The Power Of A Female Smile. And, How To Avoid Divorce!

At a MeetUp conversation group, the other day, amongst 12 different faces, one new one, stood out as unusually beautiful, even though age had weathered this gift of  female birthright. There was somethingmature-857525_1280

special about her smile, to me.  A subconsciously sensed, but consciously unrecalled message in her smile reminded me of something warm and positive.  It was something I knew well, but could not or did not want to recall.  To a writer, like me, it was fascinating and would linger well beyond the two hours at Panera. Not that this smile was just for me, not at all.  This pretty lady shared her smile and eye contact with nearly every person she spoke to. That too was a notable, magical gift, she had acquired. Something moms teach their daughters when they wordlessly remind them of how much stronger they, with their smiles and eye contact, are than men.  In sales we are taught about body language.  As it turns out, body language and the emotion behind the words is 90% of what sells the customer, not the facts and the figures.  A smile and warm eyes is 90%!

There were 3 men (me included) and 9 women at this meetup that Marvin had helped organize; this is what happens statistically when you are 70.  Of course the magical gentleness of smooth facial contours, defined sexy, muscular limbs and blossoming floral lips had now evaded most all attending; yet, a smile was apparently ageless! I have often wondered and pondered the power of a female smile.  So did my subconscious in the middle of the night 3 days later when it woke me up to know what it had discovered. Google’s crawler bots should only be so good!

What our minds can do is just beyond anything a computer can do now or in the near future. For your “sleeping” mentality to be able to sort through a lifetime of  visual experience,  find a match, its contextual physical and emotional experience and resurrect them from the past is beyond my comprehension; yet,  it happens all the time and did for me.  I recalled the fine smile lines and shapes her facial features formed when she smiled. It was clearly that of a long unseen female friend I had not run into in half a lifetime. A friend with whom I had experienced nothing but the positive. Even the eye contact that came with the smile, was that of this lady too.

When I awoke in the night I thought about this smile and the warm friendly eye contact.  I recalled the positive memories of this lady I had known.  We never lived together but went dancing occasionally and talked over dinner now and then.  It was always joyful.  How can you forget what is always inspiring?  How deeply it engraves its image in your mind and your heart!  It amazed me, but I am old enough to understand reality.  Living together is far different from casual friendship.   Perhaps that is a reason for married couples to make sure they smile lots more often and especially to share brief but warm eye contact that says “I love you, I want you.”

I read a great short story the other day posted at  3375f.com.  The story was about love,  about the 5 love languages and how to overcome relationship challenges.  A smile and eye contact, I believe, belong most strongly to the love language of physical touch, but they certainly relate to all the love languages as they are universal.  So why do I talk about a female smile and not a male one? They are in fact both powerful.  Nevertheless, a female smile is far more powerful.  When your mind is capable of reaching down into the near infinite depth of your experience in life and resurrecting a long dead memory just from a smile, it tells you something. It reminds me of something I learned in my medical studies of child development.  At birth a child’s eyes are focused at about 1 to 2 feet. Everything beyond is a blur. For quite a while infants cannot change focus.  Babies who are nursing, focus on Mom’s face and they cannot do otherwise. Is it any wonder that,  for most healthy men, the experience of a female smile reminds them of contentment, peace, tranquility and security?  An infant’s mind, which is, in my conception, photographic in memory, is over and over associating a female smile with everything wonderful about nursing, physical warmth and gentle touch, assuming life at that time is not a disaster for mom.  The power of a female smile is ingrained in men and women as strongly as any possible repeated hypnotic experience can be!

How does this bear on avoiding divorce?  In my experience as a doctor for 44 years, I heard sad stories from many beautiful (in their 40’s) women getting divorced.  I often asked or they offered why.  They needed someone to listen and I tried to make myself available.  It was more often than not, that their husbands had had an affair with a younger lady. Husbands would give up beautiful sexy wives and the joys of family and children just for romance with a younger woman! It blew my mind.   Then it occurred to me, it was not that simple.  Though the women were beautiful to me, perhaps they love-google-search-labled-forresusehad lost their magic in the eyes of their husbands?   I thought long about my experience and the fact that I too was married for a second time; though in my case I had not had an affair. Then it occurred to me, perhaps the women had forgotten to smile when the lady by the “water cooler” at work made a real effort to smile. Perhaps the husband had forgotten to smile and look into his wife’s eyes with love.  This simple technique, if coming from the heart with honesty, is likely the most powerful deterrent to divorce and disloyalty.  I also love one of my patient’s rules for staying married happily.  It goes like this: “if you have an argument and are angry, give it 10 seconds of anger and then forget it forever!”  It is a teaching in the bible that anger and resentment to others destroys ourselves and love.  It is why the bible teaches us to love everyone around us, especially our families.  It is not that we are taught to love for their benefit, but for ours!  Those who cling to anger and resentment in a relationship are clinging to destruction!

