Relationships

A few months ago I was driving through a section of New Jersey I rarely visit. I drove past a church I was once married in. It had been my second marriage, twenty nine years ago the day after I drove past the church. All told, there have been four marriages, ended by three divorces and one death.

I probably won’t do marriage again. I hang onto memories more than most people.

There are a number of factors steering me away from a fifth marriage, one I hadn’t even considered was brought up by a woman who said “I don’t want to be number five.” As it turned out, I didn’t want her to be number five either, but I understood her point. She didn’t want to be a number, my latest mistake. My father made a similar comment when I married my fourth wife, and it was equally meaningful, as he is married to his fourth wife and had at the time been married to her for thirty one years. Those guys who remarry can be a flaky lot.

 

number5ao7

A different number five

 

I enjoy the companionship of being married, and I do notice a difference in the relationship when I am living with someone compared to being married to them. As I have gotten older, that difference has changed, and/or I have changed, probably both. I am not terribly concerned about getting married now, yet I still desire the companionship.

Maybe one reason I have enjoyed being married is what is missing from my memories. I don’t tend to remember bad things, so with the exception of my first marriage, of which my ex-wife still feels the need to point out just what a miserable human being she is some thirty years after our divorce, I have good memories. I remember why I got married, not why I got divorced. Oh, I remember why I got divorced, I just don’t remember the reason causing friction or heartache. The “why”s gave me something to learn, adjustments to make in myself. Unfortunately, many people, such as my father and the potential number five, see my history as a series of failures from which I learned nothing. I think this says more about them than me.

It is not pleasant having a mind which works differently from “normal.” Perhaps with my recent brain injury that will no longer be a problem, but I don’t think so, it is getting harder to define. The other night I went to see Star Wars episode seven. A big night for me, my first big outing since the hospital, just a little scared the intensity (3D IMAX) might be too much for my brain.  Instead I kept feeling a smile on my face, memories of the first (episode four) film, memories of my first time seeing the first film. The next morning I wrote to the woman who had taken me to that first screening, thirty nine years ago in a little theatre in New Brunswick. She wrote back, she had a similar experience when she saw episode seven, her friends had been surprised she remembered not only the film, but where she had attended and with whom.

Good people create good memories.

Oscar Wilde said “Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.”

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

 

It has been said we have similar appearance and wit, but no one mistakes me for Oscar Wilde. I have seldom allowed a failure to stop me from trying again, just in a different way. Experience builds hope, knowing what went wrong helps prevent that failure from happening again. There are just so many ways to fail in a relationship, my hope is I have found them all.

I like to believe I continue to learn, picking up something in each relationship which helps me recognize the same patterns should they show up again. Sometimes the pitfalls are my partner’s expectations, sometimes they are mine. Sometimes there are things to avoid, often there is something to repeat. I still believe humans are intrinsically compassionate, and I will always believe in the power of love.

I should also recall, as I consider my impressions, that I have recently suffered a concussion, and multiple opinions have been put forth on both sides of the question “Is Blake’s mind functioning properly?” My memories have summoned a kind person, I hope that is who I really am. My current emotional state is unrelated to my memories, I  believe I have felt this way, yet presently I am isolated, existing only within my mind, bereft of tangible desires.

From Oscar Wilde’s “De Profunis,” contemplations from his incarceration; “The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?”

 

 

 

 

 

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8 comments on “Relationships

  1. loreleibell says:

    It is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.
    I suspect, since you keep only the good memories, you can live with the “whys”, in time, if not now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mike R says:

    Blake, I see no signs that you have a lot a bit of your wit or ability to write. You remain an excellent writer. Perhaps the knock to your head has slowed down the process in your own experience.

    I only know of one relationship in life that never disappoints. Christ is the complete and most beautiful bridegroom. Ever loving. Always faithful. He never rejects me because of my confused and odd personality, my quirks, or my own poor companionship. Failures on my part and even my mistreatment and disrespect of him never result in divorce. He is patient, kind, and always forgiving. So completely unlike me.

    Oscar Wilde, to his death, sought a return to the Catholic Church. While I cannot know his true intent, I often wonder if he recognized his true and deepest need as being reconciliation to God. A brilliant man who suffered much. As I understand he was finally baptized. And I hope it brought the peace that he was unable to find in this life.

    Glad to see your mind so active and to know that you are smiling and laughing, again! I thoroughly enjoy your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Samantha Howard says:

    Hmmm.sometimes it’s not that someone is afraid of being your latest mistake, as much as they’ve made their own mistakes in their own life and divorce is difficult,painful and expensive,while marriage just seems unnecessary to them at this point in their life. Perhaps it isn’t particularly about you at all but how the other person’s life experience has colored their lifestyle. I’m

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One wonders if one did not learn from the first mistakes to avoid the other mistakes or remarriages?

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      Life provides many opportunities to make many mistakes, I am not certain I made the same twice. I wrote this just over a month after my brain injury, in fact I don’t remember today having written it.

      Like

      • Sorry about your brain injury. I do hope you did recover alright and that you are finding your way back to normal life again.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mike R says:

        Looks like we all forget. I saw these comments showing up in my email and thought it was a new post. Read through the article a bit before I caught on that I was re-reading your blog. Not that the subject of why/should people remarry isn’t worth a reread. What was more interesting was considering how your mind functioned near to the injury and now. I’m impressed that you were able to think well enough to write this while still in the immediate aftermath of that bad fall. The loss of memory must be maddening. It’s too bad that CHI is not selective in the damage. I wouldn’t mind having some of my memories disappear.

        Liked by 1 person

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