Exactly four years ago, Jonathan and I were wrapping up our eighth month of marriage. We were newlyweds. Our kitchen appliances still had that just-unwrapped, straight-from-the-registry shine. Without enough furniture to fill our three-bedroom rental house, we could do occasional cartwheels in the hallways, sommersaults in the living room.
Once, we set up a badminton net downstairs and bopped the birdie back and forth. The cats sat sentinel on the kitchen counter, their twin tails twitching, their heads bobbing in time with each volley.
I was still attending school, making the mind-numbing commute to and from UC Davis twice a week. We owned only one car, the Audi, and had to shuttle one another to and from work... Jon at the lab, me at Banana Republic in Stoneridge Mall. In the evenings, we played board games, played video games, played with our cats. Every day brought something new, an insight about eternity and sharing four walls, a shower, and a car with only one other person.
Hours in the car, hours of folding sweaters and stacking them in perfect, fluffy towers on tables, hours of homework, hours of life... the time would snake by me, so fast I couldn't always keep up. We traveled and camped and attended church and spent time with our families. Somewhere in the midst of all of that, I was overwhelmed. Where were my pretty words? Where were my imaginings? I was numb, unable to create something poetic for my own sake, and it scared me. I was like an amputee staring at the void where my long lost limb ought to have been. Had I missed my chance to be the author I'd long dreamed I would be?
Exactly four years ago, Jonathan built a blog for me.
My Jonathan turns 30 today. I have thought of a thousand gooey, sticky, lovey-dovey things I could write here, but he's 30 now. He's entered a new era of his life. While I can (and will) continue to be his silly, sugar-sweet "wifey" at home, in public and in print I'll refrain. This time. ;-)
Though he's now 30, Jonathan definitely isn't "old." He bounds around our house and the climbing gym and Yosemite and Disneyland like a tousel-headed kid on a sugar high! He continues to love his toys, though they become increasingly expensive (and colorful) with every passing year. His sense of adventure is enhanced with each trip we plan and complete.
My Jonathan continues to be my playmate, my Peter Pan, my complement, my favorite human being. (LEFT: An example of his perpetual boyhood take on life... the way he envisioned our loft as the perfect place to tie an anchor and use his new climbing rope last year. I shudder to think what he wants to do now that he has nuts, cams, and quickdraws!)
I am at work, seated in my gray chair at my gray desk, and pulling apart a 152-page insurance policy. It's dry work, as much archeology as insurance. Terms like "appurtenant buildings" and "business income and extra expense" are trapped within an ocean of doublespeak and redundancy, or so it appears. Actually, when I read through the policy, I see that the puzzle of provisions and exclusions and give-backs does result in an accurate amount of coverage, that what I first perceived as repetitive is actually necessary. Though dull and thick as lead, the policy language is not vague.
As I dissect the stack of papers, stapling and highlighting as I go, my brain dances along with the strains of music which flow through the ear bud placed delicately in my left ear. Bluegrass makes the time fly. The bounce of the banjos keeps me awake as I stumble through the eighteen pages of glossary terms.
It is the end of a workday and I'm driving home. Around me, the river of cars is rushing eastbound in a race with the setting sun. I am thinking of home. My new writing studio is in working order. Goldenrod curtains flutter at the open window. A yellowed globe gives me a view of the world. A framed photo of a turquoise door in Prague reminds me of all the potential which lies in an idea unopened, makes me want to fling open all of those ideas and get them down in print. I want to be home and in my chair at my dark wood desk and tapping out my thoughts through the keys.
But traffic isn't helping me meet my desires. We are slow. Anxious drivers are flooring their gas pedals and speeding around slower cars as though they are the rocks in the stream. I am prepared to hear horns and the crunching of metal and glass at any moment. Driving in traffic is rarely peaceful, but I've noticed that tempers have been more accessible in recent months.
At least twice as week I see a truck cab of haggard men "keeping up foreign relations" with oblivious soccer moms who forget to check the blind spots of their buzzing, swinging SUVs.