The Bent of Marriage


Sometimes it’s better to start over.
Scrap what you began and begin again.
Sometimes things are so heavy, so brittle, the weight of it all causes things to come crashing down.
There are too many pieces to put things back together properly.
It is a patched up denial with glue cracks showing.
Like the leg lamp in A Christmas Story, it is irreparable.

The arbor, a slight pretty little thing couldn’t bear the weight of the recent snow.IMG_7075IMG_7074
It handled the buffeting of the wind, but the weight, the pressing down of snow and ice caused it to give way at its weakest point.IMG_7077

When the words come fast and furious we give way, too, at our weakest point.
We muddle and grope, trying to understand and defend and inflict all at the same time. The weight of it all is just too much.

We need a do-over.

The arbor, sad and broken, stands with a hole open to the backyard sky and there is no remedy until spring.
I could pick up the broken pieces and try to weave them through to last a few months, but I know it will only take a breath of wind to bring them all down again.


We end things unfinished there in the dining room,  hurting words suspend frozen in twilight.



I decide to fold laundry.
The laundry room: it is my cocoon of denial and patches.

In the spring I will go into the woods to select fresh saplings to make a new arbor.
Soft, supple saplings that bend and do not break. Able to bend freely because of the life that runs through them.

He bends first. He almost always does.

I turn from the dryer and he is there.

The atmosphere changes and it all unfreezes because of the bending and the being there.
The weight of his merciful bend causes me to let go and I bend now into his arms and our words turn to prayers.

We have been done over.


4 thoughts on “The Bent of Marriage

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