Parting the curtain, peering into this strange house of ourselves: happiness and sorrow, heaven and hell.

I forget why I’m here; she is my distraction, my reminder.

Making love, thoughts transparent, the night unwinding our nakedness like a dark spool.

Sex as movie: her smile, the moonlight, the shape of her, the drift of her hair. . . . Don’t make sex an act!

How to be together without usurping the space between us. Learning to love the separateness too.

Holly Near: “Oh, the years of pretending to please and impress / Left such a scar of loneliness, too mighty to confess.”

The old wounds gouged out by decades of unkindness. I want the balm of her flesh, her tender touch. I put myself into her like a long cry.

Confusing physical nakedness with emotional nakedness, emotional nakedness with truth.

At home tonight without her; why does it feel like no one is home? Loneliness like a hand on my shoulder, startling me, making me turn. Chekhov: “If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.”

Other women, other rooms, other nights: the mind craves everything except what is, now. Yet this moment, too, fades. Time’s immense conspiracy: ten years ago, ten minutes ago, the same.

Krishnamurti: “Using another as a means of satisfaction and security is not love. Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure; it is a state of vulnerability.”

Out of bed early in the morning, wrapping myself in a blanket, sitting with eyes closed. No loving wife shining back an adoring reflection. Acknowledging my deepest longing — not for her love but for God’s love, for awareness, for grace.

I keep looking for You in her eyes, as if You were hiding from me there.

The price of inattention, of disregarding my innermost feelings, while I go on and on about “my feelings.” What to forgive? What to forget? Memory like a telephone with its harsh ring.

How forgiving she is of my bad habits, dragged behind me like a string of tin cans I pretend not to hear. If I stopped to listen — really listen, she reminds me — I’d be forgiving, too.

A moment ago, so close. Now, this fear drawing us down. Heaven rejoices when we remember love is real, fear an illusion. Where is the mercy when we can’t tell them apart?

The freedom of not looking for an out. Robert Frost: “Something we were withholding made us weak / Until we found it was ourselves.”

The mind that sees itself inside and out: boredom and restlessness, this discontent with being content.

Thinking the same thing at the same time! Did I read her thoughts? Did she read mine? Looking with the same eyes, understanding with the same mind. . . . Later, we walked in the woods, the air heavy around us. It rained. We both got wet.

— Sy