Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Marriage and Divorce

My marriage began with a small ceremony on a beautiful hill in Litchfield County, CT, and ended in a sterile courtroom in Middletown with one other distressed couple in July 2015. We made it just shy of 19 years.

I always wanted to be married and never wanted to be divorced, yet I asked for the divorce. Today would have been our 20th anniversary. When we married we wrote our own vows and service with help from a book. When we divorced we wrote our own agreement with the help of a mediator.  For me what happened in between was a mixture of peak moments, and I count the births of our two incredible sons among those, and pits of agony and distress so profound I literally thought I might die of the pain. Interspersed in there were many days and months of routines and mostly normal seeming life.

 I have always been one to look for beauty whetever I could, hence the name of this blog. I also have a strong ability to soldier on. I was incredibly lonesome and alone much of the time. Some things were off right from the start. Now I see those red flags for what they were. At the time, and for many years, I thought there was something wrong with me. I struggled. Then made do. After all I had been told marriage was sometimes hard. I was loyal. But I was hurting. We had agreed that I would do the bulk of the childrearing as my husband was self employed and worked many hours. While this division of labor worked in many ways, it meant many long evenings alone with the kids night after night.

There were happy times to be sure. Big family parties, cozy times by the woodstove which stands on a hearth we tiled together, watching the kids grow.  There were sad times. Shit happened.We lost family members including some cancer deaths and a suicide. I had a heartbreaking miscarriage at 12 weeks. Today that child would be almost 16. Throughout these times we tried to work on the house. We homeschooled. We developed and enjoyed recipes that became family favorites like tomato basil fettuccine and cajun chicken penne pasta. The economy tanked. We said goodbye to some great dogs and cats and chickens, and hello to our sweet golden retriever.  I battled chronic anxiety and what I now think was high functioning depression. This led me to the healing path I am on today. Practicing and then teaching meditation turned out to be the thing that helped me turn an important corner. My ex had his own demons and the diagnosis of a serious disease. As with any couple we each brought our pasts to the marriage, however, we were not equal in our disclosure of our issues.

While I no longer feel that I failed by divorcing,  recovering from this loss is a thorny process. It is the loss of a family structure and the loss of an imagined future. The loss of a massive emotional investment. The kids have loss too. I was an adult when my parents divorced but it affected me deeply. My heart breaks for them that they cannot have the future I imagined for them even though nobody can ever guarantee another's future! This recovering from divorce is a long term thing stirring up every imaginable emotion, and exposing every unhealed emotional wound and raw nerve, not just from the marriage, but from a lifetime.

 What I want to do tonight is honor the person I was when I stood on that hill and said my vows. I was all in. I was so excited to be marrying and happy to share that day with loved ones on that gorgeous hillside. I was looking forward to a future with a man I thought I knew.

Over the years I nearly threw all my wedding pictures and my ring into the pond on several occasions. Today I am so glad I did not! The ring and the photos are part of my history and my children's history. I'm posting a couple pictures here since I want to mark this day somehow. It was a beautiful wedding and a gorgeous day twenty years ago.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Friday, November 29, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Winter Solstice and Essence

One of the coolest things about homeschooling the way we are doing it is that I have been able to set goals and follow my own interests more and more. I don't really like the word homeschooling as it is so limited. What we are really doing here is interest based holistic learning that respects the unfolding of the boys as whole people. In assisting my boys with following their passions over the years, I have come to see that it is not self indulgent to follow creative impulses as they happen. It is not a side dish or a way to avoid "real" work and learning. Rather, following creative impulses honors the essence of the self and is absolutely life-affirming. In fact it may be one of the most important elements in growing up to know who you are, and what it is you have to contribute to the world! So, as a parent I get to participate, too. There is no graduation... We are all developing, exploring, changing all the time.

One of my projects this year, Solstice to Solstice may be found over at I spent the year photographing my pond as an exercise in mindfulness. My project is wrapping up in the next day or two as I have come full circle around the sun. Go check it out and consider what creative impulses you have been squashing in yourself. Imagine making space for yourself, and the expression of your essence as we take another trip around the sun on this spinning planet.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Learning with Tablets

I just saw a story on CNN about kids in Ethiopia learning by using tablets. I find this so inspiring!


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