Yesterday was my wedding anniversary—and I thought what better way to celebrate than writing a blog about it! After ten years as a couple we decided it was time to deepen our commitment. We took a leap of faith and viola here we are in our fourth year. It has been four years of heaven and hell, growth and destruction, frustration and joy. Like life there are valleys and summits each with their unique vista points and lessons. To expect a perpetual state of romantic bliss is to set yourself up for potential treason and disenchantment. It is the choices that are to be relished. Those choices that sustain unity and the ability to survive assaults and to avoid the temptation to seek refuge elsewhere. In today’s modern world commitment is considered un- posh. The constant barrage of “what’s in it for me” syndrome can make married life feel more like a game of chess, strategic, calculating, than a palpable practice. And that is really what marriage is—a practice that like playing an instrument gets better with time and patience.
My husband, Scotty, and I are incredibly different and innately similar. That sounds like a mouthful of contraries and it is. He is tall, I am short, he is a born and bred Californian, I’m from outside of Philly. He loves motorcycles and racing—I despise them. Oops I am trying to be more diplomatic and compromising on that topic; er they are not my preference. I am a writer he barely pens a sentence. He is an accomplished artist, I draw stick figures. This is not a classic case of opposites attract though. For it is the artist in both of us that recognizes the similarities we share. It is the passion for the palette the story the color and the words on a page that connects us on an artistic level that surpasses the obstacles.
As a writer, I often read to my husband that which I have authored—to get his impression and feedback. He does the same for me with his art. He has taught me about shades and shadows and how to decipher an oil from an acrylic. In turn he has learned about prose and poetry and the lyrical sound of metaphors. There is a camaraderie in viewing the world through art forms it is our plateau that we can escape to when trying to figure out life. Art like a marriage is always changing shape, taking on a new look, playing out in various scenarios. Remembering this helps us realize that even the turbulent times will change as well.
The tedium of daily life bores both of us. We are not huge routine lovers; although we do our best to maintain those that are essential. We are goofy and immature at times like when we go mountain biking to see who can get the muddiest or playing ping pong naked or making love in the middle of the woods during a hike. At other times we are downright saps sobbing at pictures of our old dog, Jess, or dancing to our wedding song in the kitchen with tearful fondness. To break through the mundane we love to escape into nature and drink in the sense of freedom and connection that mother nature so generously provides.
There were dreadful dark times that I thought would rip us apart for good. But the artist and the child and the lover would pull us back to that place where we could negotiate and come to a profounder understanding of the other and the situation. So I say that anniversaries are about that choice to bridge the gaps to focus not on what is absent but what could be-- to reinvest in the partnership. We toasted all the hilarious times we shared and how far we have come from. When we met I was raising my two wonderful daughters while he was skateboarding and surfing as often as he could. He was the first guy though to ask me on a date to watch the sunset and to encourage my theatre and dance and writing. We managed to pull out and honor the artist in one another, to take Sunday drives and dream, to cherish those moments, no matter how fleeting, of complete connected-ness. We shared a day of anniversary bliss that will carry us through until the next time a hurdle shows up at the door. But heck, that hurdle will merely give us more practice in the art of marriage and to leaping back into the safety of love and commitment.
Causes Karen Devaney Supports
Eve Ensler and any organization that deals with issues supporting women and children and the advancement of their education.