How about that? In two days, I've matched my output for all of 2014. Not a bad re-start, eh?
First, thank you so much for the warm welcome back. It's been staggering, actually. I didn't expect to be met with where-the-hell-have-you-been hostility or anything, but - well, I'm not really sure what I expected. Crickets, I guess. But your messages and your "likes" and your kindness have meant so much to me.
Okay, I'll stop before I go all Sally Field on you. ("You like me! You really like me!")
I've decided that I'm not going to try to recap everything that's happened in my life over the past whatever months and years. I'll just let the narrative unfold from here, and when there's some back-story that's critical to understanding the big picture, I'll give it to you. The rest of the story can remain in the shadows, comfortably gathering dust.
There is one piece of information that I want to give you up front, though, because it's big and it's awesome and it's actually still new enough that it gives me chills every time I say it out loud.
I got married last month.
I know, right?
Last night, I was talking to my husband (my HUSBAND!) about this tentative foray back into writing, and I told him I'd need to come up with a blog name for him.
"Uh," he said, tentatively, "how about Brian?"
Brian. Which is interesting, since "Brian" is, you know, his actual name.
I hadn't really considered using his actual name. I was coming up with names like Terrapin and Wonderdude, but "Brian"? Never occurred to me.
Even when my own real name became linked to the blog, I continued to refer to Bud as "Bud," with the hope that in the future, it would be difficult for people to Google him and land here. My reasoning was that it would give grown-up Bud the option to disavow all connection to blogger me in the future, if he chose to do so. (Though, frankly, if Bud ever has concerns of that magnitude, this blog will be gone before you can say "toaster brain.")
So, for Brian to opt to be Brian here in blogland? Well, suffice it to say that I take it as a good sign that my husband is not reserving the right to disavow all connection to me at some point in the future.
Anyway, back to the point of the story: Brian and I got married in June. I'll skip the back-story of our relationship, except to say this: with him, I have exhaled for the first time in a very, very long time.
Our wedding was perfect - a small gathering in the backyard of our good friends. During the ceremony, Brian's brother did a reading that we'd chosen because it resonated so completely for both of us. It's called "A Marriage" and it was written by Michael Blumenthal. It goes like this:
You are holding up a ceilingMy eyes are filling up right now just typing the words on the screen. The ceiling had gotten really heavy, friends. And my arms had gotten tired and were starting to feel weak.
with both arms. It is very heavy,
but you must hold it up, or else
it will fall down on you. Your arms
are tired, terribly tired,
and, as the day goes on, it feels
as if either your arms or the ceiling
will soon collapse.
something wonderful happens:
a man or a woman,
walks into the room
and holds their arms up
to the ceiling beside you.
So you finally get
to take down your arms.
You feel the relief of respite,
the blood flowing back
to your fingers and arms.
And when your partner's arms tire,
you hold up your own
to relieve him again.
And it can go on like this
for many years
without the house falling.
And then I met Brian.
I keep replaying a moment in my mind - Bud and me dancing on the lawn during the wedding reception, singing along with the Pharrell Williams song, "Happy" - "Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof..."
Our lives are still as challenging now as they were before we were together. Things are still messy and complicated and hard to negotiate. The ceiling is still there and it still needs to stay up, but it's no longer pushing us down. And some days, we barely notice it.
Clap along, indeed.
I'll share one other thing before I end. It's one of our wedding pictures, courtesy of Bud.
I'm the one on the right.