Since I’m on the hunt for happiness, I feel it important to spend a little time reflecting on the wonder that is kissing. It is a source of happiness for me that cannot be over-estimated. This picture (which is not of me, in case that’s not obvious) says it all: when Newman kisses me, I feel all wrapped up and so very loved; my toes curl up just thinking about it. He is strong and fully present, like the man pictured, and I am able to let go and also be present to him in a way that reminds us both how much we are loved.
That’s how I know he’s the one. I’ve thought about it from every angle, and while there are a million reasons why I love him, I know it’s meant to be every time we share a kiss that stops us both in our tracks, and I’m that lucky woman who gets to have that kind of kiss quite frequently. If Newman ever stops kissing me the way he does now, I’ll know it’s over.
Do you want to know the secret to great kissing? I’ll tell you; it’s about paying attention. That’s it. There’s nothing fancy or impossible or magical about it. When you’ve been with someone for a long time, you can still experience the pure, perfect happiness of kissing–if you pay attention. I mean, you must love your partner, obviously. S/he must love you back. You must initiate contact with him/her, or you must stop everything and respond when s/he initiates contact. You must be open to possibility. You must take it seriously.
You must pay attention.
If you do, and he does in return, it will be magical. It will be everything. Go ahead and give it a try. Close your eyes and lean in. Touch his face gently with your fingers and trace his cheeks, the edges of his lips. Find your way there slowly, and let yourself re-discover the delight of brushing your lips together lightly, breathing in the scent and being of this person in the same manner you might with your child when s/he’s just fallen asleep in your arms. In the moment when you stop all action and simply allow this person into your space, you can appreciate how precious he is to you. Accept the grace of his presence and of his patience as you touch your cheek to his and line up the contours of his face to your own. Put your forehead against his, touch noses, let your lips seek each other out in natural, new explorations. Open your eyes and smile at each other. Admit, without words, that you are in love, that you are at his mercy, and he is at yours. Let the world fall away for a moment or an hour. Put no expectations on what it might lead to; focus simply on the experience of kissing itself. When the kiss ends, acknowledge its power with a sigh or simple words like “I love that” or “I love you.” Look into his eyes again. Hold onto the moment for a few seconds longer. Trust me when I say that a good kiss has enormous healing power.
Newman and I are currently unable to kiss, and it’s making me appreciate the power of this tiny yet ever so significant act in our lives. Once a year, always at the start of summer after his first major exposure to sun, Newman gets a burn that leads to a painful cold-sore breakout that means a kissing strike for a week or so. I’m sure this happens to lots of couples, and the silver lining is that it reminds me how much I love kissing this man.
Newman, I can’t wait to kiss you again. In the meantime, I’m dreaming of you and re-playing our kissing highlights in my mind. There are a lot of them. We’ve stolen kisses in the office, in cars, on mountaintops, in the rain and snow, on boat-rides and airplanes, in front of the fireplace and in the backyard. I love, love, love to kiss you. I can’t wait for the new kisses still ahead. Thank you for continuing to pay attention when we kiss. Thanks for taking it seriously and loving it too.
I love that. I love you.