Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The perks of working as writers / researchers / night-class teachers: yesterday, as Tyler was in pre-school in the morning, Jennifer and I rode our bikes to the Starbucks in town, ordered two coffees, lugged backpacks heavy with books up the stairs to two comfy chairs whereby we look out the window, and also at one another.

Our goal was reading--Jen for research purposes, me for novel purposes. But soon into a few sips of our coffees, we both sensed that our outing would be more one of those delve-deep-and-reflect missions than accomplishing much reading. (But hey, later that night, Jen would be elbow deep in research and I would be teaching a Public Speaking class, so we gave ourselves the leeway to let the momentum carry us where it would.)

It also happened to be our eight-year anniversary of when we first became engaged. I had proposed on the rocks of Bearskin Neck, Massachusetts right outside of My Place by the Sea restaurant (where we dined after Jen had said yes, and a bus-tour of senior citizens from Texas had clapped heartily to celebrate with us). So it felt particularly appropriate for us to have one of those conversations where inspiration sparks inspiration sparks inspiration, and love just kind of hangs out all around.

The floods that swelled from the River Ouse here in York only a week ago had dissipated, leaving the bike trail along the river free and open. So we rode it, then rode the caffeine of the coffee, then rode the words and meanings and messages of the conversation. And I'm still thankful, thankful, thankful, that my bride said yes eight years ago.

After our conversation, we did actually do a little "work." And during that space of literary-focused time, I wrote the following poem:


We walk, and should our shoes scuff silence
Shame balloons and we cling
To its strings.
Higher, higher we rise
In condensating skies until we
Can view every mistake we ever made.
From that vantage point (as the
Strings stretch the skin of our hands
So tight we bleed)
We learn--nor know--nothing.
Should we sink back down to
Where the divine is always married
To reality, we find
Space for silence, and words for shame
So that it cannot rule our lives again.