When Margaret and I were dating, she asked me one day “What do you want to do with your life?”  I told her I wanted to be an artist, but it was unrealistic, as there was no way to do that and raise a family.  She paused and said “You can be an artist and raise a family.”

Eleven years later, my little wife lay on our bed, exhausted, her very body a cradle for the life within her.  A baby in her womb, she lay on the bed, limp with fatigue.  Always giving, always loving, always giving.  Herself not for herself, her life birthing life.  I sketched silently, solemnly, in awe of selflessness, of love.


“With her”

This time is difficult.  Wait for me.

We will live it out vividly.

Give me your small hand:

we will rise and suffer,

we will feel, we will rejoice.


We are once more the pair

who lived in bristling places,

in harsh nests in the rock.

This time is difficult.  Wait for me

with a basket, with a shovel,

with your shoes and your clothes.


Now we need each other,

not only for the carnations’ sake,

not only to look for honey-

we need our hands

to wash with, to make fire.

So let our difficult time

stand up to infinity

with four hands and four eyes.

-Pablo Neruda, “With her”


“Con ella”

Como es duro este tiempo, esperame:

vamos a vivirlo con ganas.

Dame tu pequenita mano:

vamos a subir y sufrir,

vamos a sentir y saltar.


Somos de nuevo la pareja

que vivio en lugares hirsutos,

en nidos asperos de roca.

Como es largo este tiempo, esperame

con una cesta, con tu pala,

con tus zapatos y tu ropa.


Ahora nos necesitamos

non solo para los claveles,

no solo para buscar miel:

necesitamos nuestras manos

para lavar y hacer el fuego,

y que se atrreva el tiempo duro

a desafiar el infinito

de cuatro manos y cuatro ojos.

-Pablo Neruda, “Con Ella”


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