The way love goes.

December 7, 2012 § 7 Comments

At first we are amazed by how alike we are. You say what I just thought. I know what you will think before you do.

Dazzled, I see through the lens of you, you through the lens of me. No light exists when we are apart; we are an angel choir of two.

My parents.

Then, as understanding deepens, and the newness wears off, we see what is different. We realize that we are good-different and we are bad-different.

Still, you are worth it. I am too. So when the different causes friction we compromise.

Little by little, we wear into each other to become a working whole. As we divide what must be done I cede to you the things you do better than I, maybe even allowing those skills to atrophy in me, but is it necessary that each of us do everything?

You fix what breaks. I manage our money. I grow the tomato. You turn it into sauce.

Could each of us do the jobs relegated to the other? Probably. But not as well, and there is a quality of gift-giving when I do for you and you do for me. Maybe we even come to take what the other does for granted. But not always. Sometimes we stun each other with how well we do things.

So, we split the world of work into what you do and what I do. And if we are really secure, we become safe doing impractical things that are ours alone.

I sing. You don’t, except to our dog, but you like to listen.

You take photos. I don’t, except when someone hands me their cell phone and says, “Do you mind?” but I like to look.

I don’t always understand the choices and actions of you who literally breathes the same air I do–sometimes you look at me as if I were a stranger, but not often, and when you do it is okay. We go back so far we know it will pass.

Although we are on the same path, often walking in each other’s footprints we will experience the journey independently. Undeniably together we remain what we are; two separate beings.

So we develop a kindness toward what we don’t quite understand.

We give each other the freedom and the encouragement to grow and explore and become. It takes a while to get this, but it works.

Love is big.

Note: The photo is of my gregarious Italian mother who wrote emotion-packed novels, loved grand opera and New York City, and my taciturn Swedish father, a scientist and solitary gardener who preferred symphonies and wilderness–a perfect couple. 

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