The Place Where Everything Changed

I happened to mention my Train-Wreck metaphor for our life to Russ yesterday. And I just sorta slipped in that I posted something on this blog. I wasn’t sure he cared much for this.  But I cushioned the news with the retelling of the intro — that I love our life but that it makes me crazy sometimes. Yeah, something like that.

He had sort of a bemused look on his face. I thought it best to ignore it.

A few hours later, after the kids had settled in to sleep, he returned from the basement, where I thought he’d been “bringing-it” to P90X (ok, dare I say, hoping? he’d been working out with ole Tony Horton?). The lack of sweat gave him away immediately. I assumed then, he’d been watching hockey playoffs, in the peaceful privacy of the basement.  Poor guy, never gets a break from me!

But no!

He’d be digging up an old book of poetry to find a poem his good friend read at our wedding.


My train-wreck reference reminded him of it.  While I can tell you exactly who gave us which wedding gift now 14 years and three houses later, I could not tell you who said what at our wedding. Not even what I said. <shh>  I vaguely remember a poem about Rumi. I remember the minister’s name. I think I was too focused on my mother, who was peeing in the woods.

Yes, this is true. She never ceased to embarass me. Ever.

Anyway, as Russ retells the story, his friend didn’t want to read the poem despite having agreed to do a “reading”. It was not traditional; he was a traditional guy.  He eventually gave in to his freakishly renaissance groom of a friend.

I’m not sure I appreciated it much then. Maybe superficially I did.  But now, it holds true meaning to my train-wreck of a life much loved.

I think that my dear dear Russ chose this poem for one of several in our wedding, and that he remembered it at this time, is worthy of it’s place here, now.

The Place Where Everything Changed, a poem by Marge Piercy

Great love is an abrupt switching
in a life bearing along at express speeds
expecting to reach the designated stations
at the minute listed in the timetable.

Great love can cause derailment,
coaches upended, people screaming
luggage strewn over the mountainside
blood and paper on the grass.

It’s months before the repairs are done,
everyone discharged from the hospital,
all the lawsuits settled, damage
paid for, the scandal subsided.

Then we get on with the journey
in some new direction, hiking overland
with camels, mules, via helicopter
by barge through canals.

The maps are all redrawn and what
was north is east of south
and there be dragons in those mountains
and the sun shines warmer and hairier

and the moon has a cat’s face.
There is more sunshine. More rain.
The seasons are marked and intense.
We seldom catch colds.

There is always you at my back
ready to fight when I must fight;
there is always you at my side
the words flashing light and shadow.

What was grey ripples scarlet and golden;
what was bland reeks of ginger and brandy;
what was empty roars like a packed stadium;
what slept gallows for miles.

Even are bones are reformed in the close
night when we hold each other’s dreams.
Memories uncoil backward adn are remade.
Now the first egg itself is freshly twinned.

We build daily houses brick by brick.
We put each other up at night like tents.
This story tells itself as it grows.
Each morning we give birth to one another.

For my Russ…in case you’re one of my lurking readers. Mwwah!

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