Back when Shannon and I were first married, back when we thirsted for one another, we lived in a very small town. We both worked in that very small town and could literally walk to work. Shannon was also in school but often at this time of year on a day when she was home she might call me in the afternoon to see if I might be able to "take a break."
Of course I knew what that meant.
I would of course get things in order at work and briskly walk back to our house. At that time Shannon would often lay waiting for me in the upstairs bedroom. As I reached the apex of the stairs I would glance to my left to our bedroom. At that time of day the room would be bathed in the afternoon sun cascading through the window. And now those shards of light would be dancing through Shannon's brilliant (then) Auburn locks gently floating across her soft milky shoulders. We smiled together as our eyes would meet, her Carolina blue eyes would sparkle with a sexy provocative and yet innocent charm. My eