a craving, a joke, a love story


word-of-testimonyWant the backstory? Here’s my tape of Love Songs.
 —

Once I ate some gentle mushrooms and saw the pine trees slap their knees. We heaved together, the trees and I bent in laughter, my body in a ripple effect from all previous cravings: the soft peppermint candy from the front-porch neighbor with a tin, the black-woods fear of bedtime stories, the sweet oily fingers from prying into hazelnuts, the experienced long gloves in Mama Lois’ back closet, the charm and moan of guitars, the aura of skin.

Years later, I again examine the senses, my body’s desires, to learn the capacity within a blood-filled temple. In holiness, I study all the scrawled-out God words I could set my ears on. I study throne-room, repetition, sex, and wine. I study Holy Spirit and the tongue, Jesus and the long drive home – again, the scream of guitars and this time the aura of invisible skin.

And from all this study came a physical craving for breathless laughter, for a broken heart and then the repair of laughter. 

As Seth finishes law school, I fail at right love, but we do begin to study bodies and try to make them something new. 

Seth comes home. We sit to watch The Simpsons. He asks, “Are you pregnant?” I shake my head yes without looking away from the television, and we know he’s a boy.

His name, Isaac, means laughter, and we aren’t laughing. No matter how much we crave it, we are still breaking and not yet to the punch-line. We are still listening to the joke.

amberhaines
About me

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24 Comments

Kelly
Reply June 30, 2009

Your prose is like poetry. Unbelievably beautiful. If you haven't read Annie Dillard's The Maytrees, you seriously need to get it. I think you would love it.

Kelly’s last blog post..The Best Part

    Amber
    Reply June 30, 2009

    Annie Dillard is an all-time favorite, of course, but I haven't read The Maytrees. That'll be after To Kill a Mockingbird, then.

    Thank you, friend.

Jo@Mylestones
Reply June 30, 2009

it's so packed that I have to read several times to pick up every image and see the story. it's so very good, and as always, leaves me anxious for more.

Jo@Mylestones’s last blog post..Picture Perfect

hamster
Reply June 30, 2009

the simpsons are good, but what say ye of family guy?

hamster’s last blog post..A HAMSTERIAN TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF POP: MY FRIEND, MICHAEL JACKSON

    Amber
    Reply June 30, 2009

    Family Guy makes me want to rip my ears off. I say Boo of Family Guy.

brittney
Reply June 30, 2009

I second your Family Guy comment.

Your writing is always beautiful.

brittney’s last blog post..and the Winner is...

The Baker
Reply June 30, 2009

i agree. Family guy is the thing my parents thought was The Simpsons, and wouldn't let me watch. My kids i work with like to quote it constantly and the filth they spew drives me more nuts than when they are trying to kill each other.
As always, i truly enjoy your writing. If i could actually write one tenth of what i think about writing during the day, i'd be doing really well.

The Baker
Reply June 30, 2009

ps. making guitars scream is one of my top 5 fantasies, and i mean absolutely nothing sexual by that comment.

Your Husband
Reply June 30, 2009

I just really like this post and remember it all so well.

Mmmm.

I really wish we would have had this to cling to during those times:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwTZ2xpQwpA

    Amber
    Reply June 30, 2009

    ok. No, seriously. If I have to spend another day singing Chocolate Rain. Aaaaaaahhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kelly
Reply June 30, 2009

Not to bug you again, but I remembered the word I wanted earlier for your writing: "Exquisite." I love it.

Kelly’s last blog post..Oh Gosh....

patty
Reply June 30, 2009

aww, amber... so beautiful, as always. always a puzzle to me, too.. but i guess that's what makes good writers... you can write in a way that may apply itself to all of us. so thanks for that! :)
so happy you're back!

patty’s last blog post..i think i can fly

hamster
Reply June 30, 2009

okay, just wondering about the family guy.

i love this image: "the pine trees slap their knees." it's concrete and metaphor-free, and it's so stark that it feels literal, perhaps even plausible, like maybe i should watch for just such a sight on my travels.

i also appreciate the way you use cravings and laughter in this piece. again, here you go putting a tangible sensation to something unvoiced and abstract. this is another perfect example of your unique relationship with words: the concept is still present, but not at the expense of the language. it's rare, i tell you. other-wordly and superhuman. keep these love stories coming, please.

mr. haines - what's up with the "chocolate rain"? there has to be a story on that one.

hamster’s last blog post..A HAMSTERIAN TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF POP: MY FRIEND, MICHAEL JACKSON

Your Husband
Reply June 30, 2009

No story Hamster. Really. It's just funny. Kinda like "My Hands Are Bananas."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO10s_HK6d0

Also, Hamster, if you eat gentle mushrooms, I'm quite sure you will see pine trees slapping their knees.

hamster
Reply June 30, 2009

seth - i like portobellos. latonya cooks them in sherry. how do you prepare the gentle mushrooms?

hamster’s last blog post..A HAMSTERIAN TRIBUTE TO THE KING OF POP: MY FRIEND, MICHAEL JACKSON

    Amber
    Reply June 30, 2009

    It's a shameful country fix.

    The gentle ones grow in a cow field. Only the diligent marleyhead knows where to find them puffing up like night glory before the day they're eaten for boredom candy.

Seth
Reply June 30, 2009

It is difficult to imagine Amber as a "diligent marleyhead," I know. Although she is still diligent, she is no longer a marleyhead. Now she is part of another body and is more beautiful. I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware.

But street cred she does have. I will give her that.

    Amber
    Reply June 30, 2009

    That's funny. It's more like dirt driveway cred.

The Baker
Reply July 1, 2009

i have 'grew up in a small town where people drove their tractors to school' cred.

Carrington
Reply October 10, 2009

I loved this post, so great.

Carmen
Reply December 14, 2009

So beautifully said! You have an amazing gift!

Jennie Allen
Reply June 9, 2010

You are just cool.

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