My last post worried Warren, more than he was willing to admit at first. But it was obvious within some five minutes of his coming home for supper last night that it was gnawing at him.
What bothered him the most was my use of the word "journey" repeatedly.
I didn't get it (or him) at first. But I'm not taking a physical journey, I said. I'm staying right here. I'm just traveling in spirit.
That didn't seem to allay his concerns.
After some discussion, I think I finally understood what he was trying to tell me. One, Warren thinks he and I are on a "pretty amazing journey" ourselves, that being our marriage, and there is a little pang that I feel the need to journey in other ways. Two, he has seen others head down different paths with all good intentions and then find themselves too far apart to ever put the bond back together.
If he hadn't been so heartfelt on that last comment, I would have wrapped my arms around him and said "silly Warren." Instead, I just hugged him close and said "you know better."
We talked a little more about my view of spirituality and about our mutual commitments to this relationship. Warren then headed off to the monthly Symphony board meeting. These are tight times for the Symphony and Warren has been spending many, many hours beyond the office week working on various issues. While he was away, I baked for tonight's legal clinic. The rhythm of baking, sliding the cookie sheets in and out of the oven, gave me plenty of time to think about our conversation and to explore further my own thoughts.
When Warren came home, chilled and exhausted, we shared heart cookies, hot chocolate, and some more talk. Because of events in my life before Warren, I needed reassurance that we were "okay." (This was one of those nights in which the Ghost of Relationships Past sat down on the couch to eavesdrop.) I also needed to voice what I was feeling.
I shared with Warren that I have struggled emotionally more this winter than perhaps he has known, even if he has sensed it. Given the weight of the Symphony matters, I have kept somewhat quiet in recent months when it comes to talking about my personal concerns. Fairly or unfairly to him, my thinking has been "Warren has enough on his plate already; he doesn't need this." So I have masked my moods as "exhaustion" and spoken somewhat vaguely of how tired I am and how hard it has been to keep up with him this winter.
That is not untrue, but a more honest label would be "depression." Not serious (I am blessed that it rarely is) and not omnipresent, but depression nonetheless.
It is what it is. Not the first time, not the last time. Just there.
This morning as I drove to swim, I felt the gray mood settle gently on me, despite the brilliant sunshine, despite a quiet breakfast with Warren just minutes earlier. I said aloud the words I ended yesterday's post with: Go where your best prayers take you…Unclench the fists of your spirit…Breathe deep of the glad air.
In this winter of my discontent, it is solace to intentionally, purposefully carve out time to read and reflect on words such as these.
I can't be on all of Warren's journeys and he can't be on all of mine. We are blessed to share many of them, the most precious one being our marriage. As I finish this post, I breathe deep of the glad air, knowing that at least one of my best prayers took me to where I am today, alongside Warren.