Tuesday, September 8, 2009

from the moon of honey to three people in a two-bedroom house

We came back from honeymoon on a high of Italian sunshine and honeymoon bubble bliss. We left for Paris the day after the wedding, so we'd left all our friends on 'pause'; we returned to excitement and congratulations, prolonging our giddiness and the newness of marriage. We reveled in introducing ourselves as 'my husband' and 'my wife' - each time I say them I remember we belong to each other, that we're committed to a shared vision of our future. When I'm asked how it feels to be married I say amazing because something has shifted. Sure, 'married bliss' exists, but like all bliss, in handfuls and fleeting flashes, like sunsets or candles on a birthday cake. I'm surprised at the subtlety of changes - when I imagine the future, when I see me walking through Venice or eating at a café back in Calgary, Tom is there with me, not specifically invited but there because I know he will be. We set up a joint bank account and realize I can let go of the idea of 'mine' as it seeps into the concept of 'ours'. I still have 'my' account - can't let it go all at once - but I'm recognizing that there is no separateness in the same way. When I leave one job (at The Green Grocers) to start another (as the Fundraising Coordinator at The Buddhist Centre), I need to ask about the ramifications for him of more hours and greater investment. We learn how to weave co-dependence into our strong senses of self.

After the ecstasy comes - well, perhaps not agony, but a diluted version. Being back home for awhile, we found ourselves on, as Tom calls it, "the comedown express". After all the energy of planning, entertaining, marrying, and honeymooning, this is it - back in Norwich, in a two-bedroom house that we share with Ben, Tom's brother, in our jobs and in our lives. I found myself irritable, playing the part of a long-suffering wife after a few weeks at home. I felt frustrated and claustrophobic. My practice faltered - I no longer meditated at home, and my study groups had finished for the summer, so I felt disconnected. It scared me that after so much happiness could come so much heaviness. But I could see that was partly why it felt so heavy: because of the ecstasy of the previous month. How could June live up to May, with her weddings and family reunions and Italian escape? So, we took action. We visited Mair and Dad as they came back through London at the end of June. We had sunshine picnics. I looked at Norwich anew. I snapped new pictures of familiar things, like the rubbish bin I walk by every day to work that someone left a dismembered computer beside. We celebrated our one year anniversary of togetherness - a month after our wedding. We booked our trip to Edinburgh in August to visit the Fringe Festival. We decided to go to Suffolk for a posh music festival. I signed up for Buddhafield East, a gathering in a field full of yoga and meditation and practice and communal living for the last five days of August. And life loses that tinge of melancholy as it fills with the prospect of newness.

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