This week has been a week of flights and waiting (yes, these days the two are nearly synonymous) and family and celebration and Christmas. This week melted like snow into the warmth of ritual and reunion, and I feel I am still savoring it all.
We arrived home this evening, to a city of licking rain and fog from plains of whited ice and astringent cold, and though the journey was wonderful the sensation of casting one’s poor exhausted body into the placid security of a familiar home has a sweetness no strangeness can touch. Home has its own delights, and its grateful embrace of clumsily-packed luggage and mud-slung coats is gentler and more perfect than that of even the most considered hotel. (Strange that I’d never considered–nor imagined–myself competent in the strange art of home-making; strange to realize that despite myself the patient gods of the hearth have elected to knit a place for me here.)
Is this year almost over? I am not sure whether to race in exhausted relief toward the next, or to brace myself for another hurricane of expectation, or to shut my eyes and turn around and fall happily backwards into a snow-angel of beauty and trust and unfathomable chill. It is funny to think that try as I might, I might be capable only of all three.
The past three months–three months! I’d last hugged M goodbye on October 17th; ICE released him that same day in December–feel as disturbingly faint and inconsequential as an ugly dream. We’ve been within seconds of each other since (the one time he did slip out alone–ostensibly to visit a friend–he returned with armloads of roses). The world is whole again.
I imagine that parenthood is one of those life events that forces an entire reevaluation of not only one’s attitudes, but one’s foundational assumptions of the world; I imagine that having a child can’t help but result not only in the extension of a new scale of time, but a new baseline of significance, where the treasure of one’s own life somehow pales in comparison to the life of this new and unspeakably perfect being. I suppose it can’t quite be the same, but I remember feeling a similar lightning bolt of unexpected and unimaginable certainty when I met M (over seven years ago, which seems both forever and yet only an instant), and remember the dizzying reciprocation, and the humbling and sweet process of togethering a new worldview in light of it. I am usually a flexible and accepting person, but to have our future challenged–or even just interrupted–like that just did and does not fall within the realm of my own understanding. (His lawyers couldn’t believe immigration had acquiesced; I couldn’t believe they’d taken so long to do so.) In any case, it seems the various letters and calls and enlistments helped. In any case, from here it will be ever so much more easy.
I would wish for everyone to know a love such as this in their own lives, and in the same breath would never want anyone to have to go through such an unwanted procedure of caged separation.
I am delirious with happiness and exhaustion (I picked him up last night and we drove back together and sleep after that proved hopeless; we were up until dawn stunned-but-not-speechless at this sudden freedom and dizzying reversal of seemingly unalterable circumstance) but, for the first time in months, feel whole.
Love makes life so very tenuous, and so achingly worthwhile, and I am merely grateful that both he and my heart survived.
November was a stuttering of days, and I am dreading in the next month a repetition.
(Why do people hold hope in such high regard? I do not understand. If I could resign myself to an inevitable–no matter how cruel–I could let go, and avoid the mocking pain of daily expectation dashed, and fractured, and dashed again. But hope keeps dancing–perhaps today! or today! or?–and I like a fool keep gasping on.)
Ah well. I cannot complain: there are worse fates, and worse sentences, and I have never loved the holidays. I shouldn’t complain: I am not the one detained, nor subject here to the cruel exclusions of alienage. Still, I miss him, and still I worry, and still I do not understand how the roulette of birthplace can render one subject to such bland and flabby injustice. Immigrant detention is ostensibly an administrative necessity, and not meant to be punitive, but I cannot conceive of being locked for over a month in a room with no daylight as anything but punishment. (M’s skin has turned ghostly; it has been over four weeks, and I have never seen him so pale.)
Meanwhile, I go through the motions, and hold to routine. (I am not sure whether to be grateful for or shaken by the fact that the world is so immune to rupture; that the world, despite personal upset, plods dementedly ahead.) I attend to my papers. I submit invoices. I manage inventory. I pay the bills. I try, and I fail, to sleep.
I don’t know what I expected. This entire planet is a blister of irritation, infected and teeming in a universe otherwise pure; to be alive and a part of it is to ache. What is there to do but love, then? What is there to do but weep?