...quiet, about a lot of things...
Friday, April 04, 2008
All That You Can't Leave Behind
But there are things I refuse to leave behind. You will travel with me.
I had a conversation this week with an old friend. Inadvertently, the rules of a marriage came up. I think it's funny that different marriages have different rules. But it makes sense. What works for you, may not...and probably doesn't..work for me.
Michael and I have very few hard and fast rules anymore. After years of marriage, things have smoothed a bit.The vestiges of any rules, I may have put in place, long ago, sometime seem strange to me now.
Like "the call" from the road. When Michael first started to travel..over 10 years ago...he would leave, and often forget to call home. Some times I wouldn't hear from him for a day or two. I would worry..fret and fester. So I made a rule. He must call. I have never been a calling kind of wife. He has dinner meetings...and he doesn't need to field calls from me in the middle of conversations.
A lot of girlfriends think this is a big mistake. For me, its just the way I operate. But then I made the rule that he HAD to call me. He has tried very hard to fulfill this promise. Mostly, it's been a good guideline. However, sometimes, I see how hollow it is. There are days I get a call at 9:30pm..as I am drifting off.. (yeah..some days I am DONE by 9:30)with a message left.."just Checking in". He is keeping up his end of the bargain...but that call leaves me feeling more alone, than if I had received none at all. I'm not his Mom. He doesn't have to check in... I'm not the absentee office at the high school.
I am not a check mark.
But, that's what a RULE does. It says every time, every day...I (or he)will respond the same way. I train horses. I know training when I see it.
So..what is the alternative? I guess co-existence. A pledge of love.a pledge to try to avoid malicious behavior. However, a promise also to remain true..and present to ones self FIRSTLY...and then to try to meet the needs of another, the beloved.
No rule of mine will ever make him miss me, or need to hear my voice. No rule of mine will keep him safe from a terrorist, drunk driver, or blonde at the bar. He will live as he must. And so will I.
We will be married, joined...when we no longer look to rules to guide our marriage. We will be joined when we let life join us honestly. When we allow each other to live independently..and merge authentically. He must breath his own air...and my heart must beat on its own..
He can not promise to never leave me...through death or will...and I can not promise that either. The only promise or pledge I can make..is to love him fully each day I have with him.
I love him with all my flaws and perfections..with all my triumphs and mistakes. With all of my selfishness and generosity. I love him for now.
There are no rules for the future..not one that I could conjure..I just don't have that power. I never will.