It is nice to feel the warmth of a familiar smile and warm eyes.  Like the sun on a Florida morning warming your back as you walk from the cool ocean waters, it is always welcome. It is important in marriage and relationships you value to remember that the sun shines in many places at once. It is important to remember that if another’s smile seems too entrancing, then you need to work on igniting the fires of love at home.  Consider starting with a smile and remember why you love your partner when you look them in the eyes.

………. Janr Ssor

 

 

Life Over Easy

My name is Janr Ssor and this is one of my adventures.  I call this adventure, “Life Over Easy.”  This short  story is an on-going experience.  I have stepped out of it for hours in my life but always came back to continue. Some times I did not want to continue it, as I had left it, but I had to, because there is no other way I can find; yet.

Having discovered a way to travel to many worlds, through just the power of mind and a little help from technology, I have managed to live many lifetimes while still in one physical body. One of my greatest joys is sharing what I find with people who have no opportunity to experience it on their own. you will soon understand why.

I have written many stories about my magical experiences (each so unique that they appear seen through a newborn’s eyes)  and there are many more to come. Despite all the unique fascinating dimensions of my stories there is one thing that I cannot find in this infinite world and that is the key to “life over easy.”   I have not figured out how to better re-do what you have done, at least in this world.

In my story,  “Not Kid’s Games”, we actually did so in that dimension of reality.  Even if you could do this and did choose to re-do your life,  you’d  never know if it will turn out differently as it is too complex to say it is very probable.  I have to say probable because no matter what you do in life, you are never assured of the outcome you dreamed of.   Life has a way of doing what it wants and despite your screaming, yelling and stamping your feet in frustration; you still get carried away with the tide of life’s infinite complexity.  

Using my D-Trip technology, and even the magic mushrooms of shamans,  I have stepped out of our world and into many other odd dimensions of existence; however, in all my trips, I find the same is true of the power of universal fate.  As Paul Simon wrote, “God only knows, God makes his plan. The information’s unavailable To the mortal man. We’re working our jobs Collect our pay. Believe we’re gliding down the highway When in fact we’re slip slidin’ away.” Fate is unswayable…..mostly.

One journey that comes to mind, when I think of a re-do of life is my early life.  When I was a graduate student working on my doctorate,  I was married to a bright pretty women whose vast differences from my way of thinking, added fun, humor and sunshine to my life.  I thought it was a good decision to marry her and still don’t regret it even after 30+  years of divorce.  

The question that goes through my mind many years after we got divorced is, could I have done better with that part of my life?  What if I had the insights that Paul Simon did at my age?  Paul wrote “Slip Slidin’ Away,” that I quote above, and even more insightful songs such as those in his album “Old Friends.”  I say more insightful because I cannot comprehend how a twenty year old understood the issues of a 70 year old, where I am now, 50 years later! I guess that is what his genius was and more.

But back to my story.  So what would I change if anything, especially if change does not for sure ever give you the outcome you think you desire?  I think I have learned two things. The first is to never be afraid to smell the roses but to also make sure you do not get too entranced by the heady perfume they give off.   After all, in my adventures it is the “entrancement” of the mind via hypnosis that takes us to other worlds of great adventure.  In this “real” world however, the issue for me (and many other men) is the allure of the perfume of romance created by beautiful female faces, receptive smiles, appreciative comments and hypnotic pheromones.  Not that I ever cheated on my first wife, because I did not, but because I did however allow myself to daydream about what it might be like if I had cheated.

