There is a very common phrase in the self-centric lexicon of language: “I found myself wanting her”. This is an unambiguous enough, arousal based, bit of self-expression. I cannot fathom the level to which it may resonate at the heart of a woman but as a man it is, generally, barely denim deep.
Men are easily distracted by any redirection of blood flow and would promptly feel that if scribed on a folded bit of card stock that: “I found myself wanting You” was the proper sentiment for a universally perfect Valentine. Most men would feel that this level of creativity aptly explored the depth of their emotions and tied things up rather neatly. My guess is that to most women it is not only the lack of depth exhibited by the phrase but also the lack of band-width on men’s emotional spectrum that is on display here.
But that is not my thought. I need not sound the depth of my gender here. We are a simple sex. And often it is simply sex that we aspire to. I know this is generic and unflattering and too simple – so are we.
Instead, I want to share a bit of my journey. Not too much, just one thing, actually.
There has grown within me, over the span of my relationships, the sense that more was possible. Twenty-five years of marriage and later the tragic loss of a partner had left me not only bruised but aware that there was a potential, in each, unfulfilled. A categorical promise of something unrealized by me. That I had loved not with the whole of me but through ‘the hole in me’ instead.
I felt the desire to take less for granted. To learn how to love my partner at a level more intimate then what I had thought possible. To earn and be earned as an unfolding. Luckily, I’ve met a person worth earning. Someone who not only stirs me viscerally but reaches me at a level thus far unknown to me. A complicated woman of craft and beauty. Someone whose journey has also left its marks.
She is not yet won.
I do not have a claim on her – more accurately I have my aim on her. It is the want of who I have learned her to be that motivates the earning of Her and, at a deeper level, my learning of me.
But her artistic soul arouses me and her beauty is deeper than I first realized – when her appearance was enough to satisfy my initial cravings. She too shares a vision of potentials. She guides me to understand her and leaves me bread crumbs on the path. I’ll admit I did not pick them up at first. My eyes were elsewhere. I was distracted by her wrappings and only had an inkling of her soul. But now it is the soul of her I want to caress and know.
Perhaps, initially, I was not at a place where I could learn her. However, bit by bit I have unfolded. Insights have toppled hormonal shortsightedness. The wonders of her are coalescing and within those revelations I have found my own self. A capacity for caring I had not allowed myself to trust. I have been brought, not always gently, to a recognition of what a couple can be. Partners in a journey of earning and learning each other. Through that journey a gift: Us.
Also, a value that is not merely surface and sensual – but essential and core to the me, much nearer my center. She has given me many gifts. She is also the motivation for my becoming more then what I was.
I have found my ‘self’ wanting her.