Right now, Jack and I are floating in a warm, salty sea of emotional calm. But, even as I feel the metaphorical sun on my face, my bare shoulder brushing his, I know, I KNOW, tiny biting fish and enormous dark shadows with sharp teeth wait just below the surface of everyday life. This knowledge has been reinforced so many times in my marriage that it is almost impossible to arch my back, throw my arms to the sides and just. . .float.
Last week, author Jan Morrill(The Red Kimono) interviewed Jack and me for a piece she’s writing for submission to the next Wounded Warrior Project Anthology. When Jack revealed that his other marriages lasted, on average, less than four years each, Jan asked why he and I are still together after twenty-five years.
Here’s Jack’s answer:
“I can’t get rid of her. I keep messing up and doing my best to run her off, but she sticks like glue and won’t leave.”
I believe he was only half-kidding.
Here’s my answer:
“Because I’m still learning life lessons from Jack. This marriage is where I need to be. Still. After all this time, through all the messes and all the glorious times. Right now, my marriage is teaching me to float. To take life one moment at a time and luxuriate in that moment. To know that there is nothing I can do about what is, undoubtedly, already swimming up from the deep, ready to bite me on the ass.”
Jack laughed at my answer.
“That’s sort of like beating your head against the wall because it feels so good when you stop, isn’t it?”
Then he reached across the table and took my hand.