Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gosh, It’s Chilly Around Here

We had our first frost last night, and it's cold here in my sunroom. I tried keyboarding with gloves on; it was a ridiculous failure.
There have been way too many warm fuzzies on my blog lately. I think I will pick on my marriage today.
My husband and I have weathered 18 years together. It has not been a bed of roses.
Joe is getting a swollen head because lately he has been especially wonderful, and I’ve told him repeatedly how wonderful he is. He walks around here puffed up like a pigeon.
Deliberately, I am going to remember that five years ago I thought we were headed for divorce court. We had a teenage daughter and different opinions about surviving the hell of it all.
The fact is, for these two recovering alcoholics, working our 12-Step program at home proved to be crucial. I was powerless over him, he was powerless over me, and we were both powerless over that teenage daughter. But praise be, God could and would if He were sought.
When times were hard, we both remembered the vow we made in the beginning: We won’t run, or stuff our feelings, or lie to each other. Life together was painful sometimes (for years, actually), and there were phone calls to sponsors and plain old prayers (God help me!). Somehow we lived through it.
Here’s a mean poem I wrote when I couldn’t stand it anymore, when I couldn’t just grit my teeth and keep on chugging away at married life like the Little Engine That Could. It reminds me today how grateful I am that we stuck it out, that the struggle made us stronger.

Doldrums of the Weaker Sex

Orange leaves whip around in flights of fancy.
People pull on sweatshirts against the sudden chill.
The rhythms of maroon and yellow on the lawn
are rimed by white frost in the mornings.

Why is attenuate, like autumn, a lonesome word?
It is, you say, just a weak-kneed verb.
The dog wants into my private room
and without asking, you let her in.

This romance has attenuated,
shrunk so thin it’s like a fence
turned sideways and you hardly see it.
Your questions are sharp and pointed
with slender answers. Because. Who cares?
I don’t hate the dog, but I want my room
inviolate, a word more powerful than you.

Chris Alba © 2009


Syd said...

I understand this Chris. I'm glad that you both worked together to get past a lot of "stuff". Respect and trust go a long way with me.

Susan said...

I love how you said the struggle made you stronger. So glad you both "made it".

Shadow said...

18 years would bring with it a dispute or two i'd say *grin*. it's good to hear that sticking it out, working it out, CAN happen, DOES happen and that there IS hope out there...

lakeviewer said...

Wow! Stick to poetry! This is powerful and heavy with double meaning. Even if you hadn't premised the theme comes through and through. There are so many good phrases here. My favorite: "...I want my room inviolate..."

Steve E. said...

My favorite..."shrunk so thin
it's like a fence turned sideways."

PG and I also both in AA program. We were just fine, until Alanon (her) and now she "knows me" better than I know myself...and that is not too good--or is it --grin! Hmmmmmm. REALLY like your postings.

Dulce said...

This is good, so real as life itself... yet powerfully depicted in these words!

Tall Kay said...

What a darling picture! 18 years in any relationship with one alcoholic is a miracle...but two? You are an amazing example of practicing these principles in all our affairs! Did you know it's close to 90 here in SoCA today?

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

I am so happy to have come in for a visit tonight. Enjoyed the flavor of your words very much. And I really appreciated your stopping in. I will see you again.

Have a restful weekend.

the walking man said...

*shrug* If the road was always smooth we would be bored and dumping partners because of that. You made it this far and as long as you have the will for another day you will make it that far.

Hello there need a beard and not just that little scraggly thing under your nose. {;-]}

Karen said...

Your work always humbles me. Talent, dear friend. You have it. I'm sure you don't believe that, but you are rolling in it!

By the way, congrats on sticking it out. There's something to be said for just getting through...

Gin said...

This is beautiful. I can feel the warmth and love between the two of you in your description.

enchantedoak said...

You all make me smile real big. I missed you terribly when I was offline. It was a joy to spend my afternoon reading your blogs and find out how you were. Thank you for your kindness here.

DreamDancer said...

You are very talented indeed... so creative with words, you give them life!

DreamDancer said...

You are very talented indeed... so creative with words, you give them life!