|11 Jul 2004 @ 02:08, by Richard Carlson|
What does the spring wind have in mind,
coming day and night to these groves and gardens?
It never asks who owns the peach and damson trees but blows away their crimson without a word.
To every natural form, rock, fruit or flower,
Even the loose stones that cover the high-way,
I gave a moral life.
If we have not found heaven within, it is a certainty we will not find it without.
Our wedding day, July 11, 1982. Left to right, Dana, Richard and his parents, J. Ralph and Rhea Carlson.
Twenty-two years today I believe it is. Strange day for a wedding, but a master astrologer charted July 11th as just about the only window such a peculiar combination as Dana and I were---and probably still are---were given to do it. The people who introduced us weren't sure now whether or not they'd created a monster. From what I understand, most folks who knew us both harbored doubts it would work. Some spoke their concerns aloud. Our chemistry told us differently, and we shared powerful common interests and goals. So for better or worse...
Now who wants to read anything about someone else's marriage? Or marriage at all? It seems to be the stuff of novels, not essays. Does any writer really get down into the depths and details of such an intimacy? If it's written by one or the other, you have to doubt the veracity. It's either one-sided or else varnished with platitudes. If I don't write something positively miraculous about Dana here on the Internet, I may as well stop writing right now and go pack my bags. And my God, do I even want her talking to her mother about me, much less writing an essay? Especially her mother! Does she share our problems on some message board at About.com? I guess I'd rather not know. If you Google it up, don't tell me.
If both people write it together, and offer advice---yuck---then good for them, but who wants to read about some perfect relationship? There's tons of stuff out there about breaking up, surviving divorce, and---yippee---shopping for the perfect soul mate. But about the intricacies of the deep cave exploration that is long-term marriage, I think a couple is pretty much on our own. We've had some rough patches during which we sought professional counsel---and spent bundles in the process (if you can call the sessions a process)---but I don't think either of us would advertise that approach as helpful to our family. Not as helpful anyway as the long time spent together, the gradual learning, the dedication and/or stubbornness.
I gather marriage is a crumbling, fading institution. I know a guy who's been living with a lady for a few years, and he would marry her but she's against it. He tells me both her parents had one disaster after another in their series of marriages, and she was driven crazy by it all. She prefers the ongoing of day-to-day, and he has come to accept that as better than nothing. At our own wedding, we had Dana's father, an ordained Lutheran minister at the time, give the sermon or whatever it is---and he preached of the doubtful substance of the institution of marriage. Most of what I read about marriage gives statistics on how more and more people---of all sexual and living-together persuasions---prefer not to bother with it...as long as insurance and retirement benefits are starting to kick in here in the States.
What does that say about commitment and promise? I'm not going to preach, I'm just wondering. Are there no guarantees in life? There's a movie out currently called "The Notebook." Almost anything I would say about it in this context might ruin it for you, so I'll be very careful. I suppose it's a tear-jerker, and certainly the people around me were sobbing audibly---and all of us laughing together when the lights came up interestingly. It had been good to cry and we smiled with the relief. The film is very popular, and the word-of-mouth while we were doing our play for 3 weeks was stronger about "The Notebook" than any of the other summer flicks doing so well right now. The movie is about love and dedication and faithfulness to another person at, as the story goes along, increasingly impossible odds. It's an old-time 1930s and '40s love story---and people are really interested in it. It's about getting married---and staying that way.
An anniversary is about marriage vows and a chance to review and maybe celebrate how we're doing. In the light of that promise, it's an opportunity for Dana to bake me an ecstatically delicious peach/rhubarb pie, or for me to find her a piece of artwork at Starbrick Gallery. Do those vows of love guarantee I will stay by my wife until I turn to dust? I think they do and I believe the realization of 22 years means something important to Dana and me. It's a guarantee, and a chance for us to imitate true love---or better, live out our faith that God's love too is forever and abiding.
11 Jul 2004 @ 06:57 by spiritseek : HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
Richard and Dana, may you have many more joyous and rewarding years ahead. I'm sure you two have gone through alot already and have grown closer. Soulmates? you bet.
11 Jul 2004 @ 07:06 by : Congratulations
Rock on you 2 and hope you have a perpetually happy time.
11 Jul 2004 @ 08:34 by Bette @188.8.131.52 : Happy Anniversary
Enjoy your special day! You have much to celebrate!
Wishing you much love and joy together for many many years to come.
Bette is a colleague and dear friend of ours who has known us practically the whole way. She probably wanted to see that old picture. Thanks to her for the greeting!
11 Jul 2004 @ 09:06 by scotty : Well done !
My Congratulations and admiration to both of you !
11 Jul 2004 @ 10:00 by Quinty @184.108.40.206 : Poof!
Spent the past hour thoroughly responding to your posting and up it went in smoke! Pardon the irritation. Anyway, congratulations. Sounds like you have a good deal.
Hate when that happens. I've learned when I take a long time with a reply or comment---and at some sites with construction of a new piece of email---I copy the thing before I click Send or Submit or whatever it is. I suppose timing out a login is a good thing, but the irritation spreads since now I can't know what you think about all that marriage stuff. We'll have to talk it over sometime.
11 Jul 2004 @ 12:21 by celestial : Hi Richard,
"Congradulations." (Another spelling, bestowed upon educators and graduates!)
11 Jul 2004 @ 16:39 by swan : Congratulations.
Twenty Two years is a long time and a lot of learning together. May you have many more.
12 Jul 2004 @ 04:13 by dempstress : Congratulations
....and sorry I'm a day late. You also have my very sincere envy, having spent an adult lifetime looking for that sort of partnership. It's good to know that it does exist out there, and that we're not all just chasing shadows.
12 Jul 2004 @ 06:38 by spiritseek : each relationship
teaches us anew. Love you guys!
12 Jul 2004 @ 06:53 by : blessings
to you both @--/--
12 Jul 2004 @ 07:42 by dempstress : Great
hair day, by the way Jazzo!
12 Jul 2004 @ 11:57 by : My Dempstress Do
And I don't even have curly hair. If you've never been to Southeast Ohio in mid-July or August, you probably have no idea what can happen to a guy in the afternoon heat and humidity. After I greeted all those people and got my ass driven to the reception site, I found the iced cold keg and stayed within arm's reach until midnight. The party was outside, with square dancing and very little shade. My relatives from up North literally sat underneath the shade of telephone wires that stretched across the clearing. I am not kidding!
It's like that today too. People from around here love it...but here I am at 2PM in our air conditioned basement, typing away---and Dana is out in the blazing sun harvesting beans. I tell her only mad dogs and Dana go out in the afternoon sun. (No offense to my dear English friends.) Anyway, some people said the picture looks like I have a halo. So there!
13 Jul 2004 @ 10:44 by Black Swan @220.127.116.11 : Happy Anniversary
It has taken me forever to figure out how to leave a comment. Now that I figured it out. Happy Anniversary :-)
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