Notes to a Friend on Dissolution

Heartbreaking, the agony
of deciding finality independent of consent.
My own third marriage proves sturdy,
but who can say?
We all take risks.

What I can offer is this:
we are always learning and growing
if we examine, as you are doing,
our own choices and motivations.

Helpful to revisit what drew us
to that person, among others;
if we are progressing, we sometimes discover
this takes us beyond,
no matter who calls the curtain down.
No one is better, we simply transcend
the form once required.

Marriage and aging are a dance,
and it takes great awareness to navigate 
through changing circumstances,
remaining open to vulnerabilities, longings,
and above all honest communication.
We are only human, not the gods
or goddesses fantasies construct.
Human, forgivable, occasionally
and often amazing in light of the naked truth
of how we have emerged victorious
from the skins of others into our own.

And freedom, giving one another space
to continue enriching individual experience.
Marriage is a contract as well, so we expand
within the limitations of the contract, obviously.
Keep asking questions, stay alert to possibilities
while anchoring responsibilities.
Children are their own unique beings,
not the fodder of parental dissent.
No matter which course we chart,
they tend to assume fault where none is their own.

Holding on or letting go remain opportunities
to expose our own artifice, to develop heart
and enlarge our capacity to empathize
and embrace, despite differences.
And in the end, the choice remains your own.

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Vows

He never wore a ring, she said.
Though it might have been better
than mangling it on a lumber hook
two days after the wedding,
nearly cutting that digit free
at least.

Such things happen,
I know.

Symbols on display
do not indicate what harbors within.
Commitment, where it exists,
lies safe within a beating heart
and cannot be excised that easily.

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