Posted tagged ‘love and marriage’

Solitude

September 11, 2017

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you – Kahlil Gibran On Marriage in The Prophet

Occasionally, when I mention how long my wife and I have been together (over fifty years), someone asks, What is your secret?  The answer of course, is that there is no secret, except perhaps that the best of relationships take commitment and work.  I suppose that doesn’t qualify as a secret either because it’s mentioned in virtually every self-help book ever written on the fine art of marriage.   There are, however, many factors that contributed to our long run together and one of those is that we both need time alone and, because we both need our Solitude, we are both willing to give it to each other.  Oh, it’s not perfect.   If one of us is feeling needy or just in need of company and the other there can be hurt feelings or reluctant compromises, but what marriage doesn’t have those?  In our Solitude, we pursue interests of our own, some which require uninterrupted contemplation, and we consider with the perspective that only solitude can bring the decisions to made in our life.   It probably sounds enigmatic, but I believe that in part the divisiveness and misunderstanding that plagues our society these days stems in part from too little time spent alone in quiet contemplation and the lack of self-knowledge that results from continual engagement with others. (more…)

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Can You Believe … 49?

August 11, 2017

marriedWe have a group of four couples that we go out for dinner with for Christmas.  They are all friends we made when we moved into our first house in 1972.  We see each other sporadically during the year but Christmas is the only time we go out as a group.   One of the remarkable things about this group is that we have almost 200 years of marriage between us.   My wife, Muri, and I are doing our part with our 49th anniversary today.  Given our fairly long courtship at the University of Connecticut, we have known each other for 53 years.  Looking back at the immature, arrogant young man I was at 21, I have to believe I had some guidance in choosing her to be my wife.  Perhaps there’s some truth to the Jewish notion of a Basheert,  the name of the woman a man will marry announced by a voice from heaven 40 days he is born – literally a match made in heaven. (more…)

Yellow Stickies

August 3, 2017

I have a whole folder of stories I wrote in my I’m Going to Be an Author days.   My brother gave me the idea of publishing a few of my favorites here on Older Eyes.  This light-hearted romance is perhaps my favorite.

stickiesThe first one flutters like a wounded yellow butterfly from the medicine cabinet door and lands face down at the edge of the sink.   I eye it unenthusiastically as I scrape the lather from my cheek, debating whether or not to nudge it into the bowl, letting the steaming water and the dollops of shaving cream wash away whatever ink is hidden on the other side.   Ten-to-one, it says paint the hallway before Thanksgiving, or maybe clean the garage.   Why the hell can’t she just ask instead of leaving these God-damned notes everywhere?   I’ve heard her answer often enough to play it back in my head without asking.

“If I just ask, you’ll forget, and I’ll have to ask again.   Then, you’ll say I’m nagging!”

Shit, I think as I dry my jowls with the pink floral towel taken from an ornate brass ring next to me.   If she finds the towel crumpled next to the sink, she’ll say, How many times do I have to ask you not to use the decorator towels?    I try to fold it into a neat rectangle over the ring the way she does, with the embroidered primrose perfectly centered, but I know I’m caught.   With a sigh, I pick up the yellow Post-It and stick it back on the corner of the mirror, but without my glasses, the words are a blur.   Her meticulous block printing comes into focus when I step back… I am just where I’m meant to be in my life !!!!   The four emphatic exclamation points float like red balloons beneath the words.   “Oh, oh,” I say to myself, “she’s wandering the self-help section of Barnes and Noble again.” (more…)

Artsy-Fartsy

July 30, 2017

artsyMy wife, Muri, and I see a lot of movies.  So many, in fact that a trip to our local Redbox is almost never fruitful.  Yes, there is an occasional really-dumb science fiction flick that Muri refused to see but that’s about it.  Netflix and Amazon Prime are relegated to rerunning favorites only.   And here in the midst of summer, our prolific movie-going often leaves us little choice in the local theaters for a Date Night film.  We pretty quickly pick off the films-with-a-brain like The Big Sick, Dunkirk and Baby Driver and a fewminion high-quality animated films like Despicable Me 3 (I love minions!). It only takes a few over-blown superhero epics and space fantasies for us to have had our fill of CGI special effects and crash-bang mayhem.

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Tops, Drawers and Doors

July 21, 2017

Neat_NotMy wife, Muri, likes things neat and clean. Older Eyes, not so much, which is why I have a private office with a door that remains mostly closed.  When Muri comes to my office to talk, I can tell, she tries not to look around to the debris of several days work … plus empty soda cans, coffee cups and miscellaneous papers … scattered around on my table and desk.  Sometimes the floor.  I try to do better in the rest of the house, but I admit, it never meets Muri’s goals for me.   When I’m busy … meaning I’m doing something I’m interested in, things with a lower priority slip past my attention.  I think to some degree it’s a guy thing, although I certainly know neatnik guys.  And guys much messier than I am.   Muri tells me, I don’t know anyone who leaves things open as much as you do.  What do I leave open?  Tops, Drawers and Doors, mainly.  When I think about it, she has lived with one man for most of her life, so how would she know anyone else?

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Maui at Seventy Three

May 21, 2017

Since my wife Muri and I moved to California in 1971, we have vacationed in Maui 7 times.  The first time we were here with our good friends, Don and Jackie, we spent half the time on Oahu and half the time at Napili Bay (perhaps the prettiest bay on Maui).   The second time, we brought our two children and spent time on both Maui and Kauai.   While Kauai is beautiful and less 

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Life … in Session

April 25, 2017

thermoThe first time I heard the saying, Life is in Session, was about 24 years ago in a 12-Step meeting for families and friends of alcoholics.   Someone was going through a crisis and after they shared about it, they closed with, I guess life is just in session.   I’ve probably heard the phrase thousands of times since then and it has never been used in reference to a pleasant or exciting event in life.   It has always been associated with a difficult stretch of time, probably because families and friends of alcoholics seem to have more than their share of those.   It is not so much a complaint as an acceptance that life is not always easy and that we are probably best off trying to learn something from what we are going through instead of just complaining.  The notion that life is a classroom offering lessons we are intended to learn appeals to me philosophically … it even fits with what my Mom taught me about life … that it’s for growing.   As somewhat of a lifelong student, it’s a notion that helps keep me going if I can see the value of the lessons I’m learning.   But I’ve never done well in required course if I can’t see their purpose. (more…)