Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Broken Strand of Pearls, and My Love

It's funny how in the midst of so much crafting a new life, the old one lurches forward and slaps you in the face, forcing you to pay attention to the pain, small and keening in some dark corner of your consciousness. You've left it there to die, but it refuses, and despite your best efforts, and most positive thinking, despite your stoic and sometimes joyful forward movement, you still hear it over there, and the sound reminds you that you're broken hearted. You're angry. You're baffled.

I blame myself most days. He was thin and beautiful. I was fat--the classic "she let herself go" girl. He could get out of bed, depressed! I wallowed there for days, weeks, months. Years? I'm 46, but I walk with a cane a lot of days. I should have
made more money--I should be making more money. I should have been a better house keeper. I should have learned to play bid whist. I should have given more, been more, cooked and cared for him instead of writing books. I should have loved him almost as much as I loved that sweet, brown-eyes carpenter who won't stop wooing me, my Beloved. And in the end, I couldn't take it all back. In the end, he didn't choose me, he choose a life without me, and why should he have? I say.

But I loved him the best way I knew how, and lovies, I didn't really know how. I tried, and now it's over. I mean really over, and the way that slap in the face releases tears you thought were all dried up, it's me in that dark corner right now, not some distant knot of grief I can't quite get at. It's me, Claudia Mair, crying all over my iPad, and writing because I can't seem to get through life--through pain--without wrestling words from my heart.

Not too long ago, I used to think our love was like a strand of pearls, not a uniform and comely adornment, but a wild, crazy, unexpected funky piece. Each pearl unique, each one born of grit, mystery, and friction that our passion polished to a high gloss. And despite ourselves, we were a kind of strong and lovely, fine, fine thang. But now that strand is broken, and pearls are scattered all over the ground, and BE CAREFUL! because that's my freakin' marriage down there, and you can't just trample it. For what?

Don't make me answer for what. It is a most unsatisfying response.

Now all that's left are the pearls that are mine, the one's I brought to us. And on closer examination, they really are breathtaking. They're amazing, because the odds were always piled high against me. I shouldn't have been able to love as long and hard as I did with what I had to work with. My love was a bonified miracle.

I've mentioned before how much I loved Ntozake Shange's FOR COLORED GIRLS. Usually I quote the poem in which one of those gorgeous ladies says, "I found god in myself and I loved her fiercely." But in this wee small hour of the morning I'm thinking of each ladies declaration of the worth of their love, imperfect as it was/is. My love is too... and they filled in the blank with their bold and bodacius declaration that ended with the words: to have thrown back on my face.

Well lovies:

My love is too important, too resilient, too passionate, too dignified despite a remarkable ability to get down and dirty; my love is too joyous, too precious, too real, too alive, and did I say too important? to have thrown back on my face. My love is too offering-from-God-high-and-holy to have thrown back on my face. My love is just too inspired.

I needed to remember that this morning, when sorrow threatened to wash me away and it was easier to resort to useless self-pity, than to move forward with my head up and shoulders squared, knowing I would have done anything to win him back, except be the battered soil beneath the swine. No one who loved as much as I did deserves that. I needed to remember the power of my ragamuffin love, and it's glorious poverty that proved once and for all that I am, indeed, a diva. I have to carry that knowledge in the same exquisite soul sanctuary I now carry my once scattered pearls in. See, I may need to make another fine work of art with that love, another wild and beautiful treasure. Knowing its worth keeps the hope of new and better love alive in me, and trust me when I say I plan to sashay my wide and fine behind into my future with all the hope I can stand.

With fierce determination,
Claudia Mair


Anonymous said...

Amen from this wide glide white girl lover of God. I still have hopes and dreams too.
I found you a while ago from the girl in Miss (can't remember her name, met her once at a Womans thingy) that has all the kids and was with you in Africa.
Susie H in Fl

The Morrows said...
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Alison Strobel Morrow said...

You are amazing, my sister.

The Morrows said...
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MaryAnn M said...

fabulous piece of work here!

MaryAnn M said...

fabulous piece of work here!

Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts said...

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yessssss! That's my Mair! Sashay on, Sis!!

ragamuffin diva said...


I had to read this again! A Sistah has to fortify herself i'n rough times!

Thank you everyone, for everything.

bootytoberlin said...

You just stay determined and take one step at a time! :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. I know the pain of having a marriage fall apart and the thinking that the broken heart will never heal. But I also have met the Healer of broken hearts in Isaiah 61:1-3 and he does a fine and wonderful job. Since you know him personally, and since he walks beside you ever day, is actually inside of you, loving you, comforting you, you will make it through.

larrylovett said...

This poem story is exquisite,luxurious and eloquent wording that should be the healing remedy for what ails anyone who has ever loved hard and lost but had another chance to love again and win.I know there is a GOD BECAUSE He healed my broken heart
and saved my soul.Thanks for putting our thoughts on paper for
only God could inspire you to write
and love like Him.

The Sight said...
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The Sight said...

This is beautiful prose, sister. I am truly moved.

Nadine said...

I remember the Holy Spirit saying You (Nadine) are to be the ultimate expression of my love to Clarence (my husband) in the Earth and Clarence is to be the ultimate expression of my Love to you on the earth.
Over the years I have learned that if I don't allow the Love of God to permeate me, then I don't have the necessary virtue to release that love to others.
God is Love. No one can Love without God - so the real tragedy here is that there was no love in him to enable him to sustain a love relationship with you.
And you are more than worthy of Love. So, in the face of human failures it is once again Jesus, our ultimate knight in shiny Armor who wraps us in his all-encompassing Love. Never leaving you, never forsaking you. Eternal husband, the original friend.
Even then, I am so sorry for your pain and I want to you know that I love you and I appreciate you.

Nadine – Chicago, IL