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.