August 21st, 2007

head shot


Yesterday my husband and I celebrated our anniversary -- a decade-plus-three -- and can I tell you? It's better than just a plain decade, even though those round numbers pack a lot of punch. There's something satisfying about having been together for so many years (I know, those of you who've been married for 30 are laughing at my naivete) that we can start to recognize the arc of our relationship. We can see where we've been and what we've created and it ain't half bad.  We looked at our wedding snaps last night and, okay, so we look a little different but honestly, we still have that much fun.

When we got married, I was writing and Kirk was playing music and we had enough time to read the entire New York Times over brunch-'til-two on Sundays. Since then, we've absorbed a couple of advanced degrees, several careers and, well, kids. Which, in case they haven't told you, changes everything. But the smartest thing we ever did was promise to be the safekeepers of each other's creative life. The theory was that we were less likely to fight about needing our own time or space to create, and less likely to abandon our own creations if we weren't our own managers. When we concocted this idea, we were still pre-kids and we didn't have a clue what we were talking about. But, y'know, it turns out to hold water.

If I'm losing my freakin' mind because I'm half-way through a piece and can't find a way to finish (this is hypothetical, mind you), Kirk turns me toward the desk and takes the kids away for the day. Which is nicer than calling the folks with the white coats, don't you think? And when we share calendars, I ask if he's got a night in there to pick with friends. When we hike (or pull weeds or clean), we let a little distance grow between us so we can properly daydream. Our date nights often consist of funny, out-of-the-way gigs or poetry readings or plays. Our TV is usually off. We never question each other's bookstore bills or the need for new guitar strings. (I did, admittedly, have to gulp a few big gulps over a recent guitar purchase (and I don't mean strings, I mean the whole instrument) 'cause it was a little bit more than a stack of books but I'm over it and the guitar is home here, where it belongs.)

This is not to say it's been all milk and honey. We've had some doozies over the years, about chores and money and whether or not to adopt another cat. But not about whether the time spent following that funny little inkling in our guts is necessary. Or valuable. Or right. That's understood.

It's a good idea to have a champion. Or a super hero, as the case may be. I recommend it.

Happy Anniversary, honey. Remember this, from our wedding ceremony?

It is our inward journey that leads us through time -- forward or back, seldom in a straight line, most often spiraling. Each of us moving, changing, with respect to others. As we discover , we remember; remembering, we discover; and most intensely do we experience this when our separate journeys converge. -- Eudora Welty