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19 September 2002 (Thursday): sappy romantic interlude

11 PM last night found me at the gate of Soren's house, his eyes bright behind the iron bars: "Let's go to the beach!" The moon was nearly full, the light glinting off the moving blackness beyond the sand; the instant my feet sank into the softness at the foot of the concrete stairs, I grabbed his hand and broke into a run. "We're going to the edge of the earth," he gasped, laughing as we neared the water. "The end of the world." He's right, I thought. Here where the tide comes in, it's like the boundary of consciousness.

The air was thick with moisture, an almost-fog, smelling of salt and seaweed and bonfire smoke. Soren followed a flock of tiny birds as they scuttled in the surf, barely visible. When we lay down finally to look at the stars, he startled at a small white object making its way purposefully toward us: a dog? a gull? a form of amphibious sea life? A plastic grocery bag, tumbled by the breeze. We watched as it cartwheeled steadily past, unhurried and unceasing.

Happy families are all alike, Tolstoy wrote, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. I've come to think that maybe the same could be said of relationships. The most beautiful moments in all my relationships have been nearly identical, in spirit at least: that sense of connection, an understanding that needs no words -- the knowledge that I am being completely myself, without apology or explanation, and that the person beside me is doing the same. In love the happy times are all alike; it's the unhappy times that are unique.

The strange -- and almost frightening -- thing about Soren is that there are no unhappy times with him. There have been difficult times, yes. But somehow we've always found a way to talk through them, understand them, lay them to rest. With him I've found a new capacity for grace. I can concede a point; I can let go of any past injury. (Now, if I could find a way to extend that to everyone I love...) He won't take credit for it, but I think he's taught me all this. If nothing else, he's been my example to follow.

posted by enjelani @ 10:06 PM PST

Replies: 2 comments

you're lucky, enjelani...

You deserve some credit for recognizing and appreciating what you have, as well. Happy for you!

posted by dustin @ 20 09 2002 01:25 PM PST

*vigorous nod*
The day I stop telling D how much I appreciate him, I no longer deserve him. No one has ever made me feel so simultaneously content and happy, as though I want to be a better person, and as though I am fully myself as he does. I am overjoyed that you are happy like I am. This should be the case for everyone.

posted by Moonpuddle @ 20 09 2002 02:10 PM PST