Saturday, February 13, 2010

It Is Our Music, It Is Our Dance

Early January, 1973. I first saw her when she walked into the LSU student newspaper office. I was the managing editor, and she was one of my new reporters. She asked if I had anything for her to do, and I set her on a story about the new chemistry building. I also gave her the two beats she’d requested -– religion and student government (separation of church and state wasn’t as much an issue back then).

A cold day in January,
cold for the South, anyway;
the smell of ink, newsprint,
people moving in and out,
bustling with the
self-importance of
young journalists;
assignments made, student
reporters dispatched, a smile
and a nod. The dance begins.

We started talking. I learned early that she was a painstaking perfectionist. (“It’s midnight; I have to put the paper to bed.” “I just need a few more minutes to get this right.”) We talked more. We got caught in a light snow one night, unheard of for south Louisiana. I think the snow was the clincher.

Feburary 14th. The flowers
were simple, really, red and
white mums with a
blue iris in the center. Staring
through the large window I
could see you walking to the
office, radiant, your arms
around an album. Godspell.
For me. At that moment, I knew
it was indeed a dance.

Within a month of our first meeting, we were talking about getting married. It just happened that way, like it was the most natural thing in the world. Looking back from that moment 37 years later, that’s exactly what it was. She took me home to Shreveport to meet her parents. She told me later that her parents were scared to death, not knowing what she was going to bring through the door. Their expectation was a long-haired, barefoot, hippie-type who smelled bad. Instead, in walked Joe Fraternity.

Two strong wills mixed
together into one
binding, one oneness and
it is granite hard, until
the softening starts, the
softening begins, at some time
I can’t remember. We weren’t
looking when he transformed
oneness into intimacy,
into lasting.

We were married in August, at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, not quite eight months after we met. She wore satin and lace and a Southern belle-type hat; I wore a light blue suit, bow tie and blue-and-white saddle oxfords. (Hey! Don’t laugh! It was the 70s, after all.) We were married at Mildred Crowe Baptist Church in Shreveport; the church building is still there but Mildred Crowe got renamed once or twice since then. The wedding ceremony lasted all of about six minutes and the reception perhaps an hour – there was a revival service starting at 7 p.m. and we had to be out of there.

I think of the girl who
gave her heart, who
thought I was worth
giving her heart to;
I think of the jolt
from my touch
on her skin, still.
The music is playing
just as loud, just as right;
the dance goes on.


Lorrie said...

Beautiful! I love true stories :-) Hope you have many more years of dancing to come!

Kelly Sauer said...

Perfect. I like hearing the beginnings. My grandma shared hers with me before she died - it made such a picture for me of the life others live that is not so different from mine. Oh, and my dad's tux was blue too. ;-)

Anonymous said...

The dance goes on-- and THAT is the best part.

Your love story is sweet. :)

HisFireFly said...

Keep on. Keep on dancing. A solid marriage is powerful spiritual warfare!

Thanks for sharing such a charming story!

Maureen said...

for Janet and Glynn

February shrugged off
cold the way love does
once you've gone under.

Red and white mums and
a center of blue opened
a space to step in.

You stayed in.

Going on a month and
talk got round to making a
home big enough for two
(eventually, more).

It was as natural as that.

Granite chips, not from
your heart already taken,
collected at your feet.

You had no complaints.

By August -- caught in your
whirl-winding -- time
put a ring on her finger
and dressed her in
satin and lace

Your blue - was it borrowed? -
made a bow-tie from

Two become one added up.

The story's still playing
out, will always play. It's
still being written.

That's just a fact.

S. Etole said...

what a beautiful dance for love ...

Corinne Cunningham said...

What a beautiful love story, Glynn. (our anniversary is also in August - there's something so special about a late summer wedding...)
I got chills reading this. Congratulations on 37 years!

Kathleen Overby said...

Words making powerful love evident. What a way to honor your beloved and let the world know. Thank you for the gift.

Anonymous said...

you have a beautiful heart
and a love that is rare.

you happiness is ours
because of what you share.

sweet sweetness and love
to both of you.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you told her your story...her story...this real-life, enduring love story, Glynn.

And I love that it is in prose+poetry.

Have you ever recreated that bouquet for her?

L.L. Barkat said...

Love the poetry slipped in between... like a secret long held between the two of you.


Laura said...

This makes me smile. And cry. And I only know just a wee bit of what is between those lines. L-O-V-E...that's what :)

Beautiful, Glynn.

Michelle DeRusha said...

Glynn, This is so sweet, and beautifully written. Love the balance of prose and poetry!

Candy said...

I love your love story, Glynn. I think falling in love in the 70's was the best. (I still have my Godspell album, among others).

Unknown said...

this makes me determined to see it through.

i also want to write about a journey of 37 years.

Bonnie Gray said...

This was so beautiful, Glynn! In prose, poetry -- I can hear your voice celebrate your love for her with such remembrance and softness.

Wow! Congratulations on a wonderful Valentine's 37 years.

May you and your sweetheart dance this Vday away.

Christy of The Travel Bags said...

That is absolutely beautiful! May God bless you both.

Monica Sharman said...

I love the interspersed style. Like reading a dance, truly.

And, I love "Godspell"! My brother was in it in a community musical, and I went to see it twice during that season.

Anne Lang Bundy said...

[Would you believe my reader is backed up this far, and I wouldn't clear your posts without at least glancing at them?]

Glynn, this is absolutely beautiful. I now understand why you can write poetry as you do.

John and I are at 18-1/2 years this month—also an August couple. Only halfway to 37!