Thirty years ago, in Miami, Florida, on February 16, Jerry and I were married in the Baptist church where I had been since birth and where he had come when he was six from the cold north, following the path of his father who followed his father. We knew nothing.
In my conversation in my mind, I think, “No, that’s not an overstatement”.
We didn’t know anything about marriage, about how to form an intimate relationship where trust blooms over time and roots deepen into thick, strong ropes that give sustenance through the winter when all of the leaves have blown off and all that’s left are the barest of branched twigs. We knew other things in our guts, but it would be years and tears before those were churned up with the worms that had grown among the garbage. Worms, however, are very valuable. They take that debris and transform it into the humus that sustains us, fuel for the warmth that we desperately need.
We have not been married for thirty years – we have been married for fourteen and a half years the first time, and now for almost fourteen again. What I am celebrating today as I write is the change in my eyesight, in my vision of the man whom I love.
With my new eyesight, I have begun to see romance in both an exhilarating and a comforting light, with a man who is so very different than I.
Last year at Christmas (not Valentine’s Day – I won’t get started on that one), as I was thinking about him, I was thinking about our opposites. We really are opposite.
If you look up the Enneagram, he is a 5 and I am a 4.
If you know anything about that, just let that tidbit sink in. If you are into Meyers-Briggs, I am an ENFP and he is an ISTJ. Yes, not one letter is the same.
We even laugh that we like opposite colors on the color wheel – he likes green and I like red – and even in that, you can see parts of our truest selves shine through.
Somehow, we have managed to make a wonderful design team in our home renovations, though. Whenever we come together over home, something magical happens and beauty begets beauty.
As we continue this journey together, I have full hope – hope that these opposites deepen into even richer texture and color, with contrast and continuity. So when I thought of him in artistic expression, I thought, He Likes Green and I Like Red.
He Likes Green
He likes green. I like red.
His edges are hard. Mine are soft.
He forms foil around the sharp,
Carefully, with thick gloves to protect from cuts,
Uses grinders and soldering irons,
Heat, stone, force,
To gently forge the glass into form and light.
I use thread to weave in between the layers
To build seams between pieces where pieces touch,
With veins that become a part of the whole,
Leaving no gap or hopefully noticeable mark,
Even though below confirms infinite work and stitch.
And shape upon shape, we build
In various ways with various methods
With sometimes diverse results,
But always with hope for beauty.
He likes green, and I like red.
Sue Kranz considers herself mostly grateful and humbled these days. She lives in central Florida with dreams of the mountains, Montessori, and a simple life of beauty and imperfection, inviting those around her to taste and see and to not be afraid.
Thanks, Lorrie:). I am so glad to have reconnected
Wow! What a beautiful image! I really appreciate your insight, and your tenacity, and your new vision. I am working on new vision, too, as so many married couples must because of their disparities. Thank you for giving color and form to one way to begin. I am going to write my own poem today, thanks to you, looking with new eyes.
Oh, thank you so much, Ruth. Yes – I think that our willingness to address and own our disappointments leads to rich, deep ground that doesn’t lead to loving less but to loving more. It’s a good path, and it’s a hard path. Your words are really encouraging.
I love it Sue! As always, your writings leave me with so much to think about, and so much warmth. I love the picture. It is precious and takes me back to that time, a time when I was there as well. Thank you for sharing. I celebrate my 31st this year and can so relate to ‘opposites’. It’s about give and take for the long haul.
Thanks, Jean – it’s pretty cool to know that I remember you from the nursery:). Who knew? Bless you.
I love how your words paint such a unique and yet lovely picture of the years of your marriage. I loved this.
Wow, thank you, Valerie. I had an opportunity this past year to draw a timeline that turned into an expression of life. There is a deep desire to cooperate in the turning of ashes into beauty, whatever that looks like:).
I love your take on loving your husband…beautifully written. Thank you and carry on my friend AND keep writing, you have goodness to bring.
Thank you so much, Mary Jane. I deeply appreciate your encouragement and kindness for both living and using my voice. I think we have at least one mutual friend:).
A tapestry of words – your story. So grateful that you are writing and sharing.
That’s such a lovely picture, Janet. Thanks, friend:). I am so thankful to be journeying with you.
Beautiful words celebrating your differences, such a good reminder to have a sense of awe rather than condemnation.
Thank you, Janet. Looooooooooong journey, as you know. We also have at least one friend in common:).
Sue, you’ve grown into a insightful woman who can encourage others with your gift of words. Seeing Lorrie’s post was today’s blessing.