“When have you truly trembled over something?”
My answer was not given in that moment because I knew the chasm between my answers. There was everything else…and then there was that one curious time where the Ocean shook and stirred me somethin’ fierce. Let me explain.
I trembled 11 years ago in glacial cold sprinting through Jackson Hole, Wyoming on the back of a frozen snowmobile. I trembled 14 years ago as I stepped up to bat with a full count, bottom of the 9th, my team down by three, in our Little League playoff game. I trembled with joy as I climbed up to the top of Macchupichu, Peru, knowing my heritage and family came from that History page. I trembled a year and half ago when I knew my Tata was dying and she wasn’t sure where she’d go when she drew her last. And I trembled a bit last week during Christmas Eve when I thought I was gonna have to Tristan-up and fight a huge animal from the woods whilst night-walking up in Tahoe.
All that trembling showed my frailty and vulnerability as a man…as a boy…as a child of God. But there was one time when I trembled for all the right reasons; Reasons I still have yet to feel again.
I remember when you entered the coffeehouse and I actually went dizzy once. I made sure it was the real thing because I knew this is what people wrote about in poems. I had no idea it was actually possible. But sure enough, I felt dizzy. It was perfect.
The you spoke to me, through me, for what seemed like a slow-motion 45 minutes. I actually tried to sit still and just make sure I wasn’t visibly shaking…for my heart was thundering inside of me, wildly…provoked by something sacred. I spent the better part of one conversation just hoping you wouldn’t get up and leave, for I so enjoyed the way you ruined my strength…disarming it with your quiet. Your eyes disappeared like mine when you laughed, and I wondered how silly we would have looked in pictures together…squints and smiles.
But through those cracked windows you shared a crash of color that I know no one had ever truly seen as I did. Endless blues and greens…like this recipe out in the open for anyone to see if they would but look. I remember feeling as if I was deep-sea diving while sitting across from you…Simply getting lost in your eyes. Sometimes I would not even hear what you said (grin) because I was so distracted. Greens that felt gentle. Blues that conquered men and boys where they once stood. Hues of both mixing like laundry water. I remember thinking…I see every color of the ocean. I never wanted to drown until that moment.
Oh how I remember…for the quickest instance, how your gates rested their defenses…How you drew a slow breath when you normally kept quiet… And how you allowed yourself to risk in my name. You simply… leaned in, when you had normally sat still or turned away. You could have destroyed my entire world that close, haha. If when you walked into a coffee shop caused me actual dizziness, then you can imagine the defenselessness I succumbed to when you leaned in close enough whisper. I remember thinking…I can’t believe she is this powerful.
Alas, as soon as you has started to come near, I found the sad truth to be my song.
I did not wait for you.
I was not strong when I needed to be.
And I fear, in that moment, I lost the ocean forever.
I often find myself wanting to call out to you again, to that world left behind, placed high up on the out-of-sight shelf in the back of the neglected parts of my heart. It’s a powerful thing, to be something so precious and respected that even the possibility of missing an opportunity to spend a life with you could become a deep regret of epic proportion. But I press on…I let go and let God, as you taught so well those handful of years ago. But I confess, the ocean is hard to escape. Not so much because you can’t leave it, but because if you do not wish to, its reach is far and wide.
I have no idea what I would do if somehow I awoke one morning to find the ocean asking again that we be friends. I have not prayed for that more than once since we parted, and I gathered a long time ago that I would not pray for that ever again…for my heart would not be honest and pure in those intentions…It would grab for instead of asking for. Secretly though…if you were to barge through my life’s door…I think I would act as I did before my blunder… trembling, dizzy, deep-sea diving, and wondering how you could disarm me so well all over again. I think you would find Ocean, that I have learned to swim a bit more like I always should have. But, my heart goes with you, and does not divide for the possibility of you. This is simply one part of the man you leaned in to hopefully find those handful of years ago.
And so…I do delight in the fact that you will not be unspoken for much longer. I remember we talked once about miracles. I remember holding back grins because in my opinion I was looking at one…You with a naked ring finger. How that still is the case is beyond me. Nevertheless, I am truly happy and hopeful for your future and glad that you do not, nor will you, allow travesties to befall you…Be it weak little boys learning to become men, or thieves wanting only to use your heart. I just wanted to share with the world that you were the only exception to the question first asked above…because while there are somethings that have made me shake…You are the only someone that has made me tremble… (thus far).
In my heart’s best guess…I still firmly believe you Ocean, will marry a good man, for a good man has long been sent to find you.
I simply pray you heed the words you helped grow my faith with…
Let go and Let God.