The moon was shining through white wisps of fog flung like scarves upon the hills, floating scarves, and one was patterned with the black branches of a tree in the foreground, and everything was illuminated in a beautiful ghostly way. I crept out of bed as quietly as I could, which is never quiet enough, grimaced at the creak of the door when I opened it, and stood on the deck looking out. It was chilly, but worth it to be standing in the powder of starlight and glow of moon. I tried to take it in somehow, or gather it like a cloak around my being. I wanted to go back inside a little bit changed.
“What are you doing?” asked my husband as I re-entered our bed, trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid disturbing him. He sounded irritated.
“It was so beautiful, I had to go outside,” I said.
He warned me that I probably hadn’t properly shut the door, because he hadn’t heard the right noise, and that’s all we need are rodents coming in. Oh, he was definitely irritated. “You’re such an odd person,” he said, as if he had just met me.
“Why is it odd to want to watch the night when it beckons you?” I said, or something like that. He reminded me that I had fallen dead asleep twenty minutes into a movie an hour earlier, seemingly out for the night, and now suddenly I’d bolted awake to go wandering, waking him up, opening doors, going outside. Yes, odd is a word for it, he said. Or difficult.
I suppose I am difficult. High maintenance in some ways, and the sleep thing has become a big issue, and there’s a lot of angst and emotion. My husband is more functional and concrete. He tends to tangible tasks every day, both physical and intellectual, and he does them well, taking time out several times a week to go to the ocean and renew his soul on the waves, a refuge I can never know, but of which he partakes with grace and skill. By the time he goes to bed at night, he is dog tired, and falls straight into sleep with enviable efficiency. There is something unequivocal about him.
And he snores. But he also brings me coffee in the morning, and he does the dishes and pays the bills, and tells me I am beautiful, an attribute that expired long ago, but not in his eyes. Most of his frustration with me is because I act against my own self-interest. He’s crabby, but no one will ever be this protective of me, so entirely on my side…and at my side. Marriage is a constant dance of tolerance and compromise, and somehow this one works.
I began this post because I wanted to write about the moonscape, and the way it felt to be outside looking at the night and becoming part of it, and how afterwards I saw things differently and would write something lovely and transcendent. But no epiphanies have appeared, and I’m the same old pilgrim, short on sleep, and it looks like I’ve written mostly about the mundane stuff of married life. I remember now that the destination of writing is never known in advance. And it occurs to me that what else do we have but this wonderful ordinariness…until suddenly we don’t, and all we can do is yearn for it.