a way to get there.

How many people can say that they are loved enough to follow their dreams, going where they want or turning back as they need? How many can know with confidence that their lover will be there regardless, ready to soothe any hurts and celebrate the successes?

I’m not so sure I would put up with what this man puts up with if things were reversed. He smiles when I ask him about this, he simply says, the cost is nothing compared to the rewards he gets back.

The Food Makes The Moment?

Some people say the sandwich makes a picnic. The type of bread, the fillings, even how it is prepared can all play a big part in the final taste of the sandwich.

Beloved is one of those people who truly believe that the sandwich can make or break a picnic. Sure, you have to consider the weather as well as the location. However, great food can overcome a poor location or rubbish weather.

With this theory in mind, Beloved headed off to the market to gather the picnic items required for a perfect outing. I stayed out of the making of the picnic food because I am not a picnic kind of girl. There is something wrong about eating with the ants.

He spent a few hours in the kitchen after he came back from the market, claiming the sandwich had to be pulled together and allowed to have the flavors all marry together before it was consumed. He did not explain why this included a plastic-wrapped brick being squished on top of it.

So, tell me picnic fans, how does this work. What is the magic that happens with the food that makes it great to share with the ants and the wind?

The Shape Of Healing

She arrived in a swirl of colorful skirts, a dark hat, and a multicolored cardigan one size too small. She didn’t so much walk into my room as she just kind of was there one minute!

She didn’t speak so much as she grunted and waved a handful of leaves at me. Not speaking the language, I wasn’t sure what she was saying or wanting me to do. She thrust dried leaves my way, pulled a cigar out of the depths of her voluminous skirts, and struck a match against her shoe.

This was unlike any doctor’s visit I had experienced in the past and I was sure it would be unlike anything I would experience again. How often does a doctor light up a cigar, and then blow the smoke on you, while insisting you fan yourself with the leaves? She continued the process until the cigar was a stub and the leaves had crumbled to nothing.

Just when I didn’t think it could become any more unusual, she scooped up some of the crumbled leaves, put them in a glass with water and swirled them around. Once she finished this, she dumped the water out and waited for the leaves to dry on the side of the glass.

The position of the leaves told her the next steps to healing me, which involved another cigar and smoke being blown around me. Healing takes all shapes and forms in the world. Not all of the way s can be understood.