Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Note on Journeying

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.


Becca said...

Understandable that your beloved may feel somewhat 'threatened' in your recent journeying. I wonder if reading Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 would be enlightening esp the last line "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken". While the journey of husband & wife is precious, the 'third strand' of God entering the relationship can make the journey truly amazing and so much stronger. I found you through clicking on April's comment posted on the blog down---to---earth.blogspot.com (my favourite blogger, Rhonda). I don't have a blog, but have fun reading others.

Becca said...

Correction: it was Mountain Mama's comment posted on Rhonda's down to earth blog. You are April (in case you didn't know!) and by clicking on Mountain Mama's blog, "Into the wild blue yonder" that I found yours. See why I'm not a blogger myself?!

Sharon said...

I'm hoping your journeying takes you to much better places. Depression is pretty common in the gray of winter, and let's face it, the bleakness all around us in this recession and messed up world. I get in a kind of depressive state in the winter as well. I like that you are finding a way to work your way through it, by journeying. I'm hoping Spring brings in new life and energy to both of us.

Cheryl Smith said...


You write with great skill and great vulnerability. You're a welcome addition to The High Calling community! It's great to "meet" you.

Terri said...

Amen. My own life partner did not appear until I prayed physically on my knees and ASKED for 'the gentlest of all possible husbands.' Within six weeks, he had appeared.

It impresses me that Warren expressed his concerns so promptly...even though you had been reluctant to share. He's keeping "short accounts" and that is good.

Of course, I don't know the underlying causes, but I know that for the past two weeks, I have been in a funk...the weather, a dull toothache. Many things.

see you there! said...

Winter affects the moods of many of us I think. DH suffers more from the winter blues than I do so just a word from the other side - share what you are feeling, trying to protect your partner by keeping it inside doesn't work. They end up wondering WHAT instead of understanding WHY.

Each day now we are gaining 3 minutes of daylight...