Sorrow and Love

What is it that makes a man and a woman know that they, of all other men and women in the world, belong to each other?  Is it no more than chance and meeting?  no more than being alive together in the world at the same time?  Is it only a curve of the throat, a line of the chin, the way the eyes are set, a way of speaking?  Or is it something deeper and stranger, something beyond chance and fortune?  Are there others, in other times of the world, whom we would have loved, who would have loved us?  Is there, perhaps, one soul among all others–among all who have lived, the endless generations, from world’s end to world’s end–who must love us or die?  And whom we must love, in turn–whom we must seek all our lives long–headlong and homesick–until the end?

These are the words of  Robert Nathan, from his classic novel, “Portrait of Jennie”, 1940.

They are ‘over the top’ for some now, but perhaps those who have known love, a sustained love, they speak to a depth others don’t feel, nor could ever feel.  Perhaps they are not universal of sentiment, but I think  in the very best way….they are.  They are born of our deepest need and desire.  Need to throw ourselves completely into the cauldron of love and commitment.  That essential ‘belonging to each other’.

My husband came home from our son’s Naval graduation very sick. Something to do with male plumbing, of the greatest mystery to me, and he has been in great pain.  He’s recovering slowly, and recent events have made me think on so much  I have taken for granted.

The death of L.’s husband, Mike…gunned down February 15 by a bastard who just didn’t want to go back to jail on another DUI, a senseless and pointless death amongst so many senseless and pointless deaths in our society, has propelled me to think deeply about what I have in my life.

We can fill our lives with stupid stuff.  We can surround or come across or stumble upon people who have no reason to be in our lives: we can forget we are made for better things, because in an important way, we  hold that ability to be so.  We can also forget  we are part of the warp and weave of another life and in being so, we impact upon the quality and brilliance and hope of that other life. We owe it to that life opposite us, tied to us with bonds of love and commitment, to handle them gently and with reverence.

Last night I stretched my hand across the couch to my husband, bundled up from the cold and in pain, and he held my hand.  His beautiful hands, so well formed and with such lovely skin for a man!  soft and clear on the  top, and a palm calloused with work and his devotion to his family.  I love his hands, and his monkey toes, long toes that look like they could have gone on forever, and a face that is strong, beautiful to my eyes (and the eyes of other women, too! LOL!) but a sweet and strong disposition not faltering in constancy faced with the changes of life.

I can do this, but L. can’t ever do this again with Mike.  Perhaps sometimes we are reminded of our fortunate state in love when we are shocked out of our complacency by tragedy.   I think though I love my husband of 25 years fiercely, what just happened has made me realize  life can come to a crashing end at any time.

So perhaps the message is this:  Love fiercely and with total devotion, for tomorrow life and circumstance can change drastically, and those chances you have of showing the depth of your love and devotion can never be fulfilled except in longing for what could have,  should have…been.

Lady Nyo

Love Poems.


I lean on my elbow

and look at him asleep,

his bosom rising and falling.

It is enough to feed eternity


Clouds sweep the moon.

causing its light to dapple.

My love! You waver before me

like a ghost under water.


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2010

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8 Responses to “Sorrow and Love”

  1. Margie Says:

    Just beautifully written, Jane, a lovely tribute to what is, really, important in life. I thank the gods and goddesses that I have found that connection, and the most loving wish I could wish for the world is that everyone could find it, also.

    Peace to you, and I hope Fred is recovering!


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Sweetie!!

    Thank you so much, Margie. I don’t take it for granted those who read this blog, and those who leave comments. These comments enrich my life because, in part….they are a barometer as to a bigger picture out there…

    And don’t we all learn from that? Not, ….from our isolation.

    And….I am glad you have the same….because…you deserve it, Margie.

    Fred is doing better.

    Love and Hugs!


  3. shia1 Says:

    Hi Lady Nyo,

    I love your poems. Your intro makes me stop and think. Sometimes they say opposites attract. I think that was the way with me and my husband. We did and still do have things to work out. However, we are still together after many years. Did I find my true love? I think so, but sometimes I think the grass is greener on the other side. I haven’t jumped the fence , well sort of. I did peak a few times and wondered.

    I am happy that your husband is better. I guess we learn how much we really love them when they are down.



  4. ladynyo Says:

    Hi shia!

    I think in life…perhaps what we learn….if the marriage is a long one, as is yours and mine….it this: there are no straight paths. And that is because we are growing and shifting ourselves, perceptions, ….throughout life.

    Sometimes it’s the very issues of life that make it so hard to see ‘love’….or perhaps the value of what we have right in front of us. Nothing is in concrete….and we have to take blinders off.

    When we come to that place where we see how fortunate we are….because there are no guarantees that we are ‘lovable’ …and deserve anything…well, then we can understand just how fortunate we really are.

    Perhaps adversarial conditions make for a ‘finer’ consciousness about these things. And certainly hard challenges to our character, etc… go into the pot.

    My husband is in the hospital right now….renal failure. But he’s doing much better. I am glad I wrote this entry…..expressing my love for him…..before we realized how sick he was. At least it pleased and tickled him….especially about his ‘monkey toes’.

    When we really love, we love all the parts.

    Thank you, shia…for your comments. And keep working it out. It is so well worth it!


    Lady Nyo


  5. Steve Isaak Says:

    Between this, and the electrical fry-out, and your friend’s death, your artistry and strong voice still shine through.

    I know this comment comes late (sorry). I’ve been in the writing trenches, manuscripting like a madman – solitude was made necessary by the writing thing. Am midway through the second poetry book (erotica, this time) at this writing. . . Been a productive, if comp-heavy week.

    Stay strong – keep writing – all that warm n’ fuzzy stuff.


  6. Steve Isaak Says:

    Oh, yeah – really liked the poems, too – especially the second one. 🙂


  7. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Steve!!! You finally surfaced!!! LOL!

    That is EXCELLENT news that you are writing the second poetry book!!! Marvelous!!

    And I deeply understand the isolation necessary to do so. Also, perhaps the contretemps of life ??? propel us into a misery that is only alleviated by our attempts to ‘go deep’…Deep into that subterranean refuge of mind-passion. Sometimes the only solution to pain is writing….and writing like a madman/woman….LOL!

    You are definitely one of my FAVORITE poets!! and I embrace your new book soundly!

    “The Zar Tales” is done…am expecting the proofs any day now…..but am already onto “White Cranes of Heaven”. Pure poetry with no prose this time. And there is a section in the back “Bad Cranes of Heaven” where the naughty poetry belongs.

    LOL! You know, Steve…we have the best of both worlds. Writing poetry I am hearing from other poets….is the salvation of life and modern times. They write poetry and put down the knives….

    LOL!…Some days that is all that makes sense of life.

    Let me know when you are ready to post either some poems or some announcement of the new book….or the first one. That passed me by somehow.

    Blessings on your head!!

    Lady Nyo


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Yeah…I liked that one, too!

    Actually, I have a cd put together of “Lady Nyo’s Poems and Other Verse”…that was supposed to be published by a small printing concern in Chicago this summer. Fell through, but I want to extend that into another poetry book. Just her voice ….and moanings of life! LOL!

    I’ve found an alter ego in her (that Lady Nyo…not this one….) that allows me to write poetry I wouldn’t have access to before. It’s such a Japanese/woman thing, and I am NOT a Japanese woman…well…through marriage a long time ago, I could have been. LOL!

    How do we pick up these influences?? dunno. But I am grateful for them.

    Pads out a boring life.

    This Lady Nyo


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