Excitement and sadness mix to form a rather strange emotional concoction—perhaps an unusual elixer that hopefully, magically brings out the best in life. Cheryl leaves today for a month—4 whole weeks! Duty calls sometimes, and since family is one of our priorities, she must go alone. That may not sound like a big deal or seem like a terribly long time, but it is for us. This life we have chosen has been built on an intense commitment around shared activities—music, story and art. Our days are filled with incredible variety as we move through great conversation and personal expression, but no matter what either one of us is doing at any point in the day, we are never more than a good shout away. This has been the case now for over 10 years. We know it sounds strange for others to hear us talk about it, but our “togetherness” has become the essential underpinning of this partnership and is the life we’ve chosen “and come to know so well” (a nod to the late Dan Fogelberg). That means that our work together will have to be put on hold, unless we can find a few remote techniques to squeak through.
At the same time, the excitement of new possibilities awaits both of us. In the midst of new routines we will discover other engaging activities and maybe create a few independent pieces of art. A very wise person once told us that we must remember to find ways to develop and express ourselves individually in the midst of our togetherness in order to grow—that is our challenge. We believe that sage advice, and so we welcome this opportunity for a pause, a fresh breath and new perspectives. But even with all of the head work involved in thinking the details through, there are still those more fundamental and authentic feelings that stir within. Feelings, after all, are the voice of the soul and must never be ignored.
No matter how excited I may be about this new upcoming adventure filled with personal expression and new perspective, make no mistake . . . there will be a hollow place within me and an underlying sadness until she returns.
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