A fortnight of years. A stone’s weight of years. The Moonlight Sonata of anniversaries. The architect’s version of 13. However you want to look at it, It’s both a long time and a short time.
Fourteen years ago, my lovely bride and I promised to love, honor, and cherish, and set out to build a life together. There have been so many twists and turns, and I doubt either of us would have believed it had we been told how we would be at this time. Perhaps neither of us would have dared to hope that we would have been able to build the life we have, and neither of us could have foreseen some of the challenges we have had to face together.
We’ve changed, and grown, together. We’ve taken on the world hand in hand. I’ve been told we make a good team, and I believe it. There’s certainly nobody I would rather have on my team.
It has been said that true lovers finish each other’s sentences, and that statement is true. But true lovers also share times where they both scream quietly together in an effort to avoid insanity. Sometimes, true lovers telepathically bring the right things home from the grocery store, because we just know. And so many times I can no longer estimate, let alone count, we will come home and breathe sighs of mutual relaxation in each other’s arms.
Fourteen years, and we fit together so closely that we cannot fathom how we ever were without each other.
Fourteen is also the number of lines in a sonnet. And, since that is my favorite poetic form, here are a few that express my love toward the lovely Amanda.
William Shakespeare, Sonnet 116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Edmund Spenser, LXIV from Amoretti
Coming to kiss her lips, (such grace I found)
Me seemed I smelled a garden of sweet flowers,
That dainty odors from them threw around
For damsels fit to deck their lovers' bowers.
Her lips did smell like unto Gillyflowers,
Her ruddy cheeks like unto Roses red:
Her snowy brows like budded Bellamores,
Her lovely eyes like Pinks but newly spread.
Her goodly bosom like a strawberry bed,
Her neck like to a bunch of Columbines:
Her breast like Lillies, ere their leaves be shed,
Her nipples like young blossomed Jasmines.
Such fragrant flowers do give most odorous smell,
But her sweet odor did them all excel.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet XXIX
I think of thee!---my thoughts do twine and bud
About thee, as wild vines, about a tree,
Put out broad leaves, and soon there's nought to see
Except the straggling green which hides the wood.
Yet, O my palm-tree, be it understood
I will not have my thoughts instead of thee
Who art dearer, better! Rather, instantly
Renew thy presence; as a strong tree should,
Rustle thy boughs and set thy trunk all bare,
And let these bands of greenery which insphere thee
Drop heavily down,---burst, shattered, everywhere!
Because, in this deep joy to see and hear thee
And breathe within thy shadow a new air,
I do not think of thee---I am too near thee.
Pablo Neruda, Sonnet 17 (translated by Mark Eisner)
I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.
Happy 14th, Dearest. May my eyes always close with your dreams.
At Dapper Day, Disneyland, September 2014
Previous anniversary and mushy posts: