Friday, November 7, 2014

The Sparks That Warm a Marriage

There are times when, throughout the journey we call our lives, we must release the negative emotions that drag us down. Especially within a relationship. For instance, let's talk about guilt. Guilt is so corrosive and abrasive. And regret? Regret is like a millstone around our necks. As for defensiveness? Well, defensiveness is the albatross that hangs there next to the millstone. The albatross keeps things smelling rank, just to remind us of all we have ever done wrong. So we should let them go. Release ourselves and be free. Let God wash it away with blood. Let Buddha wash it away with silence. Let our mind wash it off with it's mystical powers. Whoever we need to call upon or whatever method we need to implement to keeps our souls in a less airtight condition (at least)... we should do that.

It's not that easy is it? But we try. I do. You do. Don't you? We make our progress.

I don't really enjoy sharing the personal details of my love-life with all of you, my readers, but I think I need to say a little something about the night I just had (it is Thursday morning as I write this):

Last night I was so angry that the world had so easily crept in and disrupted the tame little environment I call home. Home is my dwelling place where I parent, teach, paint, write, take care of my family, my plants, my pets, and myself. The one who brought the disruption into my (our!) environment last night was my husband. He came home in a literal storm cloud of dust. He came home in a literal storm cloud of negative energy. He brought it all inside with him yesterday at around 6 or 7 in the evening. He was the unintentional interloper moving towards the woman made of pure nerves and loose ends. Something was bound to happen.

The disruption in the particles that shift and merge inside and outside of my body (some call it energy) made me so angry. My sympathies for my husband and his day were instantly destroyed by my anger and suddenly I didn't care about anything but my tame little environment and how I might restore it to its sense of balance. With this abrupt desire came a sudden development of the opinion that the enemy I perceive to be invading my space is the man I am actually supposed to love. What is wrong with me? He's standing there in his work pants and his tired eyes looking cute, looking sexy, looking totally innocent.  And I am burning up with something so very very close to rage. Angry words are exchanged and suddenly the bad energy and my anger morphs into something tangible. There is suddenly a boulder in the room. Right in the middle of everything. I didn't put it there. Did I? If it wasn't me then it must have been––him. I say this word with the gravest devil-voice I can muster. Him.

The boulder is heavy. It is dirty. It is messing up the house and I don't know how I am ever going to move it out of here. I don't know how to clean these sort of feelings up. I never have. I probably never will. I am afraid. All this makes me realize that because my environment is so quiet lately I can easily feel things I am not used to feeling. I am sensitive from copious amounts of peace and quiet, which––you know––leave it to me to find that in the city. I am calm and silly from my hours and hours of peacefulness. Our move is starting to show. For good or bad (good, I think) I am reacting to the change.

So I try to trace the source of the things that have caused this ball of negativity to exist in the first place. I suppose it must be guilt and regret. But who is feeling what? Who is feeling guilty and who is feeling regret? And why are we both so defensive? And why is this energy snapping so fiercely between us? Why all the sparks and flames? I always assume it is me. Me me me. Because I can be so mean sometimes.  I stepped back inside my mind and tried to examine this boulder from a different angle. My mind seized up like a rusted gear. I couldn't figure out if I should be feeling the things I was feeling. Why the mess? Why the confusion? Why the heaviness? Where did it all come from? These questions are unanswerable sometimes.

So we talked and argued and chewed on several bones from opposite ends. We growled and snarled and on and on for an hour or two. Maybe longer. I think he believes I have harnessed all the magic of Medusa somehow in order to turn him into stone. He looks at me that way. Like he is a little bit afraid of my paranormal abilities. He says it is all in my eyes. My eyes? Good God, I don't know how to control what goes on within my eyes. It's hard to say what could be merging to the surface there so I don't necessarily disagree. It's hard to not abuse all that power. Damn it all.

Nobody is turned to stone in the end, but the remains of the carrion left in the middle of the floor after several wasted hours looks pretty ugly. It's pretty bad. It is like a dead albatross, which is no funny matter. In its gut we found guilt and regret like little flecks of plastic. Un-digestable and fatal. They've been there far too long. Our frustration is a dead bird who choked to death on plastic at the centre of a concrete man-made stone. No food to eat. No air to breathe. We picked at it, and found the cause of it, and the reason for the death in it, and then we cleaned it all up and tossed it outside and buried its corpse after removing the plastic. Let me point out that I am speaking metaphorically here. No albatrosses died in our apartment last night. Relax.

That's what was in the middle of my living-room last though, metaphorically speaking. That's the kinds of stuff that builds up between a husband and a wife throughout the simple progression of the day. All done in innocence, for the most part.

We put the metaphorical plastic in a metaphorical recycling bin because that is just about the best way to cope with guilt and regret. Un-digestable bits of deadly junk is about all those emotions amount to in the end. They are constantly generated by a society looking for easy ways out of difficult situations. They occur when we are expected to glaze over our humanity. When we fail to take on the aspect of a plastic Barbie Doll. Quick fixes and simple solutions don't exist in the confines of human relationships. They are the residue of inhumane expectations. They are just things left over from the attempts we make at trying to be perfect for everyone all the time. But, we are not perfect and we don't need to be and that is the universal truth that exists for us all. It exists for me––a wife and a mother. It exists for him––a husband and a father. It exists for us as a couple and as individuals. Society isn't putting that message out there at all anymore.  Everything is so distracted and everything is so instant. Everyone is seemingly expected to be so put together. So sure of themselves. But we are not. I am definitely not.

How I miss the slow-burn of organic love. How I miss non-electrified space.

I don't wonder how we got here. I just wonder why we, as a society, stay here? Why are we so hard on ourselves sometimes? I didn't ever promise my husband a rose garden and come to think of it, he didn't promise me one either. So these days just come and go. What I am trying to say is that our fight was basically about nothing. Therefore why the guilt? Why the regret? There should be nothing leftover from nothing in the first place. I think these emotions are set on default inside our minds. A defect of our modern age. Being who you want to be, even in the smallest of ways, will leave you out in the cold in terms of those who judge you for it. You have to learn not to care. You have to just maintain the will to do better tomorrow and the next day and all the days thereafter. Sometimes the cause of a fight doesn't fit within the confines of a sentence or two or even a thought or two. Sometimes it is nothing more than steel sharpening steel, as they say. Common problems exist in all marriages. Tensions of the day build from the bad attitude of a co-worker or from a day spent in a little too much solitude. And then sometimes they are released on the ones we love the most. How we deal with that is where our success or failures reside. Newly weds beware. Relationships are hard work, but these sparks help to keep a marriage warm. Fire means life.

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