May 3, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve been following The Daily Post for some time and more recently their series of daily prompts. I half-heartedly started on something intended to be deep, somewhat cynical yet wholly moving – and promptly gave up after two paragraphs. On browsing through some of the blogs today with their stories and poems about Scars, I’m glad I stopped when I did. I thought I had something important to say, something powerfully unique. It seems we all do. Many of us even share the same scars.
As far as music goes, I suspect many others also share the same love and connection with it as myself. I almost always write to music. I can only meditate with music. It can change my mood instantaneously. And the memories – ah, the memories! Like a passing scent that revives a long distant sensation, music takes me back to places, people, passions.
- A Thousand Years by Christina Perri – a footstep with each beat, down a grassy aisle to my husband-to-be.
- Ritornare by Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi – my go to piece for heartfelt writing.
- Celebration by Kool & The Gang – my housemate and I dancing like 80’s popstars in our kitchen in Tuart Hill.
- King of the Mountain by Midnight Oil – road-tripping up north with my husband.
- My Time by Crystal Waters – dancing in a red dress with a cocktail in hand at the Red Sea.
- Bluebird by Katie Noonan – driving home at 3am in the morning from my lover’s apartment.
- Someone Like You by Van Morrison – the song that I promised myself would be my wedding song (and it was).
- Punk by Ferry Corsten – dancing like a mad raver under UV lights at Rise.
- In Your Atmosphere by John Mayer – driving alone at night, guided by the city lights.
December 7, 2015 § Leave a comment
My husband is not much of a talker, not when it matters. He never has been really. He went through a phase in our early days, when we were all starry eyed and filled with hopeful promises about how our marriage would endure. But then life took over, life takes over, and we fall back to our default positions – I write and he doesn’t talk.
When we got married, our vows were so carefully crafted to avoid any talk of monogamy. We both agreed that life is not meant to be shared with one, but with many. We both agreed that we should each be courageous and upfront in our desires of others, careful and respectful in our indulgence of the same, whilst at all times remaining focused on our love for one another and the overall wellbeing of our relationship.
In the spirit of this mutual shared value, we have had some adventures and some heartache. And in spite of the pain, at no time have I ever asked at what cost this open mindedness comes – until now. I had been, have been sure that I did not and would not ever believe in monogamy and that a person’s, a couple’s desperate grasp on this false sense of security was the ultimate pitfall that our marriage would avoid. So smug was I in this knowledge, thinking somehow that our car ride would surpass all others, that we would cruise past all the broken down heaps on the side of the road.
It hasn’t always been easy. I remember the first time we discussed Adam sleeping with another woman without me. I thought I would vomit, I thought I would never stop crying, I thought I made a huge mistake marrying this man. As it turns out, when it finally happened, none of those thoughts entered my mind at the time. I remember the first time I ever slept with another man without Adam. I thought I was falling in love and the idea of never seeing this kid again nearly tore me apart, nearly tore our marriage apart. And of course neither of those things eventuated. But as I said, it hasn’t always been easy.
Ageing brings with it more than just the slow surprises of wrinkles and weight gain. I am slowly finding a mellowness I could never have imagined, not complacency and not quite peace (I suspect I will never quite have peace in my lifetime), but a mellowness. A subtle softness. Not a change in the picture but a rounding of the edges. A smearing and blurring of lines once so sharp and so solid.
As much as there is to be said about the synchronicity of “opposites attracting”, as I age I am finding more and more that it is the similarities and mutual values that become the cornerstones of avoiding or seeing out conflict with your spouse. There has to be common ground. Without common ground, there is only compromise. Whilst I am in most situations an avid fan of compromise, there are some things in which common ground nor compromise can be found and this results in, well, pain.
Compromising a value such as monogamy is one such thing.
Can you ever in a marriage say to the other person that you have changed your mind? Could you ever tell them that a value you both shared when you got married is now no longer a shared value but in fact a point of difference for you? The answer is of course. The real question is could the marriage survive in the face of how the answer is found? I married Adam because I love him, because I believe him to be a good man and because I believe we ultimately want the same things in life. When we married, “the same things in life” including sleeping with other people. His desire in this respect has not changed and I don’t think will ever change – he is who he is and he is at an age where it is unlikely this will change dramatically from now until the end. Up until recently I did not think my views on this had changed either and I am hoping that this little speed bump is just that, a blip on the horizon that we will get over and forget about as we travel further down the road. But for me to be crying into my husband’s arms whilst saying I didn’t want to have sex with anyone else is perhaps more than just a speed hump. It’s more like an intersection I suppose.
On one side of the car you have a man who potentially wants to have sex with someone other than his wife once a month (once a fucking month!!! That I’ll come back to that later). Just say there’s a man who doesn’t have any appetite for monogamy. On the other side of the car is a woman who perhaps values monogamy more than she once thought or suspected she ever would. Neither one of them wants to drive and carry the other person to a place they don’t want to go. But traffic (life) is piling up behind them and they can’t just sit still forever – their marriage has to turn in one direction or the other which will unavoidably lead to one person being satisfied and one person making a compromise.
Compromise is the silent killer of relationships.
September 10, 2015 § 4 Comments
If a newborn baby doesn’t see light within the first six weeks, it will go blind and remain so for the rest of its life.
The same concept applies to the human spirit and its ability to form essential connections with other human spirits. The connections made within the first twelve months of a persons life are critical in the development of the brain. Trauma within these early developmental years can skew the brain’s growth and abilities, resulting in a myriad of disorders and dysfunction.
