Thursday, February 14, 2013

So, for Valentine's Day my sis posts on her lovely blog this crushingly beautiful song by Mary Chapin Carpenter:

The video's not much to see, but the song just laid me out, and when you see the lyrics laid out, too, you understand that part of the song's effect comes from its structural perfection, viz.:


You can't see me yet
Seeing takes a long, long time
From the outside in
Measuring in shift and sign
As you let your eyes adjust
To the darkness deep within
Sifting through the ash and dust
We are the places that we've been

You can't hear me yet
Listening takes a long, long time
And I've so much to tell
But words die on these lips of mine
In the stillness you may sense
Everything I long to say
Unraveling these golden threads
The walls will all come down this way

You don't know me yet
Knowing takes a long, long time
And time is all we have
Never traveling in straight lines
So memorize each turn and twist
And just be careful as you go
For if a love is a labyrinth
Then my heart is Jericho

The song is built as carefully as a city, or my own high-walled heart, which tumbled down into a heap of rubble and tears this morning, listening over and over, going farther into the center of the song, as easy or arduous a journey as this old map of Jericho might make it.

I listened to the song as if I were singing it to my kids, my darling spousette, my folks, my siblings, all the friends I haven't seen or heard or known in years (or ever, in the song's deep way of knowing). I listened to it as if they were singing it to me. I listened as if my one-month-old granddaughter, the biggest little thing that's happened in the long, long time since I last posted here, were singing it.

"You don't know me yet..." Aw, jeez. I'm a sniffling mess here.

Here's the thing. If you're reading this, I probably love and miss you. It's Valentine's Day. Be mine.