Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And you shall call her by her name...

This is the phrase that keeps ringing through my ears: it's a poem, knocking. I could write about shoe shopping on Wednesday, my search for an amethyst necklace or how the Save-the-Dates haven't gone out yet, but today, today I want to write about love.

It seems like most days all I want to write about is love.

Last night there were lots of tears. There were lots of tears for different reasons, from both of us. No one's sick, no one's died, and I am learning there is nothing wrong with tears. And last night I held Alex as she fell asleep, her head nuzzled into my chest. I tell you this because it was then, a half hour gone of her asleep and me awake in the street-light-through-curtain darkness that this phrase whispered in my ear: "You shall call her by her name: Love."


It is what I call out when I speak of Alex, and what she calls for me.

My parents called each other "Babe" when they first got together. I have given and been given nicknames from lovers and friends past: e, darling, lovely, sweetheart, babe; names with inside observations, names not reserved just for me.

In London, it is common to be called "love" by friends, new acquaintances, customers, retail employees, etc. Imagine the American diner waitress asking, "What can I get you, sugar?" Insert "love" instead and make the waitress a barmaid in a pub. In Cornwall, instead of "love," it is "lover." Are you alright there, my lover? I did not know this casual, cultural use of "love," then.

In the first weeks of being with Alex, the name escaped from my lips before I even consciously recognized what I was saying. I remember it was an autumn morning in the Ocean St house, the light was so crisp on those last days on the coast and there was a soft breeze through the window. I remember sitting on the stairs, she was by the kitchen table.


This morning I realized I was echoing a biblical phrase: "...and you shall call his name Jesus." I Googled it to find out that it was from Luke 1 and a church website included the partial accompanying verses: "And the angel said to her...you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great...and of his kingdom there will be no end."

I don't think an angel spoke to me, but I do believe that when I knew what love was, I called her by her name.

I believe that each time I invoke the name "Love," it is powerful and it is great. There is a heft to it. It reminds me of why I want to connect with Alex, with others, with the world, and I believe love has no end.

I do not tell this story to spark conflict between religious text and personal experiences nor is it told for political gain or change of consciousness. I tell this story because it is my own. I tell this story because it is my love story, my Love: the head on my chest at night; the face I look to each day; the single, most powerful capacity bestowed upon human beings.

Love. I believe in love. And I ask for nothing more than to continue believing.

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