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Day 14

To walk together in love, mismatched though we are.

My husband is perfect for me: don't expect complaints here or anywhere. I made it a point when we got married to take my issues to him, not to friends or family. Together, we fix things.

Some things can't be fixed, like the infuriating reality of our separate bodies and minds. This fact can't be helped, and the separateness, I know, is a precondition for connectedness. If we let our lonely lives air out, then we can stand back and watch how the curves of another routine, another body, another mind, can challenge the smallness of our personal worlds. And this loneliness is the beginning of relief.

He cooks today. He works the kitchen like a zen master, everything cleanly in its place, his mind and body so engrossed in his creativity that there is no use speaking to him. I am entertaining the baby on the living room rug, attuned to the sharp smell of onions on the cutting board, the warm yeast of the rising dough. Cooking aromas at Sunday dusk remind me, strangely, of incense in a cathedral- the curling collapse from solid to vapor, the meandering ascent to God. I suppose cooking is that too: the coaxing of elements from state to state, smoke signaling the creative alchemy.

And I think, and realize (again and again, it seems) that only through our imperfect creativity are any of us capable of connection. Creativity carries our inmost selves into the messy world of touch, language, smell. It carries us towards connection. Usually we express with our actions and our words, but not creatively (read: with intention). When we act without consent from this inner world, the self fractures. The internal and external no longer cohere. "The center cannot hold."

This is the disease of our people, of our nations. Mismatched actions and souls (lives lived from the surface).

And how to heal?

I set the table, and we eat together. What we consume together (a creative act)) alchemizes in both of us- binding our separate selves to a single steaming bread. This consumption feels like communion.

Two bodies, two minds, co-participating in the alchemy of life.


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