An Anniversary letter from my wife, on the occasion of our separation
Posted without commentary.
13 years ago today, I walked down an aisle with a white dress on to wed. Looking back, it seems such an unusually traditional thing for me to engage in being the person that I find myself to be today. Yet, I suppose, aside from the aisle, ring, white dress, and promises, it wasn’t so conventional. My soon to be husband, M-, and I married in a Swedenborgian church, though he was Jewish and I, Catholic. We wrote our own ceremony, spoke of Herodotus and quoted Rumi, exchanging marriage vows that were less than conventional but that spoke to the same promises most people make one another when they recognize and desire to hold on to something special. 13 years later, I finally understand that that something special that M- and I recognized in one another was the desire for Freedom. In many ways we are very different people. We have differing views on many things and rarely enjoy engaging in the same activities. But the one thing that we shared that felt so special and essential to the core of who we are is the passionate belief and pursuit of a freedom of being and expression. Perhaps we were similarly passionate because we felt in bondage to what we thought the world, the culture, our families and work expected of us. We had the couples’ us-against-them thing, the no one-understands-us but-us thing, the when-will-the-world-ever-realize-what we-know thing going on. M- pursued his passion through intellectual studies in politics, philosophy, history. I pursued mine through spiritual seeking and traditional medicine. Sometimes we met at the crossroads of poetry.
But very early on, our us-against-them mentality turned us against one another as well. It often became a me-against-you when we felt our ideologies in conflict, when we felt unsupported, when we felt a prisoner to our perceived conflict between freedom and security. And still we forged on, doing what married people do, being practical, raising a family. We had 3 children and in their birthing and raising, we experienced together some of the highest expressions of our mutual pursuit of freedom. We birthed at home and unassisted. We raised the children with freedom and fearlessness in mind, allowing them to be at home when school felt like too much of a constraint to them. And then when we, ourselves, felt like too much of a constraint to them, we let them find their way back to school. We were always experimenting and pushing the boundaries of convention, questioning should haves, have to be’s and just because so’s. And then, somewhere along the way in our struggles with the world, one another, ideas and day to days, someone first or both at the same time somehow, through grace or accident, realized that the struggle for freedom was the struggle with the self. And then, there followed, one day, together or separately, through grace or accident, the experiment to finally stop struggling. And lo and behold, there it was. Freedom. 13 years and we had finally grown up together, and finally realized that that which we were seeking for had always been there inside our own hearts, both together and separately. My deepest and most heart felt appreciation and love to you M- for taking this journey with me. It’s been rough. Nonetheless, we have returned to ourselves finally, haven’t we. And so, it is perfect.