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How do you bridge the distance? How do you reach and connect amidst the daily work and tasks, the little ones, the nursing baby, the tired bodies, and the nights of shortened sleep? How do the words become loosened from the deepest places; the places of dreams, of longings, of loneliness, of questions, of heart desires?

It’s hard lately to step out of conversations that have become babies, renovations, and money. To share in the other parts of who we are as one. The wall of distance wants to build and become solid; now is the one of the times that it has the potential to place its foundation. Each other afraid of acknowledging the realness of our choices made in these past months, the permanence of our life now; the realization that there is no longer a known “next thing” to add an exciting element to our life and relationship.  Not wanting to hurt the other with the words, “I’m lonely” or “I’m missing _______”. And so we talk about the surface of life, we laugh, we touch, and we enjoy each other but when things get hard, our response is to turn away, frustrated. We quickly point out all the good and positives to each other so that we don’t have to face the rest for fear of what we may hear. Slowly, silently, the easy camaraderie, the shared laughter, the delight and need for each other become shadowed by the distance creeping in.

And yet the power of commitment is that our love can’t stay in that place. At some point we have to take the first broken step towards each other where our words come halting yet with sureness. Because we know, we know that we have been given a gift, a treasure in this life together. And it is worth risking the words that come from deep within, because in truly knowing each other, we are one.

I felt no inspiration for Valentines romance yesterday. Not because I was feeling lack of love, but no need for romance in the form of flowers, candy, or sweet nothings. There is a time and place for those and I am not against those expressions, in fact I quite love them. We have had this sense lately that something is lacking, not quite right but couldn’t quite put our finger on it. Until last night, when we were truly gifted this song that reopened the doors to the deeper places within that we needed to share. Our gift to each other turned into words of honesty and hearts that listened, truly listened without fear.

Poison & Wine written by John Paul White, Joy Williams & Chris Lindsey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfzRlcnq_c0&noredirect=1

You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Your mouth is poison Your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine

I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I always will

I wish you’d hold me when I turn my back
well the less I give the more I get back
your hands can heal, your hands can bruise
I don’t have a choice, but I’d still choose you

I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will

I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will
I don’t love you but I always will

I always will
I always will
I always will
I always will

Poison & Wine is a musical snapshot about the dichotomy of love – that while it can be the thing that destroys you, it can also be the very same thing that beckons and builds you. JP and I are both married have been for several years now – and we got to talking one day about what a tug and pull our individual relationships can be. The longer you know someone – and the longer you allow someone to know you – the more the light and shadows inside each person become more vivid. This song was our attempt at being as brutally honest about the dangerous and beautiful process of knowing and being known. (-Joy Williams, The Civil Wars)

I hesitate as to whether these words, these thoughts are appropriate to share here. Because it is hard to articulate my heart words. Because I don’t want to give the impression that our marriage is struggling in a way that it is not. But I think that most relationships come to these places now and again. And they are hard, but they have such potential of beauty. These times show the depth of commitment and life together. They aren’t a quick fix, they are a step in the journey. They are the times that give the times of romance such a glow. These times are part of LOVE.

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