Ten years ago today I married Andy in the pouring rain.
As a teenager I would imagine my adult self. She would dive into a series of passionate relationships, having her heart broken easily and often. It would be ok because she felt alive and ready for everything that feeling alive involved. She would feverishly make art and travel the world after college and maybe never settle into one place.
I didn’t imagine that, at 19, I would fall in love with the boy I’d had a crush on since I was 11. And that would be it. Just the one passionate relationship. No broken hearts. We were a meteoric collision where two things awaken and strengthen simply by being together. I was stunned to know love like this existed. Love that made me feel the most alive, the most certain, the most vulnerable.
We went to a concert last night. Our babysitter arrived at 6 when I was in the shower, Andy was vacuuming up tumbleweeds of pet hair and the kids were laying in the driveway with stuffed animals. We weren’t ready for her. Or, actually, we were so ready for her. We were tired. We drank espresso, kissed our kids and left.
I didn’t know Todd Snider‘s music very well. But Andy knows me and booked tickets long ago. We paid a little extra to have seats at a table which we proudly noticed makes us in the “older” bracket of concert goers. I remember a time when the cheapest ticket was the ticket we always booked, when we happily stood for hours smushed in the front beer-splashing quadrant of show. Well, I guess we still do that at Pearl Jam but this show felt more like my favorite poetry reading in a friend’s living room.
Elizabeth Cook opened and the beauty of her voice and her words brought tears to my eyes three times in 45 minutes. She told stories that gripped the room and I thought about that power people have when they are doing their thing – the real thing they are meant to do – and the universe shivers with joy.
I leaned into Andy’s side, his two hands clamshelled around my right hand. He has held my hand that way for almost 19 years. I studied it last night. His hands have aged but they hold the same delicate shape, like a prayer around mine.
Elizabeth Cook sang out about trying to be in a room without taking it on and I sat motionless at the relevancy of everything she spoke. She wrote:
But I do tend to fuse things, confuse things, sometimes with sparks, sometimes like a lava melt, sometimes backed by a tank of compressed air ready to blow, sometimes quiet as a slow leak.
Todd Snider came on stage and continued the singing poetry slam, inspiring the room with his humor and voice and word choice. The difference with this concert and others I’ve been to was the attention. People were so tuned into the frequency set by the performers. We leaned in, listened and learned.
Snider’s words hung in the air.
A little out of place, a little out of tune
Sorta lost in space, racin’ the moon
Climbin’ the walls of this hurricane
Still overall I guess I cant complain
We vowed things to each other 10 years ago. We promised to try, to support, to challenge, to love, to tell the truth. We are doing it. I am proud of us. Last night, we listened to our soundtrack. Making out, messing up, faith, practice, terror, wonder, growth, ache, intention, opening. Trying to do things for all the right reasons.