The Strangeness

Reunited and the puzzle is together at last.

Karen’s Home. I picked her up at the airport yesterday and she was glowing, her face was wide open and she was radiating love and joy in a huge light bubble around her. I caught my breath and realized that she had indeed had an experience in the desert on the rim of that magical canyon that would forever transform her. We talked for hours about the experiences each of us had over the last two weeks, and we’ll continue to unfold and deepen those experiences over the next few days, weeks, months, years and lifetimes. We took a glass of wine to the hot tub and continued, we took corn on the cob and burgers on trays downstairs and watched a movie and paused the movie to talk about the movie within the context of both the film and what was going on in our lives. It was a magical reunion.

It is both wonder-ful and strange to be reunited after being so alone in different worlds. Of course we weren’t really alone. We both thought about each other frequently and either I imagined her where she is right now sitting at her desk across from me or she imagined me sitting across the fire soaking in the rocks, sky and the learning with her. We weren’t, however, in either physical proximity or electronic proximity with each other, which in this day and age is an unusual experience. So in that we were literally separated from each other and alone in different worlds. Coming together from those different worlds, which both of us know so intimately, is wonder-full indeed. The conversations give us each the opportunity to spend some time in the world we weren’t in for the last 2 weeks, while at the same time noticing the new person that is here in front of us. This person that isn’t quite the same person who left two weeks ago or the same person that stayed home over these two weeks and kept the home fires burning. That’s the wonderful and strange part, witnessing the new beloved that is there NOW and truly noticing that it is a new and evolved being that sits before us and not just the same ole friend, and yet it is that same ole friend too.

The strange part is the getting used to the invasion of what had become MY space. I had learned to sprawl all over the bed and now I had to go back to my half, happily and willingly and yet it was an adjustment for my body. I had begun to find my own time rhythms of sleep, waking, eating etc and now there are other rhythms to take into account and adjustments to make. It was much easier to do things that I knew would make Karen happy while she was away and then have her smile with happiness at seeing them done then it is to “try” to please her with something while she is here. So part of the strangeness is giving up “trying to please her” and just doing things that I suspect will make her happy and seeing if I get that smile of satisfaction and gratitude, and by the way not taking it personally if I don’t. So the strangeness is all wrapped up in both the discoveries of who I am when I am alone and who I am when I am in the dance with Karen and seeing what works and what doesn’t work about both existences and doing my best to merge the things that work.

I think that this strangeness actually goes on after every reunion of partners, lovers, and friends after a time apart. The wonderfulness is often acknowledged and celebrated and the strangeness is often turned into reactions, arguments, and challenges instead of just acknowledged and celebrated like the wonderfulness is. So here’s to the strangeness, the awkwardness, the little things that sometimes get put away too quickly for the “sake of the relationship and habit”, get sublimated and then work themselves back up in ugliness and reaction. I raise a glass and toast them and bring them into the light, because I think that maybe the awesomest wonderfullness may just be when those things are lit up and danced with in the relationship.

2 responses to “The Strangeness

  1. Thanks for sharing these small/big moments of reunion Henry. It is indeed a dance to welcome, celebrate and enjoy the company of a loved one, and make adjustments around newly acquired habits to create space for this person again. We so often focus our attention on re-entry of the ones who were away and less so on the re-embracing that happens on the part of those who stayed. Enjoy your radiant wife. I am sure she would have something to say about YOUR glow following the last rich, full of movement couple of weeks.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Neil and I spent 3+ months, being together only on weekends. Now we adjust to the ebb and flow of living together full time again. I felt very connected to what you shared, and it reminded me to embrace the fullness of this experience, and see that it is deepening us as a couple.

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