Doesn’t that title just scream poetic philosophizing? Like I’m going to just Lay Down Some Wisdom, some Mature Wisdom gained from two decades of wedded bliss shared with the love of my life.
You know, I’m capable of it, of beautiful philosophical word play that would bless your souls with its harmonious rhythms of truth. And I was close, I was, as I serendipitously discovered (i.e. found this while goofing around on the Internet) an artist who does this:
Awesome, right? A beautiful representation of a marriage as entity, composed of alternating delicate maneuvers of balance and support, guided at the core by unseen Powers that hold it all together when on the face of it everything should just crash to the ground.
Yes! This is the image I’m building, the one I’m preparing to share with all of you, dear Bloggity Friends, in commemoration of my wedded bliss.
Until. Until the object of my bliss, my best friend, my beloved, walks up behind me to look at the rock art on the laptop, the stone balancing. I ask him, naively expecting him to see in it what I do, “isn’t this amazing?”
“Eh. Rock stacking. Yep.” ROCK STACKING???? ROCK STACKING???? This is not just rock stacking! I press my point, persuasively, and then under threat of mild marital elbowing. “This is beautiful, it’s art! Could you do it?” “Well, I’ve never tried it. Maybe…..” Arrrgh! Then I see the glint in his eye, the one I’ve seen (too late, usually) since we were sparring in high school, the one that says he’s provoking me on purpose.
But it also brings home to me one of the most important lessons I continue to learn, even after (especially after?) twenty years. We don’t have to see everything the same way. We don’t have to feel everything the same way. (Thank goodness, because there is room for only one Super Feeler in this house, and that is MY superpower.)
We can be WILDLY apart on minor issues and even major ones, but after twenty years, he is absolutely my best friend. He can make me laugh harder, cry more quickly, blush more deeply, decide more wisely, even breathe more effectively. I may be the Super Feeler, but he is the Super Steadier, my counterpoint, my balancer.
(Even though he likes bleh puffy tall thick pancakes instead of mmmmmm tender thin ones, and he spends too much time on computer games, and he can be as anxious as a cranky 80-year-old man when we are driving somewhere new, and he forgets stuff I’ve told him and then swears I didn’t tell him, and even though he CANNOT. LOOK. FOR. STUFF. Just in case you thought he might be perfect. )
(That pancake thing is nearly a deal-breaker some days. But Lord knows what he’d say about me.)
Really? None of that matters. Not when he teaches my sons to live with laughter and integrity. When he models compassion and kindness, when he inspires them with a constant desire for knowledge. Not when he has quietly been the most loving, safe, righteous model of a man my troubled nieces have ever known. Not when he cleans up vomit because he knows I just can’t, when he allows me to pursue my dreams, not when he is always there to remind me to Just. Breathe. And then tells me it will turn out ok.
The Gravity that holds us together? Oh, that is most definitely not us, and had we tried this on our own without God at the center, it would have been over a long, long time ago. But in His hands, we continue to be a powerful, loving, funny, supportive, centering source of life to each other.
There is no one else I’d rather do this with. No. One.
Happy Twenty Years, My Love, and Here’s to Twenty Times Twenty More!