What difference does one life make? Am I part of healing rain or the storm?
Is the drop arriving at the ocean after a trip down long rivers to be celebrated more than the splat of rain on the shoreline?
Is the drop in the ocean whole or lost?
Fall takes on new meaning as we age – the thought of the approaching cold, final winter of our being. Not a depressing thought, just part of the journey.
We have seen many changes over the decades, especially the relationships between men and women. As a liberal woman championing the women’s movement over the decades, I am pleased with the changes. My husband Ken, a conservative libertarian, defends a man’s liberties and finds himself in conflict with a woman’s rightful discernment/definition in a relationship.
This morning over a hotel breakfast, Ken and I listened to the news. The “Me Too” movement is celebrating their first anniversary today.
I said, “The problem with men is that they see everything as ‘all about me’ rather than listening.”
Ken looked at me with that you-have-two-talking-heads-and-neither-one-makes-much-sense side glance.
“For example,” I said as I added syrup to my waffle, “My hip hurt last night, so I rolled over about 3:30 a.m. to sleep on the other hip. You decided to cuddle. By 4:00 a.m. I am unable to sleep and lose an hour playing Sudoku while you continue your blissful rest.”
“You nudged my back twice. You wanted to be held.” Ken looked hurt.
“At 3:30 a.m. I am not thinking about you or being held. If I were thinking at all, it would be about sleep. Which proves my point. You thought when I rolled over in bed it was about YOU! Really?”
“What does this have to do with the Me Too movement?” Ken asked.
“Everything. I remember working when I was young and attractive. I was busy with office work all morning – filing, typing a report, preparing for a meeting. About noon a man in the office said, ‘I love the way you flirted with me all morning. What a turn-on!’ I barely knew he was present because I was focused on my work. It was all about him. Idiot!!!”
“Maybe you were not aware of the vibes you were giving off,” Ken insinuated.
I snapped back, “I win. I have the blog.”
Ken said, “Yeah, SHE who writes the history wins.”
Ken reached over and stroked my chin. We both started laughing.
Fall is in the air. Change seems to be slower to reach fruition than the winter of my days. Understanding may never be fully achieved, but surely we can continue to love good men and good women throughout the journey.
For younger women, seek justice as I once did through organizations, politics and personal conviction; but do not lose patience with kind men who only want to hold you on a cold night in October.
He enters the kitchen,
his skin glistens and
the pungent smell of movement
pushed against the early morning greets me.
I am happy to see him.
He pulls me against his sweaty clothes,
so I fuss as he tightens his embrace –
a thoroughly pleasant ritual.
He gives me our subdivision’s farm report.
“I saw six Harvey* Juniors,
three squished toads
and one lizard entering our garage.”
I pat the stomach of my walking Buda
before he moves toward the shower.
Grand gestures inside a marriage are less
about flowers and candy than acknowledgement
as bare feet stand against worn walking shoes
on kitchen tile on an ordinary day.
Great men need not lead a charge or
command a Fortune Five-Hundred business.
Great men are aware,
count Harveys, toads and lizards,
recognize all joy is in the present.
*Harvey: the fictional rabbit friend of Jimmy Stewart in the movie Harvey.