We have a dog that is deaf. She does not know she is deaf. We have a grandson who carries Downs’s syndrome. He does not know. We have parents who died of cancer. They knew they had cancer but there was nothing they could do about it. I have to work. Each time I have been redundant I become less than who I am. I prefer one to one or small groups. When in a large group I just pretend.
I love sitting here in my safe place with your words in my ears, my head and my heart. My wife smiles with affection as she heads for the gym. She likes reading but not writing. I never knew that about her when we married. I never knew I liked writing like this when we married. She never knew either.
And I wonder. What do we need to know before we love?
We never knew if we would last. Lots of people said we wouldn’t. We even said we wouldn’t. In those angry shouting moments. We never knew how to make us work. We were in love and that was enough. So “in love” we had one child and then another and another and another. People said we were blessed. I remember thinking how do we stop and yet still love making love?
Removing a piece of me was how. A small operation of cutting.
And I think now what if I had needed no cutting? What If I had been born not able to make babies – I wouldn’t have known that. Nor my wife who loves children so much I feared we were heading for double numbers. What would she have thought had I been unable to do it? What if she had been unable to have babies? We read of many who cannot. We hear of their pain. We have seen the action of pain of a few. The verb of desperation is painful to see in action. Creating life is not just a desire for most – it is a drive.
And yet the wisdom I have now tells me that this drive thrives in a relationship sacred and exclusive AND blessed.
Not just blessed by “god” – but blessed by each of us. Love needs freedom not fences. It needs two free and blessed – a gentler side and the sod-it side – shades of light and quiet – different energies and perspectives. It needs love shared freely but not always the same. It needs laughter and quiet, words and silence, action and reflection, and everything else. And even all that is sometimes not enough. Because we never know.
I call this my place of balance – this keyboard and place.
The words of you all, words I recall from decades back, words of those I hear reading these words (as yet unseen by you). And the words of someone close. Someone I have never seen but see every time I come to my place of balance. My God Soft Hands Jesus.
Who reclines as I write today. He and I have become a pair. A partnership. Just as with my wife – now at the gym – he and I sense as much as hear. Intuit through love as much as words. Because – as with my wife and those I love – he is in every cell of my being. Just as with all those I love – his thoughts change my physical body as I respond to the whisper and unheard sigh of love.
He is here now in our place of balance. And seeing these words makes our conversation real.
For I have been presented with something I am drawn to write. A compelling urge not for my own balance but for those unable to present their own. Those born to love but unable to create life as I have. Those born to seek to create life with as much drive as we. Those who have labelled themselves only as a way of forcing you and I to give them a little space to love as freely as I do – as un-judged as I – as deeply as I – as long-term and as sacred as I – and as consummated as I.
This label that was “gay”, “queer”, “homo” and “les” in my youth. That has become a set of initials. Initials I am troubled to see have proliferated. LGBT became LGBTQ and is now an array of letters allowing shades of anything not “accepted”.
I write these words of balance for one reason only. I had no choice in love.
I only had choice over the other I gave my body to. And because I can only make love “a verb” through my body: my spoken and unspoken words … my breathing … my heart beating fast and slow … my eyes with the pupils doing their thing without my knowing … my scent of attraction and lust … my fingers touching and caressing … my arms enfolding and keeping safe.
If love is a verb – I need my body to make it so.
So just what of those whose love desires the verb of one we say is biblically incorrect. Those who say the bible says must not consummate? What choice did I have over my attraction to love? And how can I not use my body to make that love a verb?
For GSHJ is in every cell of my body. He has never stood in the way of one I love. He never stood in the way of one I lust. He has never told me to love one but not another. He has told me to love my neighbour – to love all as myself – and him no less. Love is not sex and sex is not love. Making love is love. Loving is love. The verb of love is love.
I know Him – as I share these words – reclining as usual, calm and loving, curious and relaxed.
You should know He does not always recline. Sometimes He will study my words. I feel it and know it. Sometimes He will ignore paragraphs for just one sentence. Sometimes he will invite me to delete a page. Sometimes he will shake His head and I feel the wave of love and compassion through my whole body: “Not these words – they will wound.”
Today he is not inviting me to delete. Today he is inviting me to press publish.
I have learned that God Soft Hands Jesus uses my body to make his love for me a verb.
Because that is only way I know love.