Wednesday, September 08, 2010

wifercize wednesday: travel companion

I just realized that half the time I write "wiferCize" and the other half I write "wiferSize".  Jazzercize is spelled with a "c"...should this make a difference?  Jazzercize is also a mix of "jazz" and "exercise" which is spelled with an "s" instead of a "z".  

Wifercize it shall be.

On a recent trip to Raleigh, North Carolina to visit with our good friends (and sometime pastors), Duncan and Kate, I realized two things:
  1. I love (I mean l-o-v-e) traveling with my husband.
  2. Marriage is, at best, shared life experiences.
Neither conclusion is ground breaking but both would be considered revolutionary by my previous self.  I used to love (I mean l-o-v-e) traveling alone.  By.  My.  Self.  Traveling in packs or even with one other companion would irritate me to no end.  My inner monologue was that of George Clooney's character in Up In The Air:
Never get behind old people. Their bodies are littered with hidden metal and they never seem to appreciate how little time they have left. Bingo, Asians. They pack light, travel efficiently, and they have a thing for slip on shoes. Gotta love 'em.
Traveling with others wasn't practical or fun.  It slowed my routine, it disrupted my contemplation, it ruined my pace, it killed my buzz.

On one of my last solo flights I sat at the window and stared out of it as the plane took off.  For an instant I pictured a husband - faceless and nameless - sitting beside me, reading a newspaper, fiddling with a cell phone, or otherwise being husband-y.  In my mind I turned to give him a kiss.  Nothing glamorous.  Just a kiss.  For fun.  I later wrote a poem about that image: my fictitious travel companion, and I was hooked on the idea from that moment.

flight to korea
november 2004

just one kiss
can’t I kiss you just once?
your lips on mine
just once
just now
I thought of you
your lips on mine
I smiled at you
in my mind
just mind
that you don’t waste
your kisses
save them for my lips
kiss me enough
your lips on mine
to make up for

Five years later, Andrew sits beside me and reads the in-flight magazine, plays games on his iPhone, and often tolerates a kiss (or two, or eighteen) from me.  I still prefer the window seat and he likes to offer it to me.

Last night I heard a Jamie Cullum song, All At Sea, for the first time in ages.  The lyrics used to be my anthem during the peak of my solo-travel days:

I'm all at sea
Where no-one can bother me
I sleep by myself
I drink on my own
Don't speak to nobody
I gave away my phone
Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
Please just leave me right here on my own
Later on you could spend some time with me
If you want to
All at sea

Hearing those dismal words again reminded me of a second song, Swallowed In The Sea by Coldplay; the one Andrew told me was his favourite when we first started dating.  It became a kind of response to my resolute "all at sea" lifestyle, and challenged my isolation:

The streets you're walking on a thousand houses long
Well, that's where I belong and you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea
You belong with me, not swallowed in the sea
Yeah, you belong with me
Not swallowed in the sea

I guess we are all susceptible of falling into one of two sentiments: either that couple-hood is the enemy, or that it is the answer.  I was once a card-carrying member of the former group but, although I don't fully agree with the latter, I now know that marriage solves many more issues than it creates.

Life, although whimsical enough if experienced unaccompanied, is best shared.

1 comment:

Jessica Heather said...

“Hapiness is only real when shared”
-Christopher McCandless, Into the Wild-

Beautiful Sair:-)