The long serpentine climb crested, the work accomplished not always pristine burnished bronze corroded black, these backward glances afford longer views than the mystery ahead. Diligence done, the houses empty, dust in corners more apparent, slower to gather just as the voices no longer echo in rooms, hallways, yards. And two wander with fingers loosely interlocked, the metallic flavor of compromise less acidic, an acquired taste over years of rusting faith. Dawns have a sameness, and there’s quilted comfort in resignation, not defeat, but a quiet joy that eddies like seawater around stone at high tide, swirling this way and that, collecting sand and salt tinged with indifference toward what’s next or what should have been. It’s OK. This is fine. And sometimes smiles ease across stannic lips, the crinkle of disdain and discourtesy leaving tin flecks of regret for warmer winds to sweep away. And celebration is cautious, but embraced, the days shortening as final winters approach, the skin withering as autumn leaves, limbs bowing with the weight of achievement, and eyes knotted into fixed views, no longer searching the sky for answers, but just blurring into acceptance. Anesthetized by calm, the bold claims and hard footfalls of the ascent, the peripheral intrusions and summit threats all spill away, roll like balled iron into the sea where they won’t matter, won’t cause waves, won’t be collected. This is freedom. And the ghosts of lovers no longer haunt, because they’re still breathing, feeling, thinking. Forgiving.
Part six of this weeklong series of pieces devoted to meditations on marriage as a companion to @consideredlight’s “The Wedding Series / ‘Til Death Do Us Part,” a multimedia and performance art exhibition happening on 10/11/14 at 959 N. Hill Street in Los Angeles from 6-10pm. The photos featured with my writing are the work of Janice and her collaborators. The words are mine.
(at Vow of Friday)