Friday, February 12, 2010

A Valentine's Note, Gratefully

It looks like I will travelling on Valentine’s Day and so I want to do now what I was planning, which is:

To write about the most amazing person I have ever known. She has saved me and motivated me, loved me and endured my darkest sides. She has given me strength to become healthier and wiser than I ever would have been, and has all the while continued to grow as an artist and clay sculptor, using her talents to teach and heal the people around her, including the entire community where we live.

When we first met, there was little chance I would ever be able to connect with another human being in a close relationship. I was already well on my way to middle age, never having lived with anyone before. My horrible childhood left me burdened, introverted and impossible.

I couldn’t believe this magical person had come into my life. I felt absolutely relaxed around her, and her great sense of humor brought laughter into my life. Her spirituality was profound and matched mine. Her energy was brilliant, and her mind far-ranging and capable of handling incredible projects. Even back then, ten years ago, her art was in its own category, unique and possessing a personal voice of hypnotic depth and subtlety.

An astounding, incredible person. Our first year together must have been hell for her. There was a suicide in my immediate family, and we had relocated to the South, far away from her ancestors’ homeland up North going back many generations.

Somehow she made contacts and had work accepted in the Knoxville Museum of Art. She became associated with a gallery and had her pieces on show. She taught computer graphics. On top of that, she ran workshops, met fascinating women who, like her, drummed on djembes and doumbeks while chanting

She is really fantastic. Inspiring. All that first year I was depressed, moping and lost in my own dysfunctional world. And yet I started to heal.

And when we moved to Maine, far out into a tiny isolated town seemingly lost from the rest of the world, she remained unbelievably strong, teaching art at the school, starting to help and heal the community.

And slowly--slowly--I began to wake up. I began to live. I found my art and started writing poetry. I burned with the passion of words, bursting out of my heart and soul. My past hounded me and tortured me, but year by year I learned how to harness it. My wife was always there, with her humor, intelligence, warmth and deep appreciation of the Goddess.

None of this would have happened without my her. What a journey we’ve been on. It never seems to get easy. There is always more, some new challenge or passion to follow. We are both struggling artists, and we see creative honesty as the key to humanity’s survival.

Express with pencil, clay or paint. Not blind anger, guns or fists.

It is not easy living with someone. You interact on all levels of your being, from the most ideal to the most practical and physical. We’ve managed to do it for ten years and still we grow. My love remains intense and many-layered. This kind of love spreads out like a majestic rosebush. The longer it grows the more flowers bloom on the vines, weaving a beautiful testimony through the garden of a shared journey over decades.