Thursday, November 19, 2015

In the cards

About ten years ago, when our daughter Courtney was attending the Aspen Music Festival, I flew out to see her perform.  I met Jordan Allen, a cellist Courtney had met in college. 

I am generally shy, it takes time for me to engage on deep personal levels with people I don't know well. But Jordan liked that I was a writer. His enthusiasm to get acquainted and trade artist stories was uncontainable. It took fewer than five minutes to hear about things which might have taken someone else years and possibly as many drinks to disclose. I loved this open, guileless young man immediately.

After Aspen ended, Jordan, who called me Movie Mommy, shared regular updates over the phone - the men in his life he hoped would make him happy, and the ones who would not.

Once, during a bleak stretch, Jordan asked me how anyone could ever know if real love, marriage and children were even in the cards for them. That conversation, more than any other, stayed with me. The only answer I could offer, as unhelpful as it was true, was time. 

Jordan joined the Madison Symphony Orchestra and got his life gig underway. His updates, less frequent but longer, kept me up to speed for a while.

A year passed, and then two, when I saw on Facebook that Jordan had become engaged.

I had no words that could convey my joy for him. And yet, later that week, didn't Jordan email me and ask me to write the reading for his wedding? Yes, he did.

And, so, with Jordan's permission, I'm posting my little contribution to the celebration of hard-earned love, which, yes, it turns out, is in those cards. 

For Jordan and Kyle
Married 10/24/2015

When real love speaks 

Inside our open hearts is a resting place, for what may be love.
Indeed, it travels in, what may be love.
It lingers there, haunting hopes, occupying dreams, igniting imagination.

Open hearts welcome what may be love.
It's always wanted,
There's always a place for it.

But when it leaves, what may be love leaves the heart as it was found
A work of art begging for detail.
A circle longing to close.
As empty as it is full.

And so, the open heart waits
and says...


Until eventually, real love watches
and says...


It doesn't look like anything else, real love.
It doesn't drift into that open heart and out again.
It doesn't thrive beyond your grasp.
It can only live in your open heart.
You aren't afraid of it.
You can't be.

Real love only answers the ready voices which beckon it.
It rewards those who coax it into the light.
It moves into the hearts which connect two people
and says...

I'm here.

Real love is one end and the other both, which close the circle
It makes you unable to recall the feeling before you were found
It defies your ability to describe it.
It is all you feel, now.
It is all you need to feel to do everything.

Occasionally, you will remember
when what wasn't love
 left you.

You may pray.

And real love will watch
and surround you
and say...

I'm staying


  1. A beautiful story. A beautiful tribute.

  2. What a beautiful gift for the couple on their wedding day.

  3. That poem is so beautiful. And I loved reading your story. So sweet...

  4. Hi, I found your blog via a comment you left Jennifer on a Well Styled Life. That this young man would ask you to write those words for his wedding speaks volumes about you!

    1. Brenda, thanks so much. It was such an honor.

  5. Hi, I found your blog via a comment you left Jennifer on a Well Styled Life. That this young man would ask you to write those words for his wedding speaks volumes about you!

  6. Truly a wonderful gift for the couple. Well, I love to attend music festivals, and recently I attended an event at venues Chicago with my best friend. Hope to attend another music event soon!!