Let the Prairie Be Made

This weekend needed to start with cookies.
This weekend needed to start with cookies.

What was already a short week (thanks to Labor Day) was made even shorter because Tuesday was a big day at our house:  as of Tuesday, September 3, the Department of Defense began to recognize same-sex spouses who have been married legally.

Amanda and I went to our appointment, enrolled me in the program, got me an ID card, and with that, I became an official, DOD-recognized Navy wife. While that in itself is huge, it’s a lot bigger than us, or our relationship, or benefits. It’s the next step in a long journey for the military and gay service-members:  a long, long road riddled with silence and hiding and brief, bright moments of human kindness. This is a bright moment in and of itself, and I am thankful for it.

That afternoon, even though I had promised myself I would do work, I went instead to a friend’s house on base, driving myself onto the base for the first time ever. I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous as I handed the guard my card, and I couldn’t help screeching with happiness when he waved me on and bid me good day.

So my week became shorter, which isn’t so bad except that for a writer, each day that we don’t work is one day more between us and our end goal:  a book. I lectured myself for cleaning, for baking, for blogging, for doing anything besides working on my book, and I told Amanda last night that as a result, here we were, at the end of the week, and I had written hardly a word. Instead of a feeling of productivity and accomplishment, a feeling of industry, I was instead staring at a mountain of projects to do with the loud mantra from Hyperbole and a Half echoing through my head:  “WRITE ALL THE THINGS.”

So today, I wrote some things. Not all of them, but a few. I cleaned. I began getting Amanda ready for the possible two-week business trip she may or may not be going on (Navy life, y’all). I made myself yummy food for breakfast and lunch. And I decided that this weekend should be ushered in with these cookies and with a poem, one that stuck out to me in my work-week woes, by Emily Dickinson. It reminds me that the steps I take, both working and not working, make me a writer. They fuel the work. And in the absence of words being penned on the page, the dream of it – the “revery alone” – will suffice.

So in the meantime, I should enjoy the cookies, and hang out with my (officialy DOD-recognized) wife, and let the prairie be made.

To Make a Prairie

by Emily Dickinson

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery. The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.


12 thoughts on “Let the Prairie Be Made

  1. Congratulations on a wonderfully moving event in your life. I rejoice with you at the step forward in the rights of all gay service members and their spouses. Sometimes life gets in the way and that’s OK.

    1. I need to thank you: you are always so quick with a kind word, and I appreciate it so, so much! Thank you – I’m so happy to have you rejoicing along with us. It’s a good week – heck, it’s a good year. 🙂

  2. I’m eating cookies to celebrate in your honour.

    Also, when I was a kid, I lived close to a military base, and you could basically show a coffee card and get waved on to the base (no where top secret, obviously). Remember those days? When we weren’t all terrified of being assassinated? AND you could see a movie for, like, a buck, because it was all subsidized. And you could skate for free, and swim in the coolest pools. We non-miliatry kids spent as much time on the base as the base brats. It. Was. Awesome.

    1. Wow, I can’t even imagine! I’ve always known military bases to be hard to get onto. My friend Mary grew up on military bases, and she’s the one who made me aware that all Navy bases have bowling alleys, which I still find funny.
      Thanks for joining in with the cookies! 🙂

  3. Hi I’m Heather! Please email me when you get a chance, I have a question about your blog! Heather.vonstjames(at)gmail.com Thanks!!

  4. congratulations on your officially DOD recognized wifehood! yay! I know that must just feel really awesome, for sure.
    write all the things, girl. that stupid phrase runs through my head on a continual loop, especially right now. it’s why i’m so incredibly late at reading this, but i’m kinda happy about that, because i get to enjoy it more than when i’m in Deadlineville. 🙂

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