Yearning is strange right? It’s the crave that flames in our bellies when we hear stories of backpacking in the desert or birthing a child or emerging from grief with glorious stitches where the horrible rips once were. When we see the stories of gutting and risk and victory in others, we feel it. We feel a pull toward wild life. Full life. More. But also solidity. Place. Conclusions. The end of people’s stories include both the falling apart, the knitting together, and the final messy product. Yearning is the lust for all of those stages distilled into one potent shot of hard soul liquor.
Yearning wants to be both wildly adventurous and incredibly safe. It wants to be flying into the wind of the fire. But also ensconced in the tender mercies of sweatpants and elastic waist bands. It wants to be satisfied with the richest things, the sexiest sex. It wants to be unsatisfied. Because longing is lovely. It’s tea and whiskey. But never mixed.
We bring this duality into all of our relationships, I think, but especially our marriages. Someone once told me, “You are the kite, and he is the string.” We fill little rolls we never meant to fill, or expected to be. We pull against each other. We come home to each other. It is an endless dance. I am the bird, and he is the nest. Somehow we are one, but only in opposite directions. We drive each other totally nuts.
I believe two things about marriage: That it is forever, and that it will always be a little uncomfortable. It’s the interplay that opposing magnets do in the hands of curious children. They’re held together firmly by the twin impulses of resolve and revelation. But they’ll always be resisting. Resisting in that strange, invisible way that two incredibly unique people could never possibly be one thing. This is the balance.
These are ancient thoughts that many minds have thought before. For me, though, they feel fresh in this moment. It feels like a revelation that I could enter into the dance with this stubborn old man, and that the point of it all is the “marriage” between resistance and togetherness. The point of it all is the friction. The tension between two. The yearning… for better, for more, for less, for now, for then. We hold it all incarnate between ourselves. And as long as we don’t put it down, we birth something new.
That’s all… I’m just thinking about it. Balance. Yearning. Imbalance. My magnet tries to fly off to the left, and his magnet yanks me back to the right. His magnet tries to stay exactly in one place forever, and my magnet pushes him backward off the table. And yet in all the push and pull, there is an innate sense that these two things are destined to grapple together with their stories. One magnet alone is nothing. A moon without a sun or sea. It’s the trinitarian unity that brings things to life.
And, I don’t have a conclusion today. Only a few thoughts that wanted to live on paper. Only a rough draft… the fraction of the story where the person is wandering in the mohave desert.