low tide
low tide

You know those times when your marriage sails effortlessly along?

THIS is NOT one of those times.

As we walk past the shop with the beautiful glass, I want to say to my husband, “Do you think our marriage will make it?”

But I can’t muster the courage to speak it aloud.

Later, on the deck, overlooking the town, with two amber pints flickering in the light of a summer afternoon, I ask this question again, to myself, and then he asks it aloud. Another version of it. A less painful one.

Growing pains.

If my chart had been read this summer, I may have been more prepared.

All three of my men are growing, and the earth beneath us is rumbling with change.

Tectonic shifts are in order, and who will remain standing?

I refuse to hold on.

I hope I refuse to hold on.

Because clearly, it is time to let go. Two sons. One husband.

But back to the sea, which is where we find ourselves when we finally have space enough to blow open what has been confined to static, friction, recycled angst.

I move toward reflection, but there are waves. Big ones. And they take me down, each time I attempt to chart a new course.

No smooth sailing for us.

If sailing is the metaphor, then what represents each of us? And what, life? And what, the marriage itself?

Are we the Captains?
Can there be two? Should there be one?

Are we the boat? Is our marriage?
Weak hull?
No, the hull is strong.

Faulty navigation?

“My navigation equipment is messed up,” he says, echoing my thoughts once again.

And what of the sails? Certainly they are tattered.

The waters around us grow frigid. Icy. The sky bursts open.

I try not to think of this rare time away as failure.

THIS is the work, I say to myself. THIS is the play. This is what needs space. Breathe into that.

“I am so angry,” he says.

I say nothing.

We sit in a vacant lobby. Waiting for our room. Suspended in this empty space of our marriage.

Waiting for a glimpse of a new coast to call home.


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