A Conversation with My Husband, 15 Years Ago

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“Close your eyes.”

“What?”

“Just—close your eyes.”

“Okay.”

“Now, imagine walking down a path in the woods. Can you see it?”

“No, there’s nothing.”

“Nothing?”

“Wait—yes. I can see it.”

“Okay. Notice the details of the path, what it looks like, and also everything around you.”

“Okay, I can see all of it now.”

“Good. Now, you come upon some kind of vessel, a container—it’s there on the path. Can you see it?”

“Yes—yes, I see it.”

“Good. Describe the vessel and its contents.”

“A rough earthenware bowl. Dark brown, mottled—imperfect. It fits comfortably in the palms of my hands, the weight of a stone. Inside, there’s cold, clear water and. . . nothing else.”

“All right, that is your ideal understanding of love.”

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