Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Love My Wife

Perhaps the only idea that is truly unassailable in my life, because it is true beyond a shadow of a doubt, is this: I love my wife. Is it any wonder to those who know me that I would say such a thing? After all the many years that I have been longing, yearning, and hoping to someday hold in my arms one who I esteem dearest to my heart, I can gladly, happily, gloriously say that my wife is the nucleus of my affections.

This woman, on the left, I love. Can you tell?
As though it were physically possible, my love for her seems to have grown the little cavity of my chest where the organ that pumps the red blood through my stolid veins resides a multitude over. What a great and wonderful thing to have a piece of my heart distilled into a physical form known as Andrea.

Does this sound saccharine enough yet? Has the color palette of emotion painted a rainbowy sky of gumdrops and butterfly tears? I don't know, perhaps my excessive use of mushy adjectives and adverbs isn't really helping paint the picture which I desire to impart. Perhaps my words fall short; perhaps they come across as disingenuous. Honestly, it doesn't matter. My words, though flowery (as is my modus operandi) can really only scratch the surface of my feelings. These feelings have a depth that I have not yet fully grasped, whose pigment is only hinted at, whose meaning and use I have only begun to search out.

The meaning and use of feelings: are you serious? Surely when reading that section you must have wondered what sort of drivel am I dragging you through. Proverbial middle fingers are certainly raised in earnest consternation at the thought of my damnable preaching. Though the thought inevitably crosses my mind every time I sit down to write that the world could use a little slap in the face with Marc's formidable mind sledge, this is not one of those times. Indeed, this time it is just to share something of my life.

This expression is sort of how I feel. She still looks beautiful.
Lately, as in the last several years, I have noticed a considerable decrease in my lack of emotion. Rainbows have never really described the colors of my soul, but I would dare say neither have the shades of black ever been used as a mainstay in my emotional color board. No, not until recently can I say that my emotions have ever been so dystopian grey that it has caused the blues and yellows to feel neglected. I speak of a literal lack of emotion towards not just any one thing, but all things, as though I am on a major anti-depressant that kills any receptors of joy or sadness for the sake of consistency. No gumdrops for me, or for that matter satanic hell beasts stomping the daisies of my happiness. Nope, just a bland slurry of unidentifiable meal fills my emotional troughs.

Why do I share this with you? For several reasons. Allow me share with you how I know that I love my wife and how this lack of feeling has solidified it in me.

First, I want to share something that may seem off topic, but ultimately it is very closely related. I want to share my testimony that God lives and gloriously loves you, and me, and everyone. Many people like to describe the spirit as a feeling of light, golden and radiant that fills their souls. Others declare that such an event is simply a preconditioned response to an external stimuli. However, during this time when I couldn't force myself to feel a smidgen of stirrings towards anything, even things I once found so much joy in such as food, movies, and video games, I could always, without fail, feel the Spirit. My minds eye and my struggling heart have always beheld the beautiful spectra of God's love, bathing my life in beautiful color and passion.

When I feel stuck in a dreary bog of colorless life, the actions of the Spirit bring fresh green sprouts through the dismal mud, adding much needed relief to the monotone of my existence. Even during those times when I was so apathetic I chose to lay in bed because I didn't care to get dressed and work (not because I felt like a cloud was over me, but just because I couldn't muster any desire to do anything but sit), I could feel the Spirit when I did those things that God has asked us to do, such as scripture reading, attending the temple, serving others, and so forth. True, it has made feeling the Spirit more difficult on a regular basis, but when I do the work to feel God's love, it never fails.

Second, I want to share my apology to any who have had to deal with me over the past few years. Excuses are, often, without substance, so I will not attempt to excuse myself here. My actions were my actions and I should not let emotion (or the lack thereof) affect my behavior. That being said, I want you to know that it has been and is still a very difficult thing for me to work with. At times I may have seemed lazy, or red hot with frustration over seemingly trivial things, or black-hearted and recalcitrant, or even rude for seemingly no reason. These behaviors have often been caused by this medical condition, and I sincerely hope that you can seek inside your heart some mercy towards me.

Lastly, I want to explain how these things have shown that I truly love my wife. For those of you who have been, or are, or those who have ever talked to someone who is recently married, then you should know that it is a transition which grace does not often accompany. Indeed, marriage is beautiful for all of its flaws, and recent marriage is glorious for all of its woe. If you don't understand me, then please continue reading.

Our nieces and nephews. She is simply stunning.
Andrea, my wife, is one of the most kind-hearted, loving, charitable, and peaceful human beings I have ever known. She is the stunning blue rose amidst the yellow sunflowers that make up the beautiful bouquet of my life's relationships. She does have her stresses, her kinks, irregularities, and problems as well, and for that I am also grateful (who would want to live with a perfect person anyways?). But through all of the last three months she has been a spectacular companion for me. The discovery of my condition is not an easy one to live with, and the fact that it can make me completely flat can make a radiant spirit like hers feel smothered, covered in the sultry weight of my queer moroseness. Yes, emotionless-ness  is often portrayed as being depressed, angry, or bitter. Such stressors on a marriage can wilt any good mood if they let it. Andrea has, through it all, kept an almost glowing attitude.

Perhaps the most telling thing of all, and the keystone to solidifying my knowledge of just how much I love my wife, is that she is the only thing other than the Spirit that can break through my little crust of apathy and leaven the flattened lump of passion found in the dreary crevasses of my soul. Events like these give credence to the oft quoted idea in the church that a marriage does best when a man and woman draw closer to God, much like two points of a triangle get closer to each other as they approach the third independently. This, however, seems to be working in an opposite direction: the closer I get to Andrea the closer I seem to experience spiritual stirrings.

Two things in my life can dredge the shallow pit that is my emotional well, and both have grown their roots into the affections that go deep into my core, into my very being. I may not be able to adequately express my feelings to Andrea, or on any subject for that matter, because I often only have a few shades of grey to work with (I would kill for 50). It is true that sometimes I don't feel much love for Andrea when I am at my lowest emotional draws, but those times only accentuate the fact that I love her even more. Why? Because even at those times, when all the rest of the world has cooled to a lifeless emotional grey, at least Andrea shines a beautiful warm blue.
Enough said.