This was one of the problems with being  good looking, successful, personable and in decent (often great)  physical shape.  I was as alluring to the women I met as they were to me.  My problem, in this situation, was that I was always a dreamer-writer and as such, each “warm” encounter could  and often did spawn a story worth writing about. Is that bad?  I am still not quite sure however, I now know that what you dream has a way of happening because it alters your thinking and the energy that flows through you!  If you read Norman Vincent Peale’s book,  “The Power Of Positive Thinking”  or his book “You Can If You Think You Can,”  you will understand what I mean.  There are dozens of others that confirm this. For example, The Rosicrucian Literature teaches you how to use this positive and organized thinking for empowerment. It is called the practical application of metaphysics.  More recently “The Secret,”  re-invented this supposedly long lost knowledge. But back to my adventure.  So all these “romantic mind trips”  that could have been stories,  undoubtedly altered my destiny.  I believe that in some way, despite my managing fidelity, this partially lead to my divorce much as infidelity might have done.  Divorce is a very unpleasant event that changes your life in a negative way forever, if your marriage was at all good. I say this because looking back on many years, I realize that a good marriage is NOT made in heaven as some say, but created, on this Earth, by two people who are guaranteed to have challenges in life and their relationship and yet through determined effort and willingness to change and grow they stay together.  

The amazing thing is that it is overcoming those challenges and staying together that creates “real love,”  that is so much better than the pheromone, hormone chemical magic that started the whole process. Why do I say this when so many people get divorced while seeking the romance of a new relationship?  It is because the magic of pheromones and hormones wears off and you are bound to then do it over and over until you get it right and stay together or give up and choose to be single.

I met a strong headed lady a few nights ago, who complained that all the men she dated were boring, after a while.  She felt that an ideal companion was one who would be creative and constantly come up with new and exciting things to do so that he would keep her from getting bored.  Intuitively, her comments seemed silly and her living as a single, as a senior, appeared to verify that.  As I thought about it more though, I kind of liked her stubborn determination to not settle for boredom. It fit her choleric personality and I do like cholerics. Even though we were politically polarized, I liked her.  I could not however escaped thinking that if she had communicated her need to one of her “prospective lovers” and lead her  potential partner by acting it out herself who knows what might have happened.  Perhaps she needed to let him know what she expected of him and did not get. If she was as exciting and positively supportive to him he might have been willing to grow and change.  Why? Because she would stimulate his learning to be more of what he was that attracted her to him initially.  Choosing a partner because we want to mold them into what we want is not what I am talking about. On the other hand, Dale Carnegie teaches that the best way to get what you want is to enthusiastically and positively share your appreciation of what you want when you get it. It is a fact that all living beings respond to praise!  If she had done that who knows how many proposals she might have considered accepting? Dale Carnegie says ” Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise!”  It is about as perfect a law of “living physics” as I know  of. 

 

Because of my experiences, I started dreaming about what would happen if I  got the opportunity to do it over again.  One result of this is my story of, “A Second Date” which was available in print and as an audiobook for free for a few months   from the date of this publication. In this sci-fi romance, alternative experience, Janr Ssor finds himself given a second chance but not in exactly the way you might think.  On the other hand you get to learn, to some extent, a bit of what makes this love, in my opinion, more valuable than a romance that speeds up your heart in first magical meeting.

I started to think about this concept of “life over easy,”  which to me means re-living life with the knowledge I did not have before, after many recently divorced patients came to my office.  I was amazed to see those great couples that, I knew a long time, get divorced and in my opinion really “blow it!”   What did I see, that shocked me?  I saw men divorcing still very attractive women in their  mid 40’s  because they found a younger woman who was “hot” and sexy. They were blind to what they had because, unlike Paul Simon, they could not see 50 years later!  They really chose sex and a “new” romance over their wife of years and even their children (many lost relationships with their children who lost respect for their parents).  Losing both in many cases, I saw these men grow physically old and worn out looking,  when a few years later the pain of their mistakes caught up with them.  This is not to say that divorce is not sometimes appropriate when there is mental illness or violent behavior. However, I have long learned that the real value in marriage is that it helps both people grow by learning to communicate in the “hard times.”  It is these challenges that frequently creates marital friction, that makes each person grow and the marriage become more valuable  This does not come from the good times!   I call this acquired value “true love.” It is quite different from the chemical magic of hormones and pheromones that manipulate your mind so that you can possibly get close enough to maybe learn to really love and appreciate your mate.

Would I do it over if I could?  Who can say?  You never get the outcome you want as life does its magical thing and the rivers of time sweep you along.  I have one event however that I would not change but would have liked to have had the opportunity to do it over many times. It surprised me as I had no idea how I would feel about it.  The event was that I had only a beautiful child.  

I never wanted children when I got married. Not that I did not want them, I just had no motivation to want any.  My parents had a challenging time with my sister who was mentally ill.  It did not inspire me to want children.  However, back then as a full time nerd, I was too preoccupied with education to think about the consequences of life.  As a result, when my colleagues in school and friend’s wife got pregnant and mine wanted to be. I did not give it much thought. When the event happened, and I came home with a child, I was still too busy to notice how it changed my life at first.

