Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Connecting Teaching to Practice


Connecting Teaching to Practice

It always looked like love to me
To have two hands clutching
Strolling down long streets
Where remnants of couples' imprints
Side by side
Toe to toe
Stay, reminiscing romances
Beneath sunshine and moonlight
Two hands holding to me
Looks like love

I have watched
Head leaning on shoulder
Gently kissing biceps in exchange
For kissing foreheads
Locking looks, to locking smiles
And locking lips
Touching faces with fingertips,
Cupping cheeks with palms
Bumping heads and staying
In stillness
Deeper looks into eyes
I sigh because
In these tender moments,
I’ve seen two spirits
Tend to each other’s hearts

And watching these affections
Were my love lessons
And my teachers
Are the wisest lovers I have ever known

My mother taught me
That love is giving
You see, my mother gave her hands to
Making meals and feeding her family
I watched my father enjoy every bite
And to this day I still do not see him
Slouch in satisfaction
At any other table, but hers
He always sits for a moment before
Leaving his seat, and while he filled.
She feels fulfilled.

In my last visit home
I woke to my mother at her stove
And on the table was a cup of coffee
and bread to its side
Waiting for my father, that morning,
And the next
and the next
But her giving does not end
or begin in her kitchen

Her generosity is beyond daily practice,
My mother gives and rarely takes
And she gives without cause or prompting
She gives to him because
He receives with such gratitude
Which is what my mother has taught me
Is the greatest gift from a loved one we can receive

She also taught me love is speaking
She never hesitated to reveal her disappointments
When my father would forget
Or he would place blame her way
When she knew she was right and
Even when she didn't know she was right
If she at least thought she was right,
She would say so

And she built in my sister and me
A vocal track that replicates her own
That never delays- is always right on time
And not fearful to say the most up front
Honest words of love and of willingness
She speaks her open heart often
Never afraid of the vulnerability that
May bring her aching

Mostly my mother taught me love is trust
Trust in your partner, in your relationship, in yourself
And in what goodness awaits past struggle and hardship.
She worries, and prays often still,
But she trusts in us,
And especially my father
to be by her side
to keep her best interests in mind
to live for her well being
She trusts this from him
because he has shown her
Time and times again
That he sees her worth

My father taught me
Love is patience
Most days my mother's mouth could not resist
Speaking words that I know pushed my father
Past his temper's limits
And though my father would become red in his ears
He kept mindful in his breath and
Silent in these moments
Until he was ready in his will to speak against her
Which ultimately was speaking to right her
In wrong she often is too stubborn to admit
This happens often, but in his patience
My father keeps himself steady
To allow her to release
And then with his nerves felt they need to
He would speak his own peace

My father also taught me love is humor
He never hesitated to bring light and joy
To any situation
My father often made jokes toward my mother
and she would make them right back toward him
She was never as successful, my dad knew it
And she knew it too
My father's laughter is the greatest and
He shares it with my mother often
He never hesitates in his humor
He brings back innocence to their relationship
He brings smiles to her face
He still tickles her until she giggles
And until whines
and hugs her with huge grins
And brought the girl in her out to play
He loves her that happily in this honest way

Mostly my father taught me love is work
All my life I watched my father spend late nights
Grave shifts
3 jobs
To work for his family
And still to this day
He comes home to my mother
and provides her hands to hold
That have been labored to the bone
Finding peace in that grasp of palms
and fingers intertwining
I remember when my mother went away
Months passed and he continued to work
To keep havings for her to come home to
I remember when she was ill
In work he kept on
Providing when she felt she had little work left in her
My father stayed beside her
During imprisonment
and sickness
and in poverty
and he worked for love
He worked because he knew love was her

I know how rare my parent's relationship is
Because these days
I know how rare it is
To commit
To not want to quit
To give and
To speak and
To trust,
To have patience,
To have humor
Because love is work.
But for me, there is no other way
Because my parent's taught me
That love looks like what they have
And I connect these teachings
To how I choose to love
And I feel proud of my parents
For all they are with and to each other
And I thank them
For my love lessons
And for being my teachers
Who are without a doubt
The wisest lovers I know.

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