Friday, April 25, 2008

"On the fringe," -- Full tilt and full throttle

An email I got from a friend the other day got me thinking about Larry and me and a lot of the people around us. My response was sort of like this....

"I've been thinking about how you and xxx have talked about calling it quits. I wonder how many times Larry and I have had that conversation over the years – and it will be thirty-nine of them this summer. We are the case of polar opposites attracting, and it's not always comfortable.

Being married is HARD. It is NOT a rose garden. Or if it is, it is still hard work, with lots of scratches, punctures and manure. But it is so worth it. It’s a wonder-filled experience that helps us evolve. What greater adventure could we have than to find new ways to love and be loved?"

One of the sweetest things about being down here is witnessing the strong marriages around us. I'm talking gringos here. These are people who have stepped out into a foreign land together and are depending primarily on each other for companionship -- understanding, sympathy and comfort. Someone referred to Larry and me the other day as "you people on the fringe." They were talking about those who take risks, step outside the norm. I guess moving to Mexico would qualify, though more and more people seem to be doing it. I'd say, more and more people are "getting it." And that's what long-term companionship is all about -- "getting" each other, even if you are two totally and completely different individuals.

Letting other people be themselves and loving them unconditionally through their process of becoming.....whatever.....that is a mind-blowing spiritual practice of putting off ego. The added side effect is that the less ego we carry around, the more inclined we are to let ourselves go. That's when the creative juices start flowing. You might call it "self-expression." I think it's more Self-expression -- giving outlet to Creator Spirit in infinite, quirky and wonderful ways. It makes for a very supportive community.

I saw this last Sunday afternoon at Mateja's on the beach. It's a bar and grill, a gringo hangout. My friend Amy and her husband John brought their karaoke machine down and a good time was had by all. Mexicans, like Japanese, absolutely adore karaoke. I've got a previous blog about how music just seems to spill out of every doorway down here. Whether it's a party boat raucus and rowdy offshore, or a birthday party in the poorest part of La Penita, there's music -- full tilt and full throttle.

So we "fringe people" were just joining the Mexican mainstream, singing. Loudly. After all, we were in competition with the other loud music next door to the north, and the other loud music a few beach restaurants south. Amy sang lots of the sixties stuff she loves and does so well, and I sang a few Patsy Cline classics. (Hey, I was born in Texas. It's in my blood.) Then Mateja got her courage up and sang "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden." I think it resonated with a lot of us who have many, many years invested in our marriages.

And then Kate got up and sang "The Master of the Stars," to her husband of just a few years. She sang it in that awful off key way that Cameron Diaz did when she was ambushed by Julia Roberts in "My Best Friend's Wedding" -- but there wasn't a dry eye at Mateja's because Kate meant every word of it. (You'll have to google the lyrics. It's a Clint Black country song. I hadn't heard it before, and I doubt if you have. And I SURE wouldn't recognize it from the way Kate sang it....but the lyrics were terrific.) And then I sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" to Larry. It was all SOOOO schmaltzy, and so much fun. We walked out holding hands.

It's invigorating to be around people who are loving each other extravagantly, "full tilt and full throttle," not stinting on affection and attention -- loving generously, tenderly, with an open spirit. Rejoicing. Singing. Dancing. That kind of love is like doing a cannonball jump into the deep end of life. Everyone around you gets splashed. Even people who haven't put a toe in the water get wet.

Don't hold back on one ounce of love. It's a blessing to your marriage, and a blessing to the world. With lots and lots of love to the both of you, always,


1 comment:

susie said...

Thanks for the reminder...We too been discovering new and different ways to love one another,:) and yes it still can be exciting after 30+ years!!! Love to you and Larry..