For one thing, It took a few years to note that a child created some distance between my wife and I. She strangely now appeared to me as a mother and not my wife-girlfriend. I changed my behavior and likely made her feel less loved and desireable. I should have understood it, but I was not Paul Simon, not even close. It was surel something I should have gotten over but was to nerdy to understand back then.  On the other hand, as soon as my daughter got past the neonatal stage and began interacting with me, my heart was hers forever; however, my altered perception of my wife meant I was losing her heart, forever.  

My new love, my daughter,  would not let go of my hand or stop smiling when she saw my face. The toothless grin was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life!  No dog with a wagging tale, enthusiasm and wet tongue can truly come close. Every day when I came home from work, I watched for the new magical gifts. There always was something to find as something new had happened in her head,  making her communication and movement skills grow. I could not wait to see what the new surprise would be. I bought all sorts of little simple toys to hang on her crib and playpen (as she could not yet sit) to see how she reacted and if I could make her smile.   One day we found this great clown toy that hung suspended on strings across the top of her playpen.  She lay on her back gazing at it as she could barely roll over. The clown had two big yellow rings for feet that hung down just above my daughter.  I would take her hand and place it on a ring so she could jiggle it and see the clown move.  Little children grab on to anything that you put in their hands. She would hold reflexly and smile at the clown and her hand.  When her hand fell off, I would put it back on.  A few days later I noticed that her hands and arms were more raised in a posture that suggested reaching for the clown.  Days later it was clear she was trying.  One night,  a few weeks after the clowns installation,  as I watched her cute little face smiling at me and the clown.  Her swinging arms caught the clowns ring and her tiny fingers closed around this ultimate achievement in long awaited joy. Something new was born, just as magnificent as her smile!  It was the very first time I had ever heard her laugh!  It was something she herself had, to my observation, never yet experienced. The Joy of achievement and growth!  From that day forward she has never stopped working on growth, the joy that it offers and the opportunity to help others see this too. She is a life coach and much more 41 years later.

It was way back then and there that my heart told my head to listen to it for once!  My heart told my head to pay attention to things I could not logically understand!  It said, “if it was up to you, we would have a drab life full of great ideas and little joy!”  It reminded me of my passion for music,  it reminded me of my joy in hiking through the Everglades of Florida and being part of a life experience of sights, sounds, and scents  never found in books. It reminded me of the depth of the sea I had experienced snorkeling in the atlantic ocean.  But it reminded me of how it all paled by comparison to the opportunity  of being a parent and creating the most magical art form ever, a new life form, like yourself but with a great chance of being far better!  

I recall then I looking at my daughter’s joyful eyes and imagining how much fun I would have sharing the wonders of the world with her and hearing her laugh over and over again!  Life had a new depth, a new dimension and new destination, I had never imagined.  If only I had had several children!

Next lifetime, perhaps in a “Life Over Easy,”  but a long time away I hope,  so I can still enjoy this one with her for many years to come.

Janr

An Altered State Of Mind, With Out Drugs!

In my post, Last Words Before Drowning In A Sea Of Marriage,  I explored how we may lose ourselves in marriage and wonder who we were and what we might have been?  You could of course take a dose of LSD or smoke some homegrown (organic) marijuana and see if you can free yourself of who you have become. It might work but I don’t take drugs.  I have learned better, for now,  and perhaps you agree with this possibly healthier mental diet.  As an alternative to Ship_in-Stormdrugs I would recommend the opinions of a bright female friend,  if you are male,  or perhaps the opposite if you are female.  I got a good dose of some recently from my friend Marcy.

