Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Rorschach Test

The vine wound 'round this post makes me think of a woman wrapping her arms around a man, begging for attention or at least some kind of reaction. See how she's reaching up to him, trying to draw him into her arms? No?

You probably see something entirely different. But then, you didn't waltz with my memories this weekend.

Turns out Jeff and Nancy have much the same musical tastes that I do. When I was in their office calling Katie, I noticed several CDs I wanted to add to my playlists. They were very gracious about sharing. Jeff even racked up some CDs for us to listen to while I downloaded music. An old favorite, Kathy Mattea, was among them.

Driving home on Sunday, on a section of two-lane road winding through sunlit alfalfa fields, memories hit me so hard I almost pulled off the road. If there had been any place to stop other than a very narrow shoulder, I would have. Kathy Mattea was singing "Asking Us to Dance" from her Time Passes By cd.

I first heard Kathy lifetimes ago, when I was still married. I almost never bought or listened to music back then, but for some reason I'd gotten that tape. That afternoon at our lake cabin, I listened to Asking Us to Dance over and over as I worked around the house and yard. I rewound the cassette again and again until I could instinctively stop within a second or two of the start.

There's a full moon up and rising,
And there's a whisper of a breeze.
Blowing through the tangled silver,
Hanging from the cypress trees.
There's a river made of moonlight,
Flowing clear across the lake.
And there's a million stars just waitin',
To fall for any wish we make.

Darlin' tonight I am reminded,
How much these two hearts need romance.
You know it isn't all that often,
We get this kind of chance.
Why don't we get caught in this moment?
Be victims of sweet circumstance?
Tonight I feel like all creation,
Is asking us to dance.

There'll be time enough tomorrow,
To get back to our daily bread.
But there's something 'bout this evening,
That's put this notion in my head.
That heaven and the earth are meeting,
Tonight upon this very spot.
And all the things on earth worth havin',
Are things that we've already got.

Amazingly enough, that night there was a full moon and it was flowing clear across the lake. After the kids were tucked into bed and the dog settled down for the night, I begged The Wasbund to come out on the deck with me, to listen to the song and dance in the moonlight. He wouldn't even think about exposing himself to Minnesota mosquitos after dark but did finally agree to listen to the song.

When it was over, he turned to walk out of the room. I blocked his way and begged him to dance with me. "It's true," I said. "We do have all the things worth having. The moon is full and beautiful. The kids are asleep. All creation IS asking us to dance."

He stepped around me, saying, "I've got things to do, Jerri." He had a way of saying my name that hurt my ears. Derision dripped from each syllable like acid from a cracked battery.

Sometimes I whine about being alone now, but I've never been more alone than I was in that moment. The pain of it rode with me from Collins to Warrensburg Sunday evening. Time has not dulled its edges. In fact, they may have been whetted on the limestone outcroppings scattered in the ditches among the daisies and the Queen Anne's Lace through there.

Like I said, I see a beseeching woman wrapped around that stoic man-post. But that could just be me.


Doubting Thomas said...

I'm pretty sure that this SOB found the life he deserved sometime after you two parted ways.

Great, fearless writing here.

Funny, when I look at this photo, I also see something of the archetypal libido, too, but somehow the vine seems like the masculine energy to me—extending and exploring every which way.

That's probably just me, though.

Interesting thought....life as a dance.

Pity the folks who won't shake a leg.

magicaldamselfly said...

It's better to be alone by yourself than alone with someone who wishes to make you feel alone.
Oh Warrensburg, I was a little girl there and still have lots of family there and in the Kansas City area as well.

riversgrace said...

Oh, baby, do I know this one. I'm so happy that your spirit moved you onward....

Deb said...

I love your tender heart and your courageous willingness to walk through fire.

I cannot imagine the fear Wasbund had to be in the grips of that kept him from the certain joy you offered.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I have a similar story - and you are so right - the most lonely feeling in the world.

Great lyrics, great song!