Thursday, May 7, 2009

SIGNS

Blowfish and I have an anniversary this weekend. 
Like most marriages, we've had our fair share of flame years, family first years, crisis years,
adventure years,   companionable years  and some years of  unrelenting turbulence.  Our best years seem to be the ones where we have a common goal; where Blowfish and I both bring our best skills to the endeavor and find delight in each other and the accomplishment. 

When we first moved here to the Pond, well, I just don't transplant too well and it took me a long time to set my tap root in this new patch.  We did okay that first year here, but I was having a tough time. I generally am a joyful being but I was glum in a way I didn't understand. And, to be honest, lurking underneath the  day to day adjustments to a different sort of life in a different sort of place there was a fierce anger with Blowfish just bubbling away. 

My most favorite things about Blowfish is he  has an easy smile,  an ability to derive great pleasure from simple things, a dry wit and he just plain does not have a temper. 
That's a good thing because I've got a fare amount of firecracker in me.  I guess that is one "opposite" that works well for us. On the other hand Blowfish is about the most stubborn creature on the planet.  Course, he says it isn't "stubborn" if it's "right".  He reckons the issue is we don't always see the same "right' in every circumstance.  When we run across those circumstances ... well I'm the firecracker shouting my position out and he is the stubborn one not saying much and as unyielding as granite. I have come to recognize that is our reality and not an issue that can ever be resolved.

About our fifth   year here at the Pond, we had our worst year ever. Really bad. I know that year terrified and grieved Mermaid and I think everyone who knows us was expecting the "announcement"  any moment.  I certainly gave  a lot of thought to " is this how I want to live? is life going to be like this for us forever?."  On the better or worse front this was certainly "worse"  which I had vowed to endure but like most I stood at that alter believing the  "worse" would be a small sprinkling in an otherwise "better" life. That year seemed like "better" would never show up again. 

There came a day when neither of us could endure the tension and friction encompassing our days. It was a weekend, which meant we would be in the same place at the same time, something we had been avoiding. On that day, even minimal civility was a struggle.  It did not take much for the fat to fry.  Blowfish  has things to say but can't always get 'em said. I, on the other hand never run out of words and the hotter I get the faster those words fly.  On that morning Blowfish hustled out to his truck and drove away without uttering a word.

Being chock full of adrenalin and  unresolved wrath I certainly wasn't  capable of  sitting down to a nice cup of tea and the paper. I slapped my way thru the screened door and headed for the yard tools.
 
We had an area between the rear drive and the walled garden which was overgrown with brambles and  ivy vines as big around as my wrist. We had always kept this area neat but the Pond is big, we had other priorities and had just never taken the time to get this area squared away. We had just sort of maintained what was there. So there I was out in the yard expending the furies  with the frenzied wielding of loppers, saws, shovels,  and clippers . While I was at this hard labor I was also verbalizing all my  angst. There was some cussing, a lot of thoughts of  who, what, where, when, how did I arrive at this place and this point in my life ? It was a miserable day.

About 3 hours into the  effort I uncovered an  unknown area of poured concrete way back underneath the ivy. I worked and  yelled some more until finally it was time to rake and move and haul all the cleaned out vegetation.  Exhausted, I put away the garden tools and was headed toward a hot shower when I looked back over my shoulder to assess  the results of my efforts. It wasn't good enough. I needed to drag an extension cord up the driveway  and blow off all the little debris left behind. I was too tired so I decided it would be easier if I,  just this one time, hosed it off.

While I was dragging the hose I was having a right pithy conversation with God and toward the end of my God chat I ended with this statement, "Maybe I am too  stupid Lord to get the meaning of a thing all wrapped up in a parable. I  would really love it if  You could be a little more straightforward. I am TRYING my best to honor Your will but that is a difficult thing to accomplish when I don't know what the hell it is!"  

I started hosing away all the debris so this time I could look back and feel like something good had come of this  wretched day.  As I hosed the area where the concrete had been exposed,  I saw there were numbers carved in the concrete. I couldn't see them well  so I  tightened up the spray nozzle for a bit more force and bent over to take a closer look. There, carved in the concrete at the Pond was our wedding date. Month. Day. Year.

I stood still as a stone for the longest time. If I had thoughts, I don't remember them. 
But I will always remember seeing a retrospective of my life with Blowfish.  A fast moving streaming video of the first day I laid eyes on him and onward from there.  That streaming video moved on past the present and into the future  with that same incredible speed and then, nothing.

No parable there.
Ask and you shall receive. 
God spoke  straightforwardly
and 
I listened.





16 comments:

Boxer said...

*sniff*

congrats. I'm coming up on a big date this June and I could have written this post regarding the journey marriage takes us on.

Thanks.

fishy said...

Boxer,
"I could have written this post regarding the journey marriage takes us on". PLEASE do write that post! I am sure the rest of us would find it enjoyable. I know I would and frankly, it's somehow nice to know I am not the only one living outside the fairy tale.

TROLL Y2K said...

Very nice. It's unclear to me whether Blowfish carved that into the concrete or if some other hand did.

I think it would be cooler if he didn't.

fishy said...

Troll,
You get your wish!

None of us new the concrete with the inscribed date was on the property. Until the day described in this post.

I took that stunning discovery as straightforward speak from God that I was where I was supposed to be and with whom.

Truth is I didn't mention it to anyone. In the following years as Blowfish and I worked our way to a better reality, I would go and gaze upon that inscription on our tough to hold onto the vow days.

I never showed this astonishing discovery to Blowfish, or Mermaid until last year.

moi said...

Lovely story!

I've spent a fair amount of time pitting my own firecracker nature up against S.B.'s, well, cracker nature. "Just plain does not have a temper." either. What is UP with that? And where can I buy myself some?

Boxer said...

It will be video. :-) and your post has given me direction.

fishy said...

Moi,
So comforting to know I am not the only firecracker amongst us!

I TRY, (not always successfully), to remind myself if Blowfish was also possessed of a firecracker temper then one of us might be dead by now, one in jail,
Mermaid and the pups abandoned.

The flip side of that coin is of course it is damn irritating to find oneself standing alone in the Kitchen arguing with the refrigerator. I find it extremely challenging to ever get anything RESOLVED if one is verbal and one is not. All issues cannot be resolved with a good romp.

Our reality is my least favorite thing about Blowfish is his non-verbalness. Funny enough, Blowfish's favorite thing about me is my verbal skill.

But now dear Moi, I know where to go when I need commiserating!

kmwthay said...

Wow. God is so faithful, and everything happens in His perfect time. Your post has reminded me of that fact.

Thanks for sharing Fishy.

I wonder what I will blog about on my first anniversary. That is not until October, and already there is so much to say!

fishy said...

Kim,
I expect if you do blog about your first year of marriage it will be glowing! Most women I know, and some men too, have said all that intense love and excitement got them thru the first year of the learning to live together trials. Truth is Kim, you spend a lifetime learning to live together because change is normal.
I'll look forward to that posting!

Aunty Belle said...

Heh, ah Fishy, seems I recognize some of this--reckon it is the part they leave out when they's playin' all the heartthrob movies and music?

But ya makes a grand point. THar's a professor lady at one of them fancy universities who has a study called the Marriage Project. She an' the researchers found iffin' married folk would jes' hang in thar a couple of years after they first decide it is QUITS then, amazin'ly, at the five year mark, they announce they's sorta pretty happy after all. So, advice to troubled bliss: If hunk or honey say they want a DE-vorce smile an' say "Shure thang, in three years we's gonna unhitch this wagon." Mostly, it blows over an' life goes on.

God had the best chuckle when ya found what some OTHER person put thar' to commemorate some OTHER event...but did'ja ever think it also means that pond was meant fer y'all from the gitgo?

Yeah Boxer Babe--scribble it down!

fishy said...

Boxer,
I am sure we will all look forward to the next PNW film. Is Mr. Boxer home yet with the equipment?
I know the music will be great... I vote for "Cherish".
... "I don't know how many times I've wished that I could hold you. I don't know how many times I've wished that I could mold you into someone who would cherish me like I, cherish you"
Remember that one? I knew better than to leave the word "obey" in my vows but I sure slipped up on the "cherish" ... way more difficult than love and honor!

Aunty Belle,
yep I got the chuckling message about being where I was suppose to be. ( Read comment to Troll). I am sure that was the very day my tap root took hold at the Pond. I mighta been a bit flighty before the revelations.
Wish there was more noise about that "Marriage Project" cause then maybe some folks wouldn't be so quick to throw out all that investment in a "forever" relationship.

chickory said...

what a great story. like a beam of sunlight when you were getting so gloomy from all the rain. how curious! i mean, what are the chances? amazing bit of synchronicity and you told it beautifully. bravo to you and blowfish. (i always think of blowfeld of james bond fame...im sure your blow fish isnt a fat red headed killer though ;-))

K9 said...

personally, i rather like non verbalness in men.

moi said...

Bwahahahahahaha to K9.

I say non-verbal, S.B. says economical.

Moi: I love you madly, passionately. I can't live without you. With the exception of that toilette seat thing, you're the perfect man. Do you feel the same way?

S.B.: (Dragging his eyes away from the LSU/Arkansas game). Uh, yup.

fishy said...

Chickory,
I am glad you liked this! I actually shared this post with Blowfish today.
It is our anniversary and oddly enough he found some words which were,
" this is a present".

And yes, OMG, what were the odds I could move hundreds of miles away from my home, to a location where I knew not one person, be in the throes of a life unraveling and find affirmation from a God I had just been chastising? Amazing.

I have actually asked Blowfish
(who is not at all like Blowfeld) if he thought we should think about downsizing. His response was to glance toward the concrete inscription and say,
" I believe we belong at the Pond"
I hope he does believe that, on the other hand it could be he can't come close to thinking about going thru another transplant with me!

Er ... is your Big Dawg non-verbal?

Moi,
very spare of words is your cracker SB !

pamokc said...

Wonderful and amazing story and I love the sign you were given :) Just when you were asking for a sign too. And I love that you kept it as your own for a long time.

Isn't it amazing how hard work takes away the mad?