My Shutzki

January 21, 2008

Today feels like a wasted day, not being in the same world with you. Most of my days lately have felt like that. I bumble on, doing my work, seeing new sights, but somehow there’s some life that’s been lifted out of it. I don’t feel like my complete self.

In so many ways I should be feeling the exhilaration of exploration, of living in a foreign land, hearing a foreign tongue. . . all of this should combine with a feeling of satisfaction with the progress of a project I care deeply about and find meaning in. But it’s been too long without you, and things don’t feel right, and the happiness I imagine I should have, just isn’t around me.

This is why it’s so hard to write today. Because it doesn’t feel like the way it should, and I don’t feel like the way I should. An anniversary without you doesn’t feel like an anniversary at all. How can we be rejoicing together on this special day, or even just spending it together, when we’re oceans apart. This day marks then but a mere passage of time. Potentially, it signifies a shared commitment. But we’re not physically together, and so this anniversary feels more like the absence of you than your presence in my life.

But although today doesn’t feel like our real anniversary, I know it is. I know seven years have passed since we decided to embark on a new experience together, and we’ve traveled down this road for just over a quarter of our existence, though the time has seemed to pass so quickly.

This morning I heard a bird crowing as it flew across the valley just outside my home. That sound was real, and I could feel the day beginning, and I could feel how time was about to take control of yet another day. That crow flying into the daylight also allowed me to feel how real the temporal distance is from seven years ago.

I’m in disbelief that we have shared so much life together since 2001. It’s hard to believe that another human being on this planet knows me so well, understands the most intimate workings and failures of me as a human being. . . and how you love me despite those! It’s hard to believe that you have witnessed so many of the experiences that have reset my whole internal self. You are the historian who sees me better than I can see myself. The one who wants to push me to accomplish what I am capable of. I am your historian, and will always try to push you to achieve what you’re capable of.

So though we are not together in the same physical space, today I am thinking about our past history together, and how we’ve both grown closer and apart during these last seven years.

How is it that you know how certain songs move me? How is it that when I look at an image of you, I am still in love? How is it that your presence actually has challenged me to become who I am today? How is it that I want to be with you more and more as the days and years pass. If anyone can keep me honest in this life, it will be you.

There was a time when I was scared to lose you because of a mere possession of history and memories, something I don’t even trust myself with. But today, somehow, while memory is sacred, it’s the moving forward that is more sacred to me.

I could catalogue moments we’ve shared together, but even if I spent a week every moment of the day searching in my cluttered attic for those beautiful moments of the past, sorting them all out in my mind, soaking them up as deeply as I can soak up the past, I’d still want more. I’d still want the real you in the present.

The memories that remain inside of me are mere markers of the moments in time that forged who I am today, and who we are as two individuals who have decided to move through time connected. And while on an anniversary we often reach back to unearth those memories, today I’d rather dream about the memories to come. It is my wish for this eighth year that we share our lives together with intensity. That if we experienced certain growth as individuals over these last seven years, we only continue to grow and surprise ourselves with the adventure of our own existence.

Sometimes we have goaded each other along. Sometimes we weren’t there for each other. But ultimately, today when I wake up without you beside me, I know that’s not how I want to live. I want you in my future, by my side. And for feeling this way after seven years, I am grateful.

You have all of my love.


yourshutzki [at]