Imagine if you can a baby girl that has just entered the world, moments ago. A newborn baby is the purest form of life available to us. Imagine that the baby is given to its mother to be held immediately after the umbilical cord is cut and the baby is swaddled. There are tears from the mother and squawks from the baby. The mother presses the baby’s skin against her chest and kisses its forehead, enamoured and overwhelmed by this feeling of uncontrollable love. The nurse then takes the baby to be bathed, examined and tested. After the nurse leaves with the baby, the mother continues to cry – and cry and cry and cry. She does not know if she will ever see her child again. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 9, 2015 § Leave a comment
Adam and I thought about talking to each other last night, made a few mumbled statements here and there about whether we were talking enough, if we should be talking more. He asked me if there was anything I wanted to talk about – no (yes). I asked him if there was anything he wanted to talk about – yes, he wants to start swinging again. I asked him if he was bored and he shifted uncomfortably, said he didn’t like that word. I turned my face away from his and snuggled into his chest, refusing to acknowledge the elephant in the room even though her trunk is wrapped around my fragile throat, choking, choking.
If anyone were to ask me who the happiest couple that I know is, I would answer without hesitation that it is me and my husband. And it’s true – at least for me. We make each other laugh a lot. There is an abundance of love. Sure I am more thoughtful, perhaps more kind than he is but he is a man after all (he mows the lawn a lot and offers me tea in the morning so that counts for something). We have good sex, not a lot, but it’s still good. We have a beautiful home and big dreams for the next one. He has his children and I have my cats. We both work hard and are well remunerated. We travel when we can. We want for almost nothing.
And yet… « Read the rest of this entry »
March 20, 2015 § Leave a comment
Recently I went shopping for a dress for my upcoming birthday party. Whilst in the change room, I overheard two girls in the change room next to me who were trying to decide on which dress they preferred. On the dress she’d just put on, one girl said, “Yeah, I really like it… Like, it’s really sophisticated. But I’m not, like, 30.”
Cue a squeezing sensation in my stomach as a canyon yawned between us and I realised that I was now on the other side.
I can understand why decade birthdays are seen as a big deal for a lot of people. Think of the difference between a 20-year old you and a 30-year old you. Or a 40-year old you versus a 50-year you. Gosh, what a difference ten years makes. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 3, 2015 § Leave a comment
Like a warm autumn breeze, Nic blew back into my life today.
I knew he was coming, had been okay with it. A little excited, a little apprehensive, nothing life changing. We spoke this morning and it was fine, his voice sounded different to how I remembered it which surprised me. But I was okay, again nothing life changing. Then we met this afternoon and unexpectedly his lopsided grin carried me away. I was surprised again – this time by how gorgeous he still was/is.
I had thought that I had romanticised him in my mind, the man that Nic was or the notion of who he was, because of where I was at when we spent time together two years ago (almost to the week). I had thought that, now feeling strong and secure in my marriage, I would feel differently about him this time around – not indifferent but less affected – knowing that I was not seeking anything from anyone, least of all myself. And whilst I think this is mostly true, it still surprised me when his smile made me light up; his innocent charm was just as I had remembered it as were the curves of his nose and lips and the shadow of stubble on his face. In fact, everything about him was as I remembered (except his hair, which was neater). His smile made me smile.
Perhaps I was not so spellbound two years ago as I thought I was. Perhaps I was not so bewitched. Perhaps I was not so miserable in my marriage and seeking something, anything just to change my life. Perhaps I really did love him. And perhaps my heart really did break at the idea of never seeing him ever again.
Whilst seeing him today has made me consider all of the above it has not, as I thought it might, wrenched me back into the thorny and treacherous circle of lust and desire. I have not thought about lying or cheating, I have not thought about how to manipulate, how to get the things I want. I have not thought about hurting my husband.
Instead I have thought of how many different lives we are offered, how many chances we are given for a different path and how many infinite alternatives exist in the way we live our life. I think of all the men I have known and loved and lost, and wonder if I would be a different woman without having known each and every one of them (of course I would be). I think of my husband and how much he loves me, how much he has sacrificed for me, how wonderful it is to have his company every day of my life. When I think about these things I feel happy and at peace – the most important things I could hope or wish for, over and above any lust or desire for a man, however beautiful he may be.
Perhaps tonight I will dream about Nic’s beautiful smile, my lips on his, my fingers through his hair (he is so lovely to look at after all).
But it will be just a dream, nothing more. He will leave again in a few short weeks and when he’s gone my life will continue as it has for the last two years, without him.
February 11, 2015 § Leave a comment
Always a blessing, always a curse.
Weekends with the kids are so busy. They haven’t gotten any easier. Constantly tidying up, picking up, cleaning up. Constantly telling off, asking, instructing. Constant noise. Not a moment’s peace! A constant barrier between my husband and I; a small warm body in the way, breeding silent resentment in me.
I love that time first thing in the morning when the kids are still asleep and it’s just Adam and I moving quietly about the house, making tea and reading the papers and watering the garden and feeding the dogs. Then that plunge, my heart diving deep inside my chest as the sliding door is shunted open and a bleary-eyed little person stumbles through (no semblance of a “good morning”). My jaw clenches and the rest of the day goes downhill from there.
The evening comes and Adam and I both fall into bed. He never seems as weary as I am. I suppose they are his kids and so of course he loves them and enjoys spending time with them. It is not as much of a chore for him as it is for me – not all the time anyway. Evening is when he wants sex most of the time but I am usually so mentally and physically exhausted that there is no room left in me for him. So he reads instead, pretending it’s okay, and I lay there staring at him, pretending it’s okay, realising how beautiful he still is to me and wishing that I’d had more time over the weekend to just lay and stare at him.