Friday, May 2, 2014

After two years

After two years, you have not forgotten their names. You remember where they sit in church, the classes the teach, the house where they live. You remember bluebonnets and firewheels, Texas roads, and where to find peppers at the grocery store.

And yet, after two years, you have forgotten so much. The timbre and pitch of their voices, deeper than you remembered. The grip of their hands--soft, hard, wide or wispy--when you say grace before supper. You have forgotten the length of their stride on a morning walk, how you must quicken your steps to keep pace. The harmony lines they take with the hymns. Their taste for greens, or peaches. And perhaps you have also forgotten their tempers: the quips and picks that are not just, the insecurities, the subtle rivalries. The messy desk or the favorite mug. The songs they hum in the car.

It feels nothing like betrayal, this forgetting. You almost wish it did, for then you would have a reason to beg their forgiveness, to love them more for the grace they would extend. But that's a friendly heresy, and you know better: that forgetting is like wind and rain, in turns gentle and severe. Or it is like a fast when the bridegroom has gone away, a preparation for the feast when he returns.

Among such friends, you forget it has been two years since you were in their arms.You marvel as you remember, remember, remember, like watching the characters in a much-loved storybook step off the page, turning from word to flesh.