In my sleep, I was thinking about her observation regarding my essay.  I love her opinions because they are unusually deep and thoughtful and like some good hashish  in the 60’s, help me dream in depth and color 🙂
My friend, Marcy,  suggested that the essay was about a person unhappy with the outcome of years of marriage, I can see how it might be read that way; however, it is not about a person who is so unhappy with his marriage. It is about a man in late middle age, who is looking back at the major crossroads in his life and wondering what if?
I am aware that my life has been like an ancient creaking spanish galleon long tossed about in the tempest of  endless seas, with no clear destination, and too many storms under its keel.  What if I, the captain,  had taken the map proffered by the hand of the another princess?   A princess,  who but for a kiss and a promise, would have left her kingdom and its mighty castle in the dark of night, just for my left hand in hers and the brightly glowing oil lamp held in my right?
IF only I could see clearly beyond the drifting fog of 50 years of life!  What were the youthful hurricanes in my heart, its visions in my head, the tempest of forces around me that drove me to explore?  Looking back with the eyes of a master seaman what would the ship and the treasure map now look like? Could I,  like a prophet,  predict its journey?  As you wake from a deep sleep the feeling and impact of dream images begin to fade as the colors of the world dim with the falling blanket of night. So with years does do the thoughts and emotions of a young man’s body.  Recapturing the thoughts and feelings of the moment in time when you were twenty is impossible when you are 50,  because like a moving river whose waters can only be stepped in once your mind and heart move on in ways we cannot describe.  You die each night and are reborn each day and with each cycle of life and death you are reborn a different person, more different with each day. Can you recall another man’s dreams? I think not.
I am not unhappy with my marriage; I married a beautiful princess whose radiance grows from day to day and shines with such brightness that everything else becomes less important.   Perfection I do not expect but I like two performing musicians,  we keep the harmony moving forward.  I am unhappy with one life!  I am in need of a million more to explore! What would I find while in search of a dreamed of mighty sunshine that lifts the fogs of eternal time!  I  am beginning to expect I have had and will know my desire and may live and die to regret and enjoy it many times more.
Janr Ssor

Feelings, Friends, Fancy And Love

deathofafriend I wonder if as you reach your late 60’s you start to think more about “feelings” and less from your head?  My second optician, who was a friend for 35 years, and 10 years younger than me, just died of cancer tonight.  I knew it was coming but it is still surrealistic. I am pondering lots more, as I become more conscious of my age and the loss of friends, if I made good decisions? I did in being his friend and am thankful he was mine.
     We all make decisions where our head overrules our heart and I wonder if that is the best we can do?  I have always believed it but began to doubt it 20 or 30 years later. Not that I know that the alternative was better. I just wondered,  what if?
I am experimenting with communicating, in writing, more from my heart and less from my head.  It has made me think a lot more about the touching emails, I have received over the years from friends,  both men and women.  I wrote an essay on feelings,  as experienced by a long married man, seeing his wife leaving for a 5 day trip to Fla  to do some work at their vacation home. It was an attempt at more feelings and less intellectualism but it ended up being both.  I thought it was an honest projection of what it might be like and what the implications are.  I have been divorced once and married now twice so I have learned something, I hope.
A week after writing the essay,  I was thinking about an email from an old college girl friend (45 years ago) who said dating in the 60'sshe was trying to share more of her feelings with old friends but not ready to do so yet.  Then thinking about her email comment,  I looked at the one picture I have of her, at that age, and tried to recall if she looked like that.  On my computer,  I tried to enhance it to look more like what my memory struggled to recall.  It took about 20 minutes and then I went to sleep, unsatisfied with my foggy memory and the still somewhat unfamiliar photo.
I had a lot of interesting dreams that night. I saw, symbolically,  the relationship I had with this pretty red haired lady, and an  “old girl friend” that I had dated a bit before meeting my wife.  There was a third one too but, I cannot recall who the third one was as it was a dream state. As a result of these symbolic images, I now better understand my feelings for all of them, in the past and now in the present.
Despite what some people claim,  I find that it is hard to believe that, years later,  you don’t still love the people you have truly loved.  I suspect that deep in my heart I still love them as much as I did then.  What is interesting is that I can be truly be happy for them being with the partners they chose,  which I could not have felt for them years ago.  It is now like being their brother rather than a lover.  Would you not be happy for your sister if she married someone perfect for her? Well, that is my experience or so I think it is.
There is also the lady I left a year before I met my wife.  It is fascinating to me that I made the right intellectual decision leaving her.  But like my college girl friend, she was my best friend in a time when I needed a special friend.  I talked to her by phone a few times months ago and I tried to learn why she looks at life so differently than I do. That was of course why I left her. I mention her in my previous essay above as she was the lady who was in real estate. She did not believe in marriage commitments and I did and still do.
I think I have always been a bit of a “boring” intellectual, who finds work, books, and time alone to learn, great fun while people were more of a  challenge, as few shared my  interests. I have gotten better however from a diversion in life spent selling products almost door to door, for 5 years. I learned to “be” more relatable and even enjoy almost anyone I meet, at least for short time spans.
  memoriesIt is an interesting time in my life, a time to try to understand “relationships.”  I am sure I will not ever understand relationships but I will understand more about them. I have never valued money greatly. I did not know until recently what I really valued.  You cannot take money with you,  but I believe you can take memories you are proud of and happy with.  I will joyously celebrate that wealth which I have acquired.
    Janr

Last Words Before Drowning from Life and Marriage

drowningWhile drowning in the sea of life choked by your own hands around you own neck, what are the last words you try to utter? Could it be…..‘if only I had….?”

