Today is our 34th wedding anniversary. Later this year, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the day we met.
We met for the first time in the sculpture garden of the Museum of Modern Art. I was there with my sketchbook, drawing the massive Gaston Lachaise bronze nude, an Amazon standing with her hands on her hips, surveying the territory (I really wish I had kept those sketchbooks). A voice behind me asked me what I was drawing; I turned and told him; we introduced ourselves; we spent the rest of the afternoon walking MOMA, showing each other our favorite paintings; he walked me down Fifth Avenue to the subway stop by the main library on 42nd Street. He asked me for my phone number, asked if he could kiss me. I said yes, we kissed, and that was it.
When I got home that afternoon, I told my mom I had met the man I was going to marry. Six years later, we did. Thirty-four years later, here we are.
It all goes by so fast; one day, you’re seventeen years old, drawing in the museum, and then you turn around and you’re middle-aged, looking back at forty years with the love of your life and praying for forty more.
Some days are interminable (days when you’re waiting for test results, days when a parent dies, or a job is lost, or you find out you have to move from a place you’ve called home for twenty years)… but how then do years fly by like torn-out pages on the wind?
Every breath, every kiss, every quarrel, every walk in the park and movie watched and meal shared, every laugh, every tear, bridges that first moment, that “What are you drawing?” moment, with this one, right here, right now. These moments are tied together, and tie us together, like the ribbon that joined our stephana, the crowns we wore as we took our first walk as husband and wife. We have our crowns still, sewn into a linen pillowcase that I embroidered with our initials and wedding date, carefully tucked into the drawer of my maternal grandmother’s tabletop shrine. We wed at the same altar where my parents said their vows, almost twenty-five years to the day before we said ours. All these moments, and days, and years, all are joined and twined into a garland of life and love and joy and tears.
And THAT is what love is. It’s made of air, water, flesh, earth, fire, time, effort, grace, joy, pain, grief, laughter, stubbornness, tenacity, art, music, dark chocolate, good red wine, and whatever else is important enough for you to feel compelled to share with your full heart and your open mind. It’s what we are here for.