Tuesday, September 1, 2009

14th wedding anniversary.....Ta-Da*

A good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Fourteen years ago today Michael and I were married in New York City. We spent a week in New York and then returned to Steens Mountain in Oregon for the second week of our honeymoon, adding a few impromptu days in Reno before heading home to what was to be, quite honestly, a trying first year of marriage. Not because of us, but due to outside forces that came from left field and that we were then emotionally ill-equipped to deal with. But we really fought for our marriage during those strenuously heart-wrenching and venomous months, even consulting my longtime family doctor who referred us on to a wonderful psychologist.

We met with Paula, the psychologist, separately at first, then pulled it all back together in joint sessions for about six weeks. Mike had the first session with her, since we were primarily coping with people and events originating from his family and employment situation. (I'll add here: thank God for my mother and the support she gave to us that year.) When my turn came to meet with Paula the first words she spoke to me were: Do you realize how much he loves you?

I do. Those were the words I said during the short civil ceremony inside New York's Municipal Building 14 years ago. They were also the words I used to answer Paula's question some months later.

I do know that Mike loves me because he understands my need for solitude, which is greater than his own. When I first shared the above Rilke quote with him it went against how he'd been raised to think of marriage, but he gets it now. I appreciate that he is not only the guardian of my solitude, but as the years have gone by he has begun thanking me for being the guardian of his solitude. Of course that is only one aspect of our marriage, albeit a treasured one. I've isolated it for this post because it's what surfaced as I considered what I might write about for this anniversary to accompany these photos from our honeymoon.

Here we are at Kiger Gorge and Honeymoon Lake on a windy but beautiful September day on Steens Mountain, elevation 9700'. I'd vacationed alone at Steens in years before meeting Mike - and Honeymoon Lake had always been bone dry. That it was sparkling with bitter-cold clear water was simply astonishing to me, and we took it as a good omen that we'd be ok when we returned to the real world of shit, systems, and strife. Believe in omens? I do.

Of Turkish-Italian Origin. Phrase created to express a timeless, synchronistic love; written in stone and greater than love in any form. Soulmate.
You will always be my "Ta-Da" or Finding "Ta-Da" transcends all rituals and conclusions. It is an unending, complex, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner.
-via Urban Dictionary



Alix said...

Beautifully written. There's a lot of love in this anniversary post. Screw the paper bells and ice buckets. You know what's important.

You do.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Oh Happy Day!! Congrats and many hugs and kisses to you both.
I love the Ta-Da explanation, thanks for sharing it:>)xxxooo

Looking to the Stars said...

Congrats! I love the pics and I'm glad that you worked hard to make it work.

My husband and I celebrate our 16 years this month also. We had a hard time also, it came from his parents and still does. They are the in-laws from hell but I've learned a lot about accepting people for who they are :)

Once again, Congrats kiddo! I wish you many, many more.

Kim said...

Awww...what a sweet and beautiful post! And I love the pictures. Congrats on 14 years!

M Riyadh Sharif said...

I salute to the LOVE you share with each other, You and Uncle Mike. Wish your love will remain like this forever. And the photos are simply wonderful. You look so beautiful Aunt! :)
I congratulate both of you on this very special day!


Citizen of Earth said...

What an inspiring and romantic story
You are truely blessed

How lucky you both are, to have each other and to be secure in your love

Happy anniversary to you

Darlene said...

Congratulations on making it work. It takes a lot of hard work to make a marriage go, even in the best of circumstances, but when others interfere you really have to be strong. I'm so glad you were and have found your soul mate.

Friko said...

Congratulations! May you all your troubles be blowing in the wind.

The Sagittarian said...

Congrats on 14 years, The Stud and I chalked up 14 in June this year. We've had all kinds of trials and tribulations...some still ongoing and from his family but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (according to my mum)! Great post.

secret, fragile skies said...

Congratulations! What a beautiful couple you make. Now it is apparent why you write with such grace and love. You live in that place.

Maggie May said...

this was so tender to read. thank you for sharing, and happy anniversary!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Congratulations and happy anniversary. Wishing you many, many more.

Lydia said...

@Alix- I appreciated the way you carried the theme of my post into your comments. Thanks for being here!

@Distracted- Your sweet wishes mean a lot. Yup, "Ta-Da" now takes on splendid new meaning!

@Looking to the Stars- You have your 16th approaching? That's wonderful; early congratulations to you!
What is it with in-laws, anyway? It's a long road getting to that reciprocal acceptance for who we are. We do much better in that department when we don't see them and communicate sporadically via email/cards. :)

@Kim- Thanks for wishing us well on this day!

@Riyadh- It's so fun for you to see these pictures of our beginnings! Thanks for the good wishes and the compliment (44 was a good age, and where I guess there's beauty in every stage of life, it's just not the same as we go along!).

@Citizen of Earth- Secure. You used an important word in your comments, and I thought during the day about it. Thanks for seeing that from this post.