The rain and storms of life and marriage may at times erode the firm mental land we each stand on, the land we have dredged up from birth to adulthood in becoming who we are.  This may happen little by little and go unnoticed until a strong storm arrives and the waters rise rapidly in a threatening manner.

On other hand slow rains may soften the soil too.  Our spirit may sink into the muck of  jobs responsibilities,  a marriage’s envisioned commitments or trying to raise a child as your mom did, which takes all of the time, you have left after work, to fulfill.  Inevitably  you change sometimes for better sometimes for worse but you change from what you were.  In a marriage, if you are like most, you are opposites in many ways. You each have your strengths and your weaknesses.  It is easy to rely on each other, if the relationship is “good” and notice that your spouse is more efficient than you at some tasks and let them do it,  why not? You also will avoid their criticism when you do less well than they would!  By the same token you may take on new responsibilities you might not have done, were you not married and you may grow.

It is however frequent experience that one day you notice that,  even though you have grown with challenges, in some ways you have lost some skills.  You have lost some skills by giving up tasks you were less skilled at than your spouse.  I have seen men who cannot fill out a check or balance a check book, even though they were very capable before their marriage.  There are women who do not drive long trips because their husband is a better driver.  This is the beginning of drowning but it is gentle subtle and unnoticed. It is much like putting a frog on a pot of cool water and heating it slowly on the stove.  The frog gets used to the temperature bit by bit and slowly cooks to death without noticing it (or so they say in legend).

I recall many years ago being told by my first wife that she did not love me anymore and she was leaving.  It was a surprise to me. When she was out of my life a few days later, I suddenly realized that I did not know what to do  with my time (she took my daughter with her too).  It was very quiet coming home and so I bought a shotgun to keep under the bed because all the noises I suddenly heard (pipes and heating systems creaking at night) were too spooky.  In the coming days, I went out to a Chinese restaurant,  rather than cook, which I was good at.  Then I accidentally discovered that I had a personality and quickly made friends with the waiter and then people almost everywhere I went.

Though I had faded into the background in marriage, I was now becoming visible again!  Having been married to a sanguine women who for Man FAding away13 years at my side,  elocuted  dramatically in exciting humerus  stories at the blink of an eye, I had vanished into the background of my surrounding intellectual fog. Now however I found bright people who actually saw me and chose to converse with me; I was amazed to discover that I was not invisible!  Going to the gym I found new friends as I stayed long enough to make them rather than rush home, since my home was empty.  My home was empty but my life became full as the strangling sea-vines of a marriage, I had not understood, fell off my body and gave me back the gift of life I had known before.

If you find yourself one day, sinking into the quick sand like muck of life or that which marriage can become, you may start to wonder what became of you?  Where is that bright sparkling spirit that attracted your wife?  Where is the dream that woke you up each morning with the excitement to explore each new day?  Is it dead, did it die and are you just a body walking around without a life giving soul?  If you feel any connection with my thoughts then consider that it is is all your own doing!  The hands around your neck that are choking you  are yours, it is always your own choice;  however, it is subtle and unseen so it is not something to beat yourself up over.  It is also something you can undo!

Consider this story as an example.  I was told that many years later a man, married for a second time, learned that his wife had decided to take a 5 day trip without him.  As it happened, for practical reasons,  it turned out she selected a time that included his birthday.  As her birthday was very important to her,  he suddenly wondered why his appeared less important. He when told her he was not happy with her timing and she explained logically why she had chosen the time;  but then added,  I can go away if I wish,  “after all we are not joined at the hip.”   That made a big impression on him!

Of course she was right, he could easily live without her and his birthday, which meant much less to him,  could easily be celebrated, if he wished, on another day. When she left, he spent 5 days as a bachelor and suddenly discovered how much he enjoyed his time alone.  He began to wonder what exciting things would he would discover if he had more time to himself.  In those 5 days he learned a lot about himself that he had forgotten and he began to find new exciting reasons to get up early.

