Friday, February 15, 2013

True Love

I want to talk about love.

Because, as I write this, it's Valentines Evening.

And because the man next door is this moment standing on the sidewalk serenading his lady inside - or else he is not feeling well, having had too much to drink.

Because, for better or worse, on key and off, love is in the air.

And because I've been in love with one man long enough to know what love looks like, and to know that most movies and most books get it wrong. You may know this too. I hope my neighbor knows.

Tolkien certainly did:

Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might have found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.
J. R. R. Tolkien, Letter to Michael Tolkien, March 1941

On this day after Valentines, I'd like you to write a caption to tell me something true about love, something the books and movies don't divulge. I've provided some pictures for inspiration from my Pinterest board, Pictures That Want To Be Stories.

And I've done the first one to get the ball rolling:


A thousand things could be true of him that moment. And if they could progress past the moment to a kiss and then to years, and then to a silver anniversary, then those thousand things would taper to seven or eight or fifteen things that were true of him, and they would be the same old things, and the seven or eight things about her would become old as well. And then the mystery and possibility would be replaced with what? With that un-named something that she saw between women with whiskers and men with breasts?
She beckoned him in. 

Sorry folks. I'm tired tonight. But please see what you can do with this picture or any of the others.

We love to read what you have to say.







Henrietta Frankensee said...

Picture #2:
"C'mon, Myrna, I'll take you out to him."
Myrna reached tentatively for her brother's hand. He had given her away at her wedding and had kept giving her away all these years, helped her to love that man out there.
"Away out there?" She hesitated again.
"Sure, you'll see. It ain't that deep. He's just crouching down to keep out 'o the wind."
That adventurous husband of hers, always leading her into stuff, going beyond what she thought she could do. He was lucky she had Luke who understood and never backed down.
Well, once he asked, "I could stop, ya know." Leading her to that crazy man out there.
"No, no..." She liked the feeling. Of Luke's reassurance, of the thrill, of what it did to her to do the crazy things, to reach that man out there and see his approval, his gratitude, his welcome.

Marian said...

Picture #6. "I hope she wakes up soon. My shoulder hurts."

Cherry Odelberg said...

I think there is something movies get right about love that we don't always get right in real life. Love requires action.

Kathleen Popa said...

Cherry, that's a really good point.

Marian - ha! Good one. I love picture #6.

Henrietta, I love what you wrote. Brilliant! And unexpected.

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Mama stopped, looking back. "Julianna wants licorice drops."
Papa sighed. She was leaving him, staying longer in her childhood every day.
"Julianna is married in Pittsburgh now."
She turned a lost look on him, and he curled her hand into the crook of his arm.
He smiled. "We'll get her some."

Not very good, but it's early!

Debbie Fuller Thomas said...

Marian - you're so right! That's exactly what he was thinking.

Sharon K. Souza said...

Katy, what lovely photos. Debbie, not very good? Those few lines are beautiful. Really beautiful. And, Henrietta, terrific!

Kathleen Popa said...

Debbie, I agree with Sharon, yours is wonderful.

Josey Bozzo said...

Picture #4

"Nana?" I said again. She was staring at the picture I placed in her hand so long, I wasn't sure if she remembered I was there.
"Who is that man?" I asked
Through her fingers I could just make out the words on the back of the picture. I didn't need to read them again, I had already read them when I found the picture. But it was right there staring at me
"Betty and Joe, Wedding Day"
Even without the writing on the back, I knew the man in the picture wasn't my grandfather. There were plenty of pictures of my grandmother and grandfather all around the home I shared with them since I was 10.
The writing just confirmed what I already knew when I found the picture amongst dozens of pictures in the attic.
I reached over and touched her hand, "Nana, are you ok?"
"Yes, dear I'm fine" she answered in that same calming voice I knew so well. The one that always made me feel as though there was something else not being said.
"Are you going to tell me who that man is, and why it says wedding day?"
Nana, breathed deep and nodded slowly.
"I'll make some tea first. It's a long story."
She got up and went to the stove, leaving the picture on the table.

Josey Bozzo said...

oops, wrong number, I think it is picture #3, the one of the couple standing on the steps.

Bonnie Grove said...

#4 reminded me of. . .well, of me. And Steve--that guy I'm so glad I'm married to. And of a pseudo-poem I wrote last year or so about love and sex and marriage, and falling and catching.

So, here's a mish-mash of stuff for #4.

I'd been cautious before, playing love close to the vest. For my trouble I got marriage and a man I couldn't quiet look in the eye. When it ended, relief sighed even before the tears dried, though I hate to admit it. Hate to think I'd been so far from the edge of courage.
When I met him--this man who came after--I'd learned to wander closer to the cliff. But something about him made me leap foolish footing from a cliff's edge I hadn't
noticed, or pretended not to see. I didn't think, only
felt the fall and blessed its decent. The
ragged bits of me weightless in the movement;
fantom limbs.

I forgot
the sensible thing, the priority of self
preservation and gave it up
for a guy with blue eyes.

And dang if that man didn't catch me, didn't make me trust him, didn't make me believe we would swing on the cliff's face forever.

Kathleen Popa said...

Josey, yours was lovely, and mysterious.

Bonnie, yours made me cry.