Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dear Michigan (In Between There Are Doors),

William Blake is often quoted to have said: "in the universe, there are things that are known and things that are unknown, and in between there are doors." As interesting as Blake the poet, the artist, and the, perhaps, misunderstood man might be to discuss, it’s the quote itself that I find relevant. Let’s face it, the universe is a pretty big place. Yet somehow in all that vastness and in the expanse of time, as well, Q and I crossed paths in such a way that has brought us to this moment and to my writing about it. One of the things I know is that I love her very much and I want to be there with her (and, thus, Michigan, with you), to be able to simply look up at some point in the day, while doing some routine thing, and see her there. To know, at the end of the day, I’ll see that smile, hold her hand maybe for awhile, kiss her softly as I look into her eyes and tell her how I feel. Two of the many unknowns are how and when I’ll be able to do just that. But, as Blake suggests, it’s those in-between moments that offer myriad possibilities. And for every door we’re aware of, there seem an infinite number of which we remain unawares.

When I originally sat down to write about Blake's quote and about this topic, I started out writing about how, not too long ago, Q and I discovered one such door and, as often is the case, it turned out to be an unexpected surprise. I started writing about Cleveland and how it offered us a rendezvous that had a few benefits, the biggest of which was time. It took each of us about four hours to get there (that's four to five hours less than it takes me to get to her house) which meant we actually had a few hours on a Friday evening after work to spend together, unlike this coming weekend when I’ll drive out to see you and her and get there sometime around 2:00am. Cleveland was nice because we had the chance to have a nice dinner together in our room and to chat and to snuggle up close before going to bed. And it’s a pretty city with a excellent museum and some nice restaurants. But it isn’t you! Until I’m out there fulltime, I’m trying to find as many doors as possible, as many ways to spend time with the woman I love. And when I started out writing this post, I thought that was what I was writing about, all these different ways I might make time to be with her. Like this past weekend, we met in NYC. Q brought two of the mice with her and her niece (three wonderful kids). We did all the touristy stuff and I for one had an awesome time showing them around. But it wasn’t like it is when we’re with you.

Yes, in Cleveland, we were able to view some exceptional art. And one of the best things about being in a museum with Q (any museum) is this – not only do I get to appreciate brilliance, to look at paintings and sculptures, all the while being close to her, channeling it seems this intense emotional connection, but I also get to step back, every now and then, and watch her as she studies the art, the way she lingers at times over a piece, her wonder and happiness as palpable and as beautiful as any framed exhibit. And just watching her with the mice in The Village this past weekend was breathtaking. The way she is with them, the way her happiness truly starts with them, it's very special. Holding her hand as we walked through Central Park, pulling her close while we watched the musical, it all felt so good. But holding her hand and pulling her close anywhere feels good, especially in Michigan! And, at the end of the day, those other doors close. They’re just temporary. It’s like I get to step into all these cool doorways, but I never get all the way into the house before I have to go. Q picked up on that before I did. She doesn’t see those get-togethers as doors, so much, but I still do. They're just a different kind of door (not the get-me-all-the-way-to-where-I-want-to-be kind of door, but the get-me-through-the-week-something-to-look-forward-to-until-I-make-my-way-to-where-I-want-to-be kind), one that offers me the opportunity to be with her, which I’m certainly going to take advantage of every chance I get.

But this blog is about you. And, like I said before, what I want most is to be out there with you. So the doors I'm looking for most are all the things I can do to make that happen. It wasn’t until this morning that I realized maybe this blog is one of those doors. It allows me the chance to be with her, as I recall what we did. I admit that’s difficult at times simply because it makes me miss her even more (which I didn’t think was possible), but it also affords me the opportunity to relive so many special moments. And that makes it wonderful as well!

I set out to write these love letters to you to let you know how I feel, but I'd also love to hear what other people love about you. And if there's a special somewhere anyone would like me to devote a posting to, maybe they'll let me know. I intend to write about Traverse City and about Black Star Farms in upcoming posts. I also hope to work another poem in there, but I welcome any suggestions and any feedback. I'm driving out to see you this weekend, so chances are I'll have some new experience to write about from the trip. All I know is I can't wait to see you and I can't wait to see Q's smile and to wrap my arms around her and to squeeze. I just can't wait. In the meantime, though, I'm going to keep finding and making as many doors as possible because one of those doors will eventually lead me right to you.

*Top image - Claude Monet (French, 1840-1926). The Red Kerchief: Portrait of Mrs. Monet, c. 1868-1870. Oil on canvas; 99 x 79.8 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Bequest of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1958.39

**Bottom photo courtesy Christopher Kierkus

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