Got our glasses.
Got our outdoor chairs all wiped off and in formation.
Got the makings of mimosas, lattes, and sweet treats.
We are ready to gather and watch the solar eclipse, this morning. We are not along the line of totality, but we are close enough. Close enough that we couldn't possibly be bothered to drive, camp, be with the throngs a few hours away, that will be. Over a million tourists are expected in Oregon today. No, thanks, we will be in our backyard, quite happy with near totality.
I have a cousin getting married. She's actually more like a niece. She wants us to provide her with advice for marriage and relationships. When we come to her bridal shower, we will bring a favorite recipe, and this advice.
I am nearly obsessed these days with the concept of long-term marriage, and a book lies within me on the subject. I am fascinated, intrigued, confused, inspired, in awe, in solidarity, in a state of wonder that anyone gets married, and stays married for 30, 40, 50 or more years.
A miracle? Were they lucky? Tenacious? Blessed? Stubborn? Afraid? Brave? All of the above?
These are the questions that run through my mind.
I've been taking notes and gathering them into one place so I can compose just what it is I want to say to my cousin/niece. I asked my husband of 25 years, "What advice do you have for a couple just getting married?"
"Don't be a dick. Don't be a pussy" he said, the words sliding off his tongue as though he'd been preparing for my question.
Could it be as simple as that?
He is an over-simplifier, a black-and-white thinker, a put-it-in-this-box-or-that-one-but-never-a-third type of guy.
Grey might be my favorite color.
I strive to find and walk the middle path. When I get in my car and it's either too hot or too cold, I get it cooler or warmer, find the place I'm comfortable, and then dial it up or down - gradually. My husband turns it to full-blast hot or cold and then off.
Marriage lies along the line of totality. Through the course of a long-term marriage, we eclipse each other, block out the other's light, move into darkness, lightness, sometimes letting the other shine, sometimes making it impossible. That movement, that dance, that back-and-forth between light and dark is where the lessons lie, and ultimately, the love.