My favorite love song in all the world is called "Lies".
"Lies" is by the late, great Canadian folksinger, Stan Rogers, from Home in Halifax. (Link goes to the MP3 download page; the CD is throwing errors at me.) It's a sweet and soulful tune, very real and present in the world, with the magic of love in it. It's there in the words, which I've linked above, but the music, the revelation of it, is this most amazing thing.
We have here this woman, taking her moment of peace for her coffee after seeing her children off to school, caught up in self-doubt and her perceptions of her age, girlishness lost:
Is this the face that won for her the man
Whose amazed and clumsy fingers put that ring upon her hand?
No need to search that mirror for the years.
The menace in their message shouts across the blur of tears.
Time, childbirth, and labor have taken their toll on her, the way they inevitably will. Her husband was, once, amazed to have her pledging to him, but she cannot escape the fear that she has lost what he wanted of her then. She wishes that the mirror which reveals the marks of her age to her would lie to her. She is inutterably human, familiar in her frailty.
And then she gets up, shakes off the mood, sets the mirror aside:
And thinks ahead to Friday, 'cause Friday will be fine!
She'll look up in that weathered face that loves hers, line for line,
To see that maiden shining in his eyes
And laugh at how her mirror tells her lies.
To see that maiden shining in his eyes and laugh at how her mirror tells her lies.
To have that partnership of years, through all the aches of time and age, and to still have the true mirror be the eyes of the beloved, which will still dance no matter the marks on the face: that is the love I have always wanted. Work and children and years and all, and still to dance with it.
I amused a friend recently by commenting that I'm an old-fashioned gal, not willing to marry a person who isn't willing to be a parent to my children -- amused because of the wild nontraditionality of my family life in so many ways. But I want this, the amazed and clumsy fingers, the moment of quiet when the kids are off to school, the too many lines to erase or disguise, and the laughing joy of each other.
Friday will be fine. And all the Fridays after it, and all the rest of my breathing days, Friday and otherwise. That, there, is what I breathe in moments of "I love you".
This month marks thirteen years with my husband, and two years with my liege.
May we be mirrors for each other for years to come.