He and his wife are good friends and as happily married as I expect people are after 30 years; but, he had now noted how he had sunk into the water of  life without noticing it. She asked that he pick her up at the airport upon her arrival, which he did.  In the past he had not driven at night long distances as she was the better one at remembering long routes.  On his way down state to pick her up, he said he  had a marvelous time driving on the highway and not threat of critique as he was on his own.  He discovered that he had given up his power to her without recognizing it.  He was re-appearing from the fog of dissolution that marriage can create and now standing higher above the waters.  It made him think, that we who are in long standing relationships should all take separate vacations from each other at least yearly!  If this small event make him happy,  what else might he discover?

Separate vacationsShould separate vacations not be a routine?  Perhaps many men do take separate vacations but he had not done so.  He liked being home and he had a lot to do there, he was a writer and an artist who enjoyed the use of his home for both.  He had a TV room where he could watch all sorts of media; he was never bored. His work day was surrounded by people and constant social interaction, so he was never alone.  Yet, he was drowning in the sea of life and marriage and not noticing it.

I am taking a 4 day vacation by myself soon.  What about you?

Janr

Compromise Is Not A Place Where Cowards Hide

If you are lucky enough to get older, you probably are rich in ways even well educated college graduates may not understand.  Perhaps even you may not be aware of it.  I have acquired some, and it sometimes feel as if I am swimming in a sea of  this wealth, even though it is hard to define and spend.    It is hard to define from day to day as it morphs and flows much like a river or a storm. Such is the contemplation of experience that some call wisdom but I sincerely cannot define as such, at least for myself.  However, I now more than ever,  understand what it means to say, “The more I learn, the less I realize I know .”  Yet I am unable to not try to understand that which surrounds me, even knowing that tomorrow, I may redefine what I thought was true today. wedding hands

Imagine for a moment,  how lonely it would feel to fall from an airplane into an ocean and be surrounded by endless seas,  with nothing but the slight security of your life jacket. This is how experience feels to me at this point in my life. It makes me wonder if there is another level of learning before the end of this physical life.  If there is, I hope it is where you discover cabinets designed to store this knowledge  and a Dewy Decimal System to classify it. Better yet a “Google 3” to help you access it in a quick and meaningful fashion. What does this have to do with cowards and compromise?

One experience I will attempt to share with you, as I am trying to sort it all out, is relationships.  Think back in your life to a special family relationship,  a marriage or a close friendship; perhaps a relationship with someone who attracted you by their unique and special style.  Sometimes it is hard to immediately note what was so special about this person as it was likely several things. They may have kept their house immaculate and decorated with colors that blended, harmonized and coordinated to express their artistic sensitivity.  If it was, remember how much you enjoyed lounging in that comfortable chair surrounded by the warmth of this microcosm of peace beauty?   You may recall  putting  your hand down to rest and becoming aware of  a beautiful small table, right there, with a cool drink to calm the heat of that summer’s day.  How balanced,  calm and peaceful it was.  A lot of thought went into this.  If this was the home of a lady you were dating,  this might have catalyzed the dream that made it a permanent relationship. And then you just might have moved in together.

Within a year or so, though the environment she created is still enchanting,  it was hard to remember to put a coaster under you glass,  and not to leave your magazines on the shiny glass topped table (that surely was meant for magazines like yours). As for the laundry machine,  that was 10 years old and still looked show room new,  though you took pride in helping with the laundry,  the dust of laundry soap that accumulated around the rubber gasket could not be tolerated.  Much as it says it the bible,  you discovered there was work required in the Garden Of Eden and you were to be one of its workers. If not thorn bushes would grow.  Such is the compromise of close relationships, a place where cowards cannot hide. Somewhere in this process deposits are made to your wealth account, though you will be unlikely to get a monthly statement.

To create beauty and harmony, in music, art or in a home requires dedication, practice and desire.   This imaginative calm world is an expression of an inner yearning for peace and harmony that seeks appreciation from its creator and her admirers. Those who demand such perfection in their surroundings  also give near perfection in much that they do.  They are often good partners in life  who choose not to simply float downstream with other random objects.

