Ellen & I have been married for 28 years & she still has whole buckets of unused magic words for turning me into a toad.
Or maybe that's not quite right. Maybe I turn into a toad all on my own & Ellen is just puttering along minding her own business, expecting that she'll run into her husband at some point. She walks into the kitchen & there I am - a gruesome human-sized toad. Of course, she screeches. I, on the other hand, secure in the knowledge of my own self & not suspecting in the least that I transformed into a toad when I wasn't looking, suddenly become acutely aware of my changed status. (A sudden screeching in your presence is a VERY good indicator of Sudden Toad Onset...)
We are deep into the third decade of our relationship & when I have occasion to look up, whether as a toad or a man, I still see myself surrounded by whole regions of mystery. It's like being in rural Iowa in the deep night: here & there you see a single blue mercury vapor lamp where people are holding back the dark. Now & then a dog will bark. Mainly there is nothing but the soft whisper of the grass & stars blown like dust in the black sky. There is more mystery here, more & fuller, than Ellen & I can ever hold, yet, somehow, there are times we find ourselves settled into making short entries into the journal of our lives together, a journal with the not-particularly-inspiring title of 'WHAT WE KNOW TO BE TRUE ABOUT OUR RELATIONSHIP'. Maybe when you enter the fifth or sixth decade of being together, the ground rules shift & suddenly everything comes clear. I have my doubts, but I can't know that for sure. It's like those pools of blue light scattered through the landscape. They mark the line between known & unknown. Between the willingness to be changed & the anxiety about the little deaths that accompany that change. Between loving someone for everything they are & hating that they still turn the closet into a disaster zone in less than 20 minutes.
We know so little about the real world, the dark areas woven around & through our tight little circles of light. Yet, that is where the invitation really is. The invitation to a life fully lived, to a relationship that goes beyond the known & expected into a full & rich dance of heat & passion & endless discovery. We're 28 years in. I feel a change coming on. I think it's time to walk out into the dark again..
with love, Brian