If you have ever read self-help books about love, especially the definitive 5 Love Languages, you know that there are many ways we express love. For my husband it is the simple, yet often profound, leaving of notes and letters for me to find. The letters and notes are poems, little tidbits from my kids, and lyrics from songs. The lyrics are often of songs that I have never heard of, nor would ever find in my day-to-day life. While most times written and sung by some of the most popular bands of our time, they are not the top tens. They are smaller songs that have faded somewhat in the collection of minds of everyone but the most devout.
The giving of lyrics to another is a mixed blessing. On one hand you are saying something, but often the reader doesn’t know exactly what. Which part of the song grabbed the sender so that he/she just had to share? What words resonated in the soul of the giver, and are they the same words that moved the receiver? It doesn’t really matter, because often that one line that captures more than a net of fish, is as important to each. The belief that what you need the giver to be saying is just as important as the reality of what that person actually gifted. The song, the message, can get as mixed up in someone else’s words as they can our own.
But that truly isn’t the point. The point is that my husband thought enough to remember a song that said exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. Our wedding song was a gift of lyrics; found one day and shared. When my husband and I separated for a brief time, he left poetic lyrics that I must have listened to a thousand times. Songs have power, and when they are backed with the guitars and often the melodies from multiple harmonies, they can delve into the soul and remind one that this world is not always lonely. When I hear those songs with the greatest harmonies raging about the loneliness, the pain, the desperation of this world, I am often reminded that the writer can and does feel similar things that I do. It puts me in a exulted category, and it gives me permission to use my own medium to express myself.
My husband isn’t great at communicating with me about love, desire, want, need. Like most people he assumes that I know. I have learned that this is okay, but it also requires me to seek that reassurance from something or someone else. When I get in a bad place, like everyone else who has this disease or even those that do not, I need to have reassurance of my own worth; as a woman, as a wife, as a mom. I need to know that I am needed; needed for more than my brain, or my talent. Needed for more than my cleaning skills, my organization, my abilities as a whole. And like most humans, my husband included, this reassurance is extremely hard to find. I don’t write top ten songs that fans from the world over cheer for. I don’t write best-selling novels, paints master pieces, or play a game as if I was born for it. I am every day. And every day is completely without the excitement, the passion of being grand.
I don’t really have the temperament to be famous. Don’t want to be. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to feel it. The love letters that my husband leaves for me give me my moment of fabulous. It gives me that hint that maybe all the drudgery in my life is shared by others, and there is something as compelling as love. Those simple lyrics and the gift of them, can so quickly remind me that while I may not be exactly what I wish to be, while I may not have exactly what I have always wished for, many times I have something just as beautiful. And while the giving of love letters will not render the next fight/disappointment with my husband null and void, it gives me a moment of happiness. And that moment of happiness is more than I normally am allowed. It is not the answer, but a brief stop. It is not my safety net, but rather those floating dots of sunshine on the water; the fairy lights that remind us that the power of simplicity is perfect.
Here is the song my husband left me this morning; I hope you enjoy it.
Just Breathe – Pearl Jam