Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Ring of Truth

Today is Easter Sunday. If you are observing the holiday either in one of its festive mutant variants or in a more religious vein, best wishes to you and yours. Me and mine, or just me really as my better half tends to live in the moment, celebrate today differently than most (if you place an "i" before the "st" in "most" it looks really goofy. Trust me on this one.) but celebrate a little bit we always do.

Thirty-eight years ago today (okay, not today today, but today, Easter Sunday) I asked a young German woman I was awfully sweet on, Sigrid Schubert, to marry me. For historians everywhere, the sole point of note is that she said "yes.". Back when I asked her in 1977, Easter was the third of April (and I was in US Air Force and had far more hair on my head than I do now, proving not everything gets better with age).

Sigrid told me later she had thought I was breaking up with her-giving me credit for an element of surprise I never knew I possessed, causing me momentarily to consider entering those really-big-jackpot poker tourneys because of my bluffing ability except I have the emotional range of Rainman in a coma, so I should be grateful she held on and waited for the ride to get to....

...Here. Where she and I are now is, in some respects, not all that far from where we started. Material conditions have changed-we had a two room cold-water walk-up off a bus line in Offenbach am Main a 'small' German city with more people in it than who lived in ALL of New London County, Connecticut, when we arrived here in the fall of 1991. 

Our home today is across the street from a landmark green space in the city of Norwich, Connecticut, an industrial-revolution-meets-the-American-Revolution type of town found so often in New England. That we are here, and will be very likely for the rest of our lives, isn't/wasn't part of either of our visions of our future,  proving again life is what happens when you're busy making other plans

Our wedding rings have both the date of our engagement (technically, that anniversary was this past Friday) as well as that of our wedding. I've stopped taking my ring off aside from that 'testing to see if I can still do it' drill I go through at random moments-and I mention that because I don't like jewelry and I don't wear any. My wedding ring is an unwavering constant, not that I need the reminder.

We were, with apologies to Erich Fromm, a coalition of two against the world from the beginning. I'm not comfortable with new people, taking forever to warm up to them-with the exception of the two who joined our lives, our children. We were three and then became four and then three again and eventually we'll be back to just two, which is where we started and I am with the person with whom I am most comfortable in the entire world of seven billion plus people.

For me, Sigrid is like breathing out and breathing in, though I have given her many moments where the thought of applying a pillow to my sleeping face must have crossed her mind (so much for breathing). Actually, that's fair-more than fair if I were to be honest and this is as good a day as any to do that.

I usually spend this day examining where we've been and where I hope we're going but this day, and this time, I'm enjoying more of the where we are and what we have, which as it has been for all these years, is one another. She brightens any room and always brightens my world.
-bill kenny

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