I had been trying to think about how to write today’s story. Luckily it came to me in the nick of time.
After Cassidy and I had been split up for two years, he called me out of the blue on my birthday. I was long and happily ensconced in the arms of another man.. (ensconced is a word I have never used and probably never will again) and people gave me some pretty funny and interesting advice. It’s only funny now because I’m not sure I listened to what anyone said. Don’t give me advice..
I’ll only do the opposite thing and blog about it six years later.
The advice was that I shouldn’t choose him only to glorify a life with him I had never had. Since we had never had a chance to have a real relationship previously, at 3,000 miles from each other and both severely confused, I shouldn’t have chosen him with the idea that life would be like a fantasy. A Disney unreality. We had never done “normal” and if we tried, I may have found out that just like any other man, Cassidy will fart in his sleep and forget to take out the trash. (not my words) And for the record, he does neither.
I felt the need to mention that. He is a man, but not a man who farts in his sleep and forgets to take out the trash.
I’d be more guilty of that. The second one!
I didn’t follow the advice because I didn’t find that it could possibly be true. I couldn’t rest until I had that chance with him, ordinary or extraordinary. Farting in sleep and rainy day movies, or what we had had previously – whale watch symphonies, side-of-the-road moose, sexy hotels and pure radio magic. It wasn’t just the epic summer we had when we met. It was that love isn’t ordinary.
To find someone to love in this crazy world, and they love you back? That is pure extraordinary.
And so you know the rest of the story so far – west coast cross country move, wedding, east coast cross country move, Scarlet, Des, yada yada. And if you want to read the juicy beginning and middle of the story, I highly recommend it. Especially if you’re a Hollywood screenwriter or producer. Links to all parts on my About Me page.
And I did, I do, want something more than sleep-farting and chores-bickering. I do want the fantasy, or something close to it.
I want dreams and moose and northern lights. Birth stories and Alice in Wonderland birthday parties. Time machine sheds and visions.
This is what we do. And this is what we want. Sure, we have a heck of a long way to go still. We probably always will. It’s that higher I love to talk about, but ordinary? Never. Not when you find someone to love. Not when you build dreams and visions into tangible realities. Not when you do so on somewhat limited resources – whether physically or emotionally or all of the above.
Love is extraordinary.
And that’s what I should have said when told I may be building up a fantasy about one of two men I was unfortunate enough to be in love with at the same time. I should have said, “Isn’t it all a fantasy? Isn’t it all extraordinary? Won’t they both fart in their sleep? Shouldn’t I choose with my heart wide open.” It’s like diving into a murky abyss, but oh, how there are patches of beautiful clarity.
When we talk of dreams, going to Tanglewood in Lenox, MA was always a small but sturdy dream of mine. Ever since I had heard of it, long before I had a clue about western Mass., I dreamed. Classical music in the middle of forests and mountains and small towns and farms and great ice cream? Count me IN. We first got tickets two years ago for the last Sunday symphony of the summer, but Hurricane Irene canceled our plans. Then last year we finally went, and it was as glorious as I always pictured. Actually, it was better:
This year we chose to see Stravinsky and Dvořák with Yo-Yo Ma, for those who play along at home. The weather? Perfect.
Except for the ten minutes of rain that the crowd was astonishingly prepared for:
Then the sun came back out. Tanglewood is funny. It’s a long day. It’s an experience. We showed up early so that we could grab patches of shade to spread our picnic blankets under. We packed delicious foods like grapes and fancy cheese and fancy bread and fancy pickles. The music started hours later. The show was long, and I could listen intently or do various other things to or with the music. The sun shifted, and so did we. From place to place, chasing fading shade as the sun moved across the sky. I would go from hungry to full to hungry again. There was ice cream. I dozed. I read or checked my phone but with bad reception, I went back to dozing. The kids? Always happy and well cared for. They would disappear into naps and adventures.
The music was extraordinary. Music is one of those life gifts we get, like love and sex and cute babies and good coffee, and the fact that we like to eat food. Oh, and movies and books.
On the way home, we hit a strange storm under sunshine. We looked for a rainbow and found a double the second we turned onto our street.
We followed it into an orchard, and then it followed us home.
It was simply extraordinary.