@Darlene- I don't remember now how long you have been widowed, but I know it came after a long marriage. If anyone is qualified to speak to the hard work it's you. Thanks for your sage words.

@Friko- Thanks for the sweetly musical thought for our anniversary!

@The Sagittarian- Thank you for being here and for sharing a bit about your own challenges in 14 years (congratulations on your 'versary). Our problems, where much diminished, are also ongoing because they have never been flushed out from under the rock to wriggle out in the sun for us all to observe and squish together. *see my comment to Looking to the Stars :)

@secret, fragile skies- Your lovely comments surely add to the depth of the day. Thank you so much.

@Maggie May- I'm smiling to myself thinking about the kind of poem you'd undoubtedly pen for your anniversary. Rich, ripe, earthy, honest, sentimental, hopeful...all those things and more that many couples feel, but not everyone expresses.

@Phivos- Thank you for being here to leave happy congratulatory wishes on our anniversary. Much appreciated!

earthtoholly said...

A Happy Anniversary to you and Mike, Lydia.

How awful that others caused you so much sorrow in your first year, but thank goodness your love and good help got you through. Your photos are gorgeous---you were a beautiful bride and Mike was a handsome groom!

By the way, my own 14th will be the 28th, so thank you...profusely...cause your post reminded me...yikes!

deus ex machina said...

Happy, happy anniversary to you and Michael, mom! :) I am happy for both of you :)

littlebird said...

I definitely believe in omens : ) Happy anniversary, I hope you celebrated with something special.

Lydia said...

@earthtoholly- Thank you so much for your sweet comments/compliments. You're way ahead for planning your 14th, but congrats ahead of time anyway!

@deus ex machina- It's special to have your wishes, Dex. They mean a lot to us. xo-mom

@littlebird- Glad you are a believer! We had a great anniversary and actually spread out the celebration throughout the week. :)

Anonymous said...

Sweet photos Lydia. And congrats on your anniversary.

Holding the space for each other, is the phrase that springs to mind from your words. Having time irrevocably together, and yet allowing the other to move in circles away and then back towards the nest... the ideal way of relating so that you always have perspective.

Lydia said...

@svasti- Many thanks for your comments. I'm touched that you would relate your words of wisdom to the words in my post. I really love the dynamics you described.

La Belette Rouge said...

"Ta-da"! I always thought it meant "magic revealed". It is not that anyone ever told me that, I just thought it. Thank you for the real definition. It seems I was sort of right. I am so grateful for the Ta-Da in my life. Beautiful post. Happy anniversary. I wish you both many more years of unending, complex and intimate dancing.

Rhiannon said...


Sorry I'm a bit late in making a comment here. I'm so happy for you and congratulations on your 14th year marriage of "soulmate and solitude". I wish my ex had understood my need for solitude more than he did. He was very outgoing and liked to be surrounded by people all the time. When our marriage fell apart and he hurt me so much and betrayed me..it did occur to me then and even now that my ex was not able to be "on his own" "in solitude"..he even admitted it to me way back when and had said that is what he most loved about me..being "okay" on my own with "me"...but alas things change as you know. I did feel so loved those 15 years of marriage..we really were soulmates and very connected..friends, lovers, the whole deal. He was the most comfortable person to be with in the whole world. I don't think I will find another soulmate again, but who knows?

I am so happy that you and Mike continue on your journey of love and I celebrate with you in your happiness of togetherness! Please don't let other people intervene in your very special relationship. That's what my ex let happen. It destroyed everything.

Oh, I'm sorry I made this a bit about me..this is about your celebration..


Love always,


Rhiannon said...

P.S. The photos are just lovely..your so pretty!..and looking forward to seeing a pic of you in your "Brave enough to go gray" soon!

My ex was younger than me also..by 5 years only though.

Kathleen said...

Blessings to you and Mike. And thank you for sharing this marvelous story. It made me realize how fortunate I am that my husband also is the guardian of my solitude. I love synchronicity of our posts on this subject!

Lydia said...

@Belette- You sure were close to the meaning! In the past I had thought it to be a joyous exclamation, so I was sort of on track. Sure appreciate your good wishes. :)

@Rhi- I am so sorry that your 15-year marriage didn't last, especially reading your descriptions of the good about him and the good times with him. It's a tragic story.
Not sure when I'll post a shot of my hair growing out. It's now out about 3 inches. The thing is that it's very dark with light gray strands mixed in. It's actually a darker color than what is growing out at the ends. Also, since I am now wearing braces my photos are kinda crazy right now!

@Kathleen- Yes, both of us posting about solitude on the same day was fantastic! The photo of you and your husband that you use for your avatar sure shows the love.
Thanks for your good wishes for Mike and me.

♥ Braja said...

What a lovely post....congratulations to you both, Lydia. I loved the Ta-da :))

Lydia said...

@Braja- O, thank you so much. It's great to hear from you, and I'll visit soon.
I love the Ta-Da, too!



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