The Act of Taming

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Over the weekend John made me a Chicago-style pizza. He promised nearly a year-and-a-half ago to make me one and often forgot that promise. To be fair, I forgot to remind him (maybe nag him) more during that time frame. I got a text from John on February 12 promising to finally get that pizza that week. It didn’t happen until February 25. But it finally happened. Yum.

A Chicago-style pizza is labor intensive. So as John finally went to work on it, I got to see the process every step of the way because John gleefully showed me the dough when he first rolled it out. Then when it was rising. Then when he put it in the pizza pan. Then when he put it in the oven. Then when it came out of the oven. You get the idea.

I kept saying outloud to him, “Who domesticated you?”

This is not the man I married. The man I married coming up on 21 years on March 8 was a professional paintball player and owner of a paintball magazine. That is not domesticated! His previous career before paintball was as a musician–you can stereotype that one correctly. When we got married he had no furniture to move into our home together. Which I’m grateful for because we didn’t have to make any “compromises” on keeping his what-could-have-been undomesticated stuff. He could only cook some very good Italian dishes but beyond that he knew nothing. Around 6 years ago we started watching Food Network’s Chopped and now he is cooking nearly everything. I’m grateful for that as I cooked for most of my roommates and then for myself the 10+ years I lived alone and then for most of this marriage. As John often says, cooking is like writing music. Lastly there is this fact, his father was never a role model on how to be a good husband. Yet somehow over these past 21 years he has become a good—and domesticated—husband.

This is not the man I married. This man I married put on Facebook his proud creation of a Chicago-style pizza. Where he got 68 likes and plus-10 comments from his friends/fans in the paintball and church world. He’s so cool. He really is.

As this awe-inspiring thought swirled in my mind on Sunday as I watched every step of this pizza being made, I thought of a paper I wrote back in college in 1986. It was the dreaded literature requirement and I waited til my last semester to take that one. It was in that class that I discovered the beautiful book, The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery. I was particularly drawn to the fox that the Little Prince met and how the fox taught the Little Prince about taming. I wrote my paper on that, which is a poem. I was early in love in that season of my life and I thought this poem expressed so well what I knew of love and wanted from love. I wrote it with my heart full of that early love. Here is that poem pulled out of my files from 1986.

The Act of Taming

There is an act all too often neglected.
It takes time.
It takes patience.
It takes consistency.
And it will probably hurt.
But that is good.

This act all too often neglected is taming.
It is more than love.
It takes more than love.
And that is why it could hurt.
But that is good.

Before taming
Life was monotonous.
Nothing stood out.
You were just one among a thousand others.
I had no need of you
And you had no need of me.

After taming
The stars shine brighter
The sun feels warmer
Laughter becomes sweet music
And you from among a thousand others
Become special to me
Unique in all the world.

But taming takes time.
You must be patient.
You need to keep a little distance.
You can’t rush into taming.
Someone can get scared off.
Just look at each other.
Just be together.
Everyday move a little closer.
Be careful of words.
They are the source of misunderstanding.
Slowly learn to be together.
Taming takes time

You need to be consistent.
You can’t rush into taming.
Someone can get scared off.
Just show yourself reliable.
Just let me know I can count on you.
Everyday observe this proper rite.
Then my heart shall know when to be ready to greet you.
And I will anxiously await your coming.
My heart will leap for joy when we are together.
Taming takes time.

What taming is
Is to establish ties.

Taming sometimes hurts.
You may cry.
And wonder if it has done you any good at all.

But it is good.
Because laughter becomes sweet music to me.
You are unique in all the world.

If you were one of a thousand others,
I would not laugh at your dumb antics.
I would not have listened to your dreams.
I would not have cried with you.
Because you are unique in all the world.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.
The mind cannot understand why laughter becomes sweet music.

What is essential is invisible to the eye.
It is the time wasted for you that makes you so important.

It is the time wasted for you that makes you so important.

This act all too often neglected is taming.
It is more than love.
It takes more than love.
What is essential is invisible to the eye.
And that makes you unique in all the world.

Thirty-two years later I still believe this poem, this Little Prince and his fox, expresses what love is like. So many truthful nuggets in there. I have found this love to be true. Not with that guy from the 1980s but with someone whom I met 10 years later.  I never compromised or contorted myself to rush this love. I remained vulnerable. I grew into ties being established. Now John is unique in all the world to me. His laughter has become sweet music. His constant need for attention while making a Chicago-style pizza is sweet music also.

This is how John became domesticated. He has been tamed. And so have I.

Get to know this Little Prince and his fox too. You will find a love like this. You will be tamed too.

(Photo credit: https://www.hercampus.com/school/guelph/why-little-prince-must-read-book)

 

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