“A lake that is noisy cannot reflect anything” – Robert Adams…290 Days TO Fix This

Years ago, when we were first married I bought our first picture for our house. Little did I realize at the time of purchase how much art mimicked life. Our life, in fact.

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The painting consists of two swans. One bird is serene and just floating along quietly. Obviously, if we apply this to real life, this swan is definitely B. The other swan is upright, flapping its wings, chest out of the water and making such a ruckus it looks like it is going to stroke out any minute. That would be me. And this is pretty much how we have lived our lives. Me… upset about social injustice, corrupt politicians and suck-worthy IEP meetings. Meanwhile, B stays in the background gliding around effortlessly while making noise and flapping his wings only when truly necessary. Think emergencies or boys being truly bad. And guess who people respected and listened to…yep B. I’ve discovered that no one likes a noisy bird.

Finally after many years of being upset and squawking over just about everything, I made a conscious decision to change. I decided I didn’t want to be the flapping, stroking-out swan anymore; instead I wanted to be the serene swan whose stillness reflects her inner beauty and confidence over wide swaths of the quiet lake. I wanted to be the swan that was listened to and whose wisdom was sought.

And there is another major reason for this change. Noise. I have discovered that noise creates chaos and chaos creates pain in numerous different forms. I now understand the beauty of living a life with much less noise/chaos leading to increased peace, harmony and understanding for all members of the pond to enjoy.

So now, when I look at the picture it serves as reminder of conscious change.  Further, when I glimpse the painting, I no longer believe myself to be the flappy-crappy swan. Now I see myself as the noble swan.  And now because of the stillness of the swan it allows the tranquil pond to reflect back the quiet confidence of this beautiful old bird as it glides silently by.

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In the Stillness…315 Days To Fix This

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Do you know that blessed silence just before dawn? Those moments before the first chirp of a bird, or toss of the newspaper the second before it hits the pavement and before the first car on the block roars to life and exits the driveway without the driver looking in the rearview mirror because she is always the first on the road?

It’s that peaceful time, a sleepy lackadaisical moment when everything seems right and nothing could possibly be wrong or go south. It is a time for hope, daydreaming, and a mug of hot coffee laced with sweet cream and steam that floats so high in the air it looks as if it is the tail on the end of a kite sliding towards the moon.

Those are precious moments, silent moments, that are yours alone until…

Your wife opens her mouth.

Blaise Pascal said, “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.”

I am sure my husband would agree.

When B first mentioned the M.A.Y.B.E.  D.I.V.O.R.C.E. one of the things that made him unhappy (or so he thought) was that I didn’t get up with him in the morning. I didn’t because I thought that it was his private time. A time to relax before the day began and I didn’t want to intrude. But sure, I could accommodate him and in that vein, I told him to wake me up in the morning so that we could spend some time together.

He hated it.

All of a sudden his quiet was gone, vanished like a cockroach in the light. Skittering away to small places where the quiet became the smallest of silent echoes. And where peace once reined now there were questions.

“When did you first feel like you were not happy?”

“Gracie seems to be developing an attitude. How should we fix it?”

“Do you think that love gets easier or harder the longer you are married?”

“Do my thighs looks fat?”

“The dog needs his anal glands expressed. Can you do that?”

I have to confess that the morning togetherness lasted about a week and then he just stopped waking me up. I’ve asked him about it and he says that he needs his time in the morning and if I want to join him I can knowing that he will keep doing whatever he has been doing for the past 10 years. And it makes me sad. I enjoyed connecting in the morning with him but it appears he can do without connecting with me.

But I have a plan. Tomorrow I will get up with him and just sit quietly. I won’t ask questions, I won’t make comments and I will just sit. Peacefully. Mute. Serenely. And utterly still.  Because sometimes in those stolen peaceful moments just before dawn you can find things by just observing in the stillness. And I am looking…for what’s left of my marriage and myself. Perhaps, I will find it in the quiet right before the muffled sounds that signal a new day and a new way of relating.