The rift. It’s over, healed, done. Birds pick at the frozen ground.

I eat seeds also, and dark chocolate chips. Last night a band drizzled loud on our conversations. Sill, I savored the Hungarian goulash and the company at the cider bar. My beloved reached for me a few times and his touch warmed me.

In the gliding car lit by streetlights on the way to the bar, I told him that I wanted to kiss him every day and take a moment to be grateful for him and our love.

I want to kiss you more than I do,” he said and explained that all the weird things he ingests for his health make it difficult to have kiss-ready breath all the time.

You know I wasn’t trying to get you to kiss me more, right?”


Sometimes, when I look at him, my eyes will settle steeped in adoration for a few moments.

I think when I have these outpourings of love for you and I notice I’m not receiving these back as much, I worry that I’m opening my heart and risking and that you don’t love me back as much as I love you.”

You are gifted at loving.” He turns to look at me. “I don’t know if I can match you.”

So when you say you have a belief that you’re incapable of love, it’s not that you feel the love but your false belief keeps you from showing it. It’s really that you’re learning how to love.”

Yes. I do love you and I am committed to our relationship, and I think you’re gifted at loving, and it’s wonderful. It’s part of why I married you.”

I let this land.

Sometimes I wish you were more objective,” he says with a sigh. “But I’ve accepted that may not change.”

Do you think I’m settling for less than a partner who fully adores me back because I don’t think I’m worthy to receive love?”

Only you can decide that.”

No wonder I’m nervous,” I say.

As we drive, images spread out before me: my beloved’s touch, the way he refuses to make love unless he feels our hearts are connected, the universe-deep way he looks at me, the way that each time I manage to walk through my battlefield of defenses he is right there to take me into his arms and has refused to be dismissed. He has walked through fire to stay married to me. Actually, we both have. I feel his love all around me.

You know what I think,” I say. “I think you’re better at loving than you or I think you are, you’re just not good at gushing it. I also think I’m better at being objective than you’re aware I am. We notice ways the other is lousy at things because they are areas where we excel. I’m good at lavishly expressing love, you’re not. You’re good at being objective about two sides of things in emotional patterns while in a heated moment, and I’m not.

But there are times I shine with the clear light of reason and see all sides and there are times your love glows powerfully like a steadfast beacon in the darkness.”

Photo by Janosch Diggelmann on Unsplash


We arrive and park. “Tell me more,” he says and reaches for my hand. We choose our steps over asphalt laced with ice.

His black-gloved palm in mine fills me with happiness as we near the glowing Cider Bar to meet friends. After we’ve ordered, we sit at a long table and project to make ourselves heard with our companions. When his hand reaches around and finds my back, my tension melts. The night swirls around. Children run and play. The duo onstage plays an original that I imbibe like nectar. Huddled sweet time with our friends D, C, J, and others. We swim through time; the night’s heart beats steadily on.

Rummaging through everything, holding nothing back, we wake into each other in one vast open Oh.