You can live by yourself or with others, it is a choice. I don’t believe anyone lives in magical harmony. Those who claim otherwise lie, or one spouse lives in denial of their dreams.  In the Judeo-Christian bible a women’s place is following her husband’s lead and his place is caring for her needs. It is the magic circle symbolized by a wedding ring.  It is the biblical recognition of the complexity of living together as husband and wife and a hint at how to achieve it.  In less intimate relationships, where less time and space is shared, the demands are less but not so dissimilar.  The children of people who choose not to float down stream with the current,  can move out and stay away or be part of and learn to grow.   As I see it, we can live alone or live in a compromise. Compromise is not a dirty word or a place where coward hide.

Janr Ssor

The Frog Saw Flies, My Wife The Ballet

How Amazingly Different We All Are.

Last night as we were getting ready for bed,  I told my wife that I had missed her company that day.  She had left late in the morning to go to the city to see the ballet with her sister, Margie.  She asked me, “what did you miss?”   I said, “your company.”

When I awoke this morning,  in my head I heard Simon and Garfunkel singing, “The Dangling Conversation.”  I wondered if after a quarter of a century of marriage we were not as magically connected as we had been when we first met?  Was there too little unknown about each of us, that was once new, and could then spark the interesting conversation that had captivated two young people falling in love?  How could I tell her what I missed if she perhaps thought that our lack of frequent impassioned conversation  meant a loss of connection?

Then it occurred to me, we are truly men from Mars and women from Venus.  Not to mention as different as frogs and dogs.  Though we both have the rough shape of human beings,  what goes on in our heads is often quite different,  not just because we are men and women but because God made each of us very different and very special.  After all, as it is commonly shared, “If God made us the same; one of us would be unnecessary.”

My wife can look back in time and tell me about conversations she had 30 years ago. She recalls the friend she has not seen since childhood as if she was here today.  Not so for me.   I thought about what it was that I missed today.  Not that we don’t talk and plan and do fun things together; it is just different than it was on our first few months of dating.

As I lay in bed with my eyes closed in the very dark bedroom,  I wondered what did I miss of my wife that day?  Then from God’s eye view,  I saw a beautiful solar system. It was a complex ballet of planets with incredible and unique mysteries hidden by clouds, oceans or even seas of lava.   From a distance these were dark mysterious planets moving around a distant central point in the infinite cold blackness of space.  Then the sun lit up and the solar system was blanket in warmth.  The clouds dissipated and on the third planet and the beauty of life was revealed.   I knew what I had missed. Perhaps I could try to tell her.  She was the sun in the center of my universe.  We did not always have to have the most amazing  conversation; we just had to be there for each other to make our universe complete.

God made us each so different.  I wished at times I could recall life as my wife does but then again; I have learned to like my way of looking at the world symbolically. I like her being my sun,  even if I cannot recall in detail what she did the day that she lit up my heart.   I do however recall reading “Men Are From Mars And Women Are From Venus.”   The greatness of this book, to me, is that it recognizes how different we all are, men and women.

I have a friend, who is gay.  I had worked with him for several years when I was younger.  I often envied him for his incredible memory for details.  Her recalled everyone’s names,  their children’s names and their dog’s names.  He recalled the conversations he had shared with them and he related to the women in a way I  could not.  He was a musician and an artist with fashion and style.  I enjoyed watching him rehearse with his band and wished I could be as gifted with music but maybe not; after all, many things are more desirable when you are not surrounded by them daily. But he helped me see how special and different we all are and how that ads to the beauty of the universe.

The there is the frog.  The frog sees the world with Frog Eyes.  We have learned that when a frog sees a moving fly go by he has an amazing skill of targeting the fly. In split seconds the frog his radar like eyes, reaches out with his long fast tongue and snags the fly in mid-flight to become his dinner.   However,  we also know that if the frog was starving to death and we surrounded him with freshly killed flies; he would continue to starve to death as he cannot see flies that are not moving!  The frog has a filter in his visual system that does not allow him to sense small black objects that are not moving.  He is blind to them!

In a similar manner each of us,  I suspect,  sees the word in our own unique way.  My wife enjoys the ballet but I would be bored.  Did I miss her company?  As much as you would miss the sun if it did not rise one morning.  Can I tell her in words she will understand?  Might she think she is just a window dressing to make the home look prettier?  I suspect not as she knows in many, many ways how special she is to me but she likes to be reminded with words now and then.

Like the frog, that is a clearly different creature whose unique skills,  scientific research has made apparent;  each of us is special and created by God for a purpose. Sometimes we don’t realize how special we each are or how much we are appreciated for our uniqueness.  Sometimes we look with envy on another and wish we were more like them.  When we do, it is wise to recall that each of us is special and the world would be a darker place without us.

Janr Ssor