King Lear's daughter, Cordelia, speaks those words when her father tries to cajole her into declaring her love for him. When I read that for the first time, it sunk deep into me with resonating familiarity.
Add to that, I once had a religion teacher or bishop, or someone with some influence over me, give a lecture on testimony sharing:
"Your testimony should never be the cause of pain for someone listening, and if you do it right, it won't be. If you rave about how much you love your husband, how are those people supposed to feel who don't have a husband? Or children? Or what about people in a difficult marriage. A testimony should never do that. Share about things that are universal."
That also left an impression on me. So what's my point here?
Today is our 18th wedding anniversary. And, David has never heard me gush over him—publicly, that is, which personally I think is completely appropriate, but maybe not very fun when the rest of the world can at least count on an honorable mention once a year or so.
With that languishing introduction . . . Happy Anniversary, David.
When I married you, my orbit changed. You invited me into your gravity, and I'm still here. All of our experience together—the good and hard, bad and hard—it all adds to the mass, increasing the gravity. Will you forgive me if I fall back on a better wordsmith? (I'm feeling inadequate in this public setting.)
To whom I owe the leaping delight
That quickens my senses in our wakingtime
And the rhythm that governs the repose of our sleepingtime,
The breathing in unison
Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other
Who think the same thoughts without the need of speech
And babble the same speech without need of meaning.
No peevish winter wind shall chill
No sullen tropic sun shall wither
The roses in the rose-garden which is ours and ours only
But this dedication is for others to read:
These are private words addressed to you in public. T.S. Eliot
How do I thank you for the late nights and early mornings, long discussions, listening. . . always listening, carefully listening? And, the fun—always, so much fun to be with you. Thank you.
I love you.
(How'd I do, Love?)