Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Texture of Love

     The rain outside continues to pour as I'm pouring my second cup of coffee. As usual, I'm up early, a habit I've developed after many years of having to be at work in the operating room by 0630. Today, the morning's hush is punctuated by the steadiness of the rain, pleasantly amplified by my metal roof, giving rise to a familiar feeling of comfort and continuity: I am warm and dry, and I am surrounded by loving men. My husband and my son, Nick, are still fast asleep. For 22 years now, I've been outnumbered by boys and men, and I sometimes wonder silently, "What would I have done with a daughter?" Being the mother of identical twin boys hasn't exactly been the easiest job on earth, but for the most part, it's been pretty straightforward. Whereas boys are fairly low maintenance, girls seem unnecessarily complicated. I'm fully aware that I'm making a generalization here, but it's an assumption based on having once been a girl, a girl who grew up with two sisters and three brothers. In contemplating my relationships with my mother and sisters, the word "complex" comes to mind. Our individual journeys through womanhood have brought us to many crossroads; oftentimes, our paths converge, while at others, we seem to travel in completely opposite directions. Unlike this steadily pouring rain, we've sort of ebbed and flowed.
     My husband just awoke, kissing me gently on the forehead after fixing his coffee, and wishing me "Happy Mother's Day." The rain has started to let up some, lightly tapping now instead of drumming down, and I am left with the realization that ebb and flow are the two faces of continuity, with ebb being the aspect we choose to ignore. They are integral parts of a unified whole, each being dependent upon the existence of the other. In listening to the rain more closely, I'm aware that it too has ebbed and flowed while I've been sitting here writing, never quite stopping, only changing in intensity. I'm fortunate to love and be loved. Over the course of my life, I've known love's many sumptuous flavors: fierce and tender, carnal and pure, unconditional and incomplete, eternal and fleeting, climaxing and eclipsing, fervent and agonizing. Like the rain, the texture of love is simultaneously torrential yet hypnotic, consuming yet sustaining. Ever dynamic, never static, it inevitably returns to its source. In thinking of my mother and sisters, I'm reminded of how textures change over time, how well-worn places in the fabric require mending, while other spots remain as good as new. Perfectly flawed, yet enduring, threadbare and pristine, we're a patchwork of velvet and burlap, a work still in progress.

10 comments:

  1. Happy Mother's Day, Kris. Relationships certainly have their ebb and flow, as people drift in and out of our lives, but I imagine your love for your boys is pretty much a constant.

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    1. Yes, Marty, constant, with a richness that's become more intense over time...motherhood has been one incredibly amazing ride.

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  2. Happy Mothers Day, Kris.

    In the interdependent ebb and flow in human relationships, finding the place of respect and appreciation for my mother and her beliefs and opinions, without relinquishing my own was a challenge. Now that she's gone I'm recognizing how much I learned about interdependence and independence and love and life from our relationship.

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    1. Happy Mother's Day to you, too, TT! What you said about your mom really resounds with me...I spent years alienating myself from her, and finally realized I was only cheating myself. I'm fortunate to have her in my life.

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  3. I loved reading this...your descriptions are so rich! Hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. We had good weather over the weekend, which we utilized well by spending a great deal of time at the beach. Now its raining again though ;) With the ebb and flow of life, I am realizing about love itself - why we love, what we love.

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    1. Thank you, Ananya! I hope you and your family are enjoying your time at the beach, and that you had a relaxing Mother's Day.

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  4. what a beautiful piece!
    I am glad you had a wonderful mother's day, and a thoughtful/contemplating morning. your writing remind me reading "razor's edge" by maugham, which was long time ago, also it was the first time i understand life as (what you describe) a "patchwork of velvet and burlap, a work still in progress."
    beautiful done! i just love it!

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    1. Thanks, Yun Yi...I will have to take a look at "Razor's Edge."

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  5. kris, it might be maugham's another book "of human bondage". it's over 20 years ago. but maugham is one of my favorite english writer.

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  6. Beautiful words, beautiful thoughts.

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