She asked if delight had died in us.
Or she didn’t say it like that, but it stung like it, hanging dreadfully in the dusky air as we wound back home. I opened up the windows to see if that would clear it. And then I got angry and said I hated her question, though truthfully I wasn’t angry because I thought it wrong but because I knew it true. Once upon a sparkling past, we rode stranger’s horses and made out until 5 am and took midnight jaunts to the Canadian border for flickering green skylights and rollicked through Stillwater and the rest like it was all Eden.
And somewhere, sometime—almost certainly over a stretch of time, as the honeymoon simmered out and responsibility increased—things became different. More forced. More awkward. More self-absorbed.
She asked if we’d ever live like that again. And I said no that night. And it was stupid and hopefully wrong. And as to whether we’ll ever live like that again, these are the things I’ve been thinking:
All I know is that I’m a walking incompleteness. All I know is that I’m an open cistern crying out to be filled. All I know is that the difference between delight and pleasure, that it’s all the difference, that one spills its fullness into every gifted moment and the other is a quiet and grabbing life that’s desperate to feel good, to feel full & lovely.
And if there is a God and that God does saving, I need them to know I’m bound to a taking life—which is sin—unless I find a full place to come from—where everything is given and received, which is kingdom come, which would be earth as it is in heaven.
I want delight, which is another way of saying
I want to come from a full place, which is another way of saying
I don’t want to be dead before I die, which is another way of saying
I don’t want to trade this wild & precious gift for a rhythm of mild suburban comforts until I’m replaced by children, and I know I’ve got to grow up and work 40 hours somewhere and pay bills to someone but
I want to love irrationally, both you and this old world, smile at you like a starstruck lover, listen to you like I’ve never heard a more important thing, pump my fists at things like strawberries and yawning cats and fat orange moons and the thunderous crack when bat meets ball, howl in laughter with you like we’ve got the best inside jokes, cry ugly tears with you in the gap between the pain that is and the peace that was meant,
all because I was first loved irrationally.