You are the earth and all that earth implies:
The gravity that ballasts me in space,
The air I breathe, the land that stills my cries
For food and shelter against devouring days.
You are the earth whose orbit marks my way
And sets my north and south, my east and west,
You are the final elemental clay
The driven heart must turn to for its rest.
If in your arms that hold me now so near
I lift my keening thoughts to another one,
As trees long rooted to the earth uprear
Their quickening leaves and flowers to the sun,
You who are earth, O never doubt that I
Need you no less because I need the sky!
I can not love you with a love
That outcompares the boundless sea,
For that were false, as no such love
And no such ocean can ever be.
But I can love you with a love
As finite as the wave that dies
And dying holds from crest to crest
The blue of everlasting skies.
— Angela Manalang Gloria, “To The Man I Married.” 1940.
Art by Mimi Tecson, “Touch Move.” 2014.
*Because we continue to be in a time and place where Pinays who decide not to get married must live with labels: matandang dalaga, peminista, mataray, too independent for her own good. And those who decide to marry are presumed to be agreeing to a relationship that will mean the suppression individuality and the sacrifice of freedom. See, our lives are more complex than shoes.