Monday, September 15, 2014

{married to amazement}

I went to visit Theresa on Friday. She was waiting for me in her sun porch with a bowl of grapes and a plate of lemon cake and some peppermint tea. She was smiling widely when she opened the door and pulled me in, but her eyes were full of bright tears.

If you've met her, then you know that Theresa is a woman with dazzling fireworks for emotions - they explode out of her in vibrant colours, popping and cracking and lighting up everything around her. It's a wonderful thing, and it makes her the perfect person to watch a sad movie with or to tell some good news to. She is one who has mastered the art of sharing joy and not covering up sadness.

She dabbed at her eyes with the backs of her hands as she ushered me in and said, "I've been reading a poem. It's so beautiful. Let me read it to you."

I have never been one to turn my nose up at a good poem.

So I sat in the chair across from her and she picked up Volume One of Mary Oliver's New and Selected Poems and began.

"I won't read you the whole thing; it's not a very happy theme (it's about death), but I just love this part. Oh, have some cake, too. Listen to these words. They're just beautiful; I'm probably going to cry again." She rolled her eyes and sniffled, smiling, "Um - here:

When it's over, I want to say all my life
I was a bride married to amazement
I was the bridegroom taking the world into my arms

A bride married to amazement. Isn't that just so beautiful?" 

As I watched her read, so excited to share the words she'd found with me because she knew I'd appreciate them the same way she had, I felt my smile slowly stretching over my face like the beams of sunlight that crept across the floor at my feet. Because the poem seemed to be describing her better than I ever could. Her eyes were shimmering and her voice was quavery and she leaned forward as though leaning into the book, leaning into the words, sharing them with me like a very good secret. 

We spent the afternoon in her sun porch, talking about books and music and summer and fall and people and life, but it was filtered through Mary Oliver and tea and sunlight. I left with those three lines running through my mind and feeling so happy to have friends who continually remind me to be unabashedly spellbound and emotional and excited about life, who suck me into their enchantment and out of the everyday.

Like the bride in the poem and like Theresa.