Stretch, bend, snap and bind: like-mindedness and marriage and a few other meandering thoughts

My husband is playing the guitar on the other side of the room, and I keep opening and closing browser tabs trying to decide what I have to say here right now or whether I have anything to say at all, or whether to close the whole thing down and play Candy Crush. I’ve almost done that twice now.

But as satisfying as passing level 216 of Candy Crush would be, nothing beats jotting down a few words. It’s the thing that wakes me up, even when I’m cross-eyed tired.

Last light. Hang on, green. Things are about to get crazy in your world.

Two days ago, Brandon and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. He’s playing “True Companion” by Marc Cohn right now, the song we danced to on our wedding night to launch us into the years that have done (and will likely continue to do) their “irreparable harm.” Gratefully, “I can see us slowly walking arm in arm” my husband and Marc Cohn continue, “just like that couple on the corner do. Girl, I will always be in love with you.” This weekend, I get to tag along to Columbia, SC, and while he works, I will also work–on essays and poems and blog posts for Off the Page–and the kids will stay back and destroy the house for us while we’re gone. I’m really excited about going away with him for the weekend, because, as predicted last time, I’ve already found myself sobbing on the couch with my laptop and wine several nights this season waiting waiting waiting for my husband to come home.

It’s hard, marriage.

So, Columbia will be glorious. Even if it is supposed to rain all weekend.

Tonight I started listening to Love Wins by Rob Bell and had one of those fluttery heartbeat feelings. This guy gets it, I kept thinking. I walked into the house after my commute still buzzing and blubbering a bit about Rob Bell and heaven and how YOU HAVE TO READ THIS ROB BELL BOOK IT’S FREAKING AWESOME.

I love finding those people whose spirits align with mine, like we’re really all in this expansive universe together. When Brandon and I met, we were at that perfect place where ideologies and hopes for the future aligned. Somehow, over the last 13 years, we have stretched and bent and sometimes snapped, moved ahead of each other or lagged behind the other on our respective journeys. We have warned each other about giving the devil a foothold. We have gone door to door together and separately for varying causes and political campaigns. These days, our conversations about faith and politics, peace and love find more common ground than not, and I love this space between us. I love that we are like-minded. I love that right now, in our relationship, we are partners in this space. It makes the times when circumstances of life grind a little more tolerable.

It’s really touchy-feely and I apologize for that but man, I just love it. Love it love it love it. I’ve felt that way a lot lately about people and places where I’ve landed, connected to like-minded people, united in common causes, gathering in a “sharing everything in common” Acts 2:42 way. Richard Rohr and Rob Bell don’t know it, but we’re totally breaking bread together. Same with Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown and Cheryl Strayed and and and and…it makes me feel like we can all take on the trouble and pain of the world and deliver light. Together.

Don’t forget to pack your crazy eyes!

Last week, I was depressed about the husband-on-the-road. I think it was one of those deadly swings of hormones and circumstances spiraling like they do for me, and when I get in that haze, I lose sight of hope. The world narrows and all I see is want. Grief. Loneliness.

How is it that one week later the world is light and life and heaven-on-earth? Is it because of Rob Bell? Is it because Brandon is home and I’m going on the road with him next week? Is it circumstantial only, and if so why am I so short-sighted, blinded by this fog? When will it descend again? Will it?

I don’t know, but the surge of energy, the need to engage with the rest of humanity, the drive to do the thing that I was made to do, whatever that looks like, blossomed out of the chaos again. Maybe it’s coincidence. Maybe it’s hormonal. Maybe it’s human touch. Maybe it’s that recognition of a common vision. Maybe it’s hope.

Anyway, here I am. Writing a wandering blog post, anticipating the weekend and the good work ahead. Grateful. It only seems right to end my blathering blog post tonight with what has become a mantra for me these last few years:

Sow your seeds in the morning, and at night let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well. – Ecclesiastes 11:6

Back When:
2014: The In-Between
2013: Most Memorable Moment: Ten Years Later
2012: That Isn’t on My 30th Year Goal List
2011: Anniversary
2010: I’m Going Pro-Joy
2009: Posting Poems
2008: You Can’t Have It All

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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