It occurred to me that this might be the perfect occasion to wish my wife a happy anniversary--or almost perfect, since it was our 22nd anniversary yesterday (and we did celebrate, going to our favorite restaurant, Bombay House). We've grown together in many wonderful ways over those 22 years, and my appreciation and love for Margaret have deepened and continue to deepen. Besides our anniversary, we'll soon be celebrating Margaret's birthday (in June--but she'll be at a film festival in California). And of course we just celebrated Mother's Day.
So to honor Margaret Blair Young, I offer the following poem, written some years ago (May 1998 to be exact), but still very much an expression of how I see her:
"A mind as lithe as a leopard; a bright sword;
"A garden--gardens within gardens"--so
Jack wrote of Joy, and prophesied of you.
My wonder, my beloved--whatever word
Or words I choose, or borrow, pale before
Your real and complete otherness. This view
Of you so near and yet so distant, so
"Mine own, yet not mine own," is illusions' cure.
But you are more: a fount of love and life,
Fertile source of words, ideas, health
Of heart, deep questions and deep harmonies;
Holding many selves in one eternal self--
Writer, teacher, gardener, mother, wife,
Besides the queen and goddess yet to be.
Two notes: (1) As the poem suggests, any person is really unfathomable, and that's certainly true of Margaret. But if you want to get to know her better, you can read her blog essay (see the link below) or, for that matter, any number of other things she's written, including her six novels. Or better yet, hang out with her for a while--22 years or more if possible. (2) If you have responses to the poem or questions about it (like "who the heck are Jack and Joy?), please feel free to post comments.