Earlier this week, a friend shared this letter (excerpt 3). Words that have stuck with me for over two decades now when I first discovered Bach and the Bridge Across Forever. There was even a time when I thought I could not get married to someone who cannot discuss stuff like this with me.
Eighteen years later, I realize Saathi has no idea who Bach is or what this letter is about. He does not read, not even under duress. Our commonalities are few, but when they match, it is like a house on fire.
Over the years, the differences which once provided fodder for conversation and eventually, ways to tune out the other have now taken a life of themselves. The middle age is when we are discovering who we are within the bounds of marriage. We are exploring niches, creating lives that are as individual as the ones we had prior to becoming husband and wife. The differences cause friction as they should.
There are words. There are tears. There are handwritten notes. There are sorrys and I-love-yous. We have long moved from the newness of beginnings, the joys of starting over. We are now plumbing the depths of the music that our marriage is. We are building that sonata, working and reworking the hard bits, wearing each other down with demands and expectations. We are redrawing boundaries and reveling in the new layers that are exposed as the lines shift and evolve.
Our children are an integral part of us. They are the center of our Venn diagram, the glue that strengthens the other bonds that exist. They have changed us and our marriage. They expose the raw, ugly parts that have been hiding under other things. They make us vulnerable. They make us question everything we grew up with. They give us second chances to redefine who we are as people and adults. Saathi and I grapple with who we want to be as they look at us to model themselves after.
In this middle of our relationship, the shifting, changing versions of us find newer ways to fall in love, to talk about the hard parts, to be the adult versions of the people who met as young adults. There are the easy days, the security in knowing that this is the real deal, that this is the version of us that will walk into the sunset. There is peace. There is love. There is happiness.