Image of Long Story Short Award - 2022
Image of Creative Nonfiction
Our messy married life; wabi-sabi beautiful, imperfect,
impermanent, and forever incomplete.

Continually, we mend the chipped and broken pieces into art, our art, our life. Like Japanese cracked pottery we fill the cracks with lacquer and liquid gold.

The container grows ingeniously stronger with gorgeous integrity in each asymmetrical line; rough,
beautiful, and intimate.
Tumbling forward, tugged along by the wild blessings
of its own making,
this process we willingly embarked on
can't help but nurture authenticity.
It loves to crack us open again and again.

It's untameable, continually shredding our preconceived ideas of what a life should look like. It's the thickest, realist, muddiest love I've ever known, and it's ours, we grow lotuses in it (on good days).

The best version of our story starts out like this:
from behind a radiant, golden hue of California sunshine,
saltwater whipped from his gorgeous hair and not a care,
a man walks over to me as I'm busy minding my own business and asks me to dance.

I had other plans. He said he had
other plans too but he asked away; and with a yes, it became an opening that marks a before and an after.

Steady and shaky, we held hands.
Ready, not ready, we danced.
We dance.
Over the years it has simmered into a waltz on an edge
where deep knowing meets mystery, where home
and danger stand side by side, and where we dip
at the threshold of mine, not mine.

Still, I keep him close, too close at times— maybe waring bees in a hive— too close,
and just as I become almost blind with familiarity, as if in rhythm with an unknown force, a bell chimes deep within my chest, and the season changes,

pushing me out beyond the weight of what we're trying to pull off,
beyond the counterfeit exchange of order and duty, the clouds in my eyes disperse and I am able to see him again, he is not the enemy.

That's when Love takes her devoted hand,
uncrinkles my dress,
tucks my hair behind my ears,
and turns my chin toward the realization
that his depth is utterly ungraspable to me.

I can never fully know him,
he's not mine, he's his, a living, breathing being—
free— and today he chooses me,
and just when I think I couldn't love him more,
I do.