Confession – I’ve been wildly in love with Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy (aka SARK) for WAY over 25 years. And I’ve done my best to set other people’s hearts aflame with wild love of her spirit, inspiration & wondrous artwork that sets souls on fire. If I could fill this post with her whip-up-energies creativity, it would be single line – artwork – single line – quote – single line – art….
Maya Angelou expressed it perfectly – “We, in this world, and this weary world itself, have a great gaping need for SARK.” Amen & hallelujah, sister!
Enlargements of SARK’s ecstatically colorful drawings turned Mom’s hospital rooms into outbursts of WOW – some time at the local office supply store making big & BIGGER prints followed by loops of blue tape (doesn’t remove paint or wall paper – usually) can transform even a grey room into healing JOY.
As I stumbled out of bed this morning, headed to the bathroom, I spotted Living Juicy: Daily Morsels for Your Creative Soul, opened it up & was stopped in my tracks by the April 13th page, a shout out to “Express your truth.”
“What is true for you? Your experience of the truth is dramatically important and needs expression. Only you can reveal your truth. Aha! The truth can sometimes feel so terrifying – especially to listen to those inner voices that speak the loudest. I am still learning a lot about my truth in so many ways. I can now allow my truth to become known…”
The amazing Lori Soneson Odhner (surely a soul sister of SARK’s) recently shared the following – “Some people suggest that there are only two options. Get divorced or stay in an unhappy marriage. We promote the idea that you can make your marriage better,” inspiring ME to post, “during my first conversation with john – – lasted five hours, or still ongoing, depending on your pov – – we tsked-tsked about people who seemed to throw in the towel when relationships got rocky rather than work on them. 28+ years into our marriage, we still have moments when it feels like our relationship is crashing, but we use the arrgghh like a flashlight to spot problems needing attention. we choose the third option – make it better.”
Reading SARK, thinking about Lori, created the aha moment of realizing that the great gift given to myself & my hubster is our ability to express to each other our truth. John said it, soon after our engagement, spoken with awe & amazement – “I can tell you ANYTHING.” At the moment, I was undone with the awwwwwwe his comment stirred in me. It took until now to realize that he felt safe being open to me with HIS truth. Even if it disagreed with mine, it would be respected & honored, even when it wasn’t shared.
We didn’t need to learn to do that, it came as naturally as breathing. Maybe it was because, at 37 and 43, we’d learned a thing or two about human nature & divine spirit. Or maybe we would have been that way had we fallen head over heels at 17 & 24.
Expressing our truth is what I mean by using the arrgghh to flash light on problems that need attention. Take John & the cushions – his truth is that he likes to sleep with his feet atop a tower of cushions & pillows (it’s good for circulation/blood pressure). That’s both his truth & medically sound. BUT my truth is that one of the things that served us well in our marriage is twining untwining retwining our feet as we sleep through the night.
Not realizing that the lack of podiatric intimacy was becoming a canker in our relationship, I collapsed recently into a heap of wet soggy frustrated tears punctuated by yelps of despair.
After John settled me down, drying my tears & kissing away my yelps, we used my arrgghh as a flashlight, discovering that well over a year of John heaving his feet atop his pile of pillows also kept the two of us on our separate sides of the bed. I’d tried to solve the quandary last year, putting MY feet up at the same elevated plane, only to find it caused painful problems with my lower legs (due to weirdly jointed knees). An unhelpful bit of truth.
By last week, it was clear that what might seem like the small problem of no more feet snugging was having a big effect on our core emotional connection. John decided it was healthier for our marriage to stick with the elevation after I get up (at 5:15 a.m., long before John). He was astonished at how more soundly he sleeps with his feet back at bed level, often snugged up next to mine – the elevation that helped his BP played havoc with his REM sleep.
We came to a solution thanks to listening to & respecting each other’s truth. That doesn’t mean it always turns out that way, but it’s pretty astonishing how many times we get there.
Am smiling, thinking about going to church. I was raised by parents who put faith & church at the heart of our family. Going to Sunday services became an important part of expressing my beliefs, powerful as a connector to teachings, rituals & community in ways that went way past doctrine. John was raised by parents who did not steep him in religion, but his strong yet tender grasp of spiritual principles exceeds mine – they just lack the language to describe them, making them all the stronger.
Because he loves me, my Keet went with me to Sunday church services. Trying to find one that clicked with both of us, we tried this one, then that. Each was okay, but something wasn’t… something. Then this past summer, just before our 28th anniversary, for reasons neither of us recall, we started going to services in a place that I’d never attended, not once, in all my 65 years. It CLICKED. Clicked with me, clicked with John – our different spiritual truths now intertwine as beautifully as our feet!
Expressing our truth is the bedrock of our relationship. After 29 years of loving John, 28.5 years of being married to him, I am able to truthfully tweak his words, loudly proudly thankfully – I can tell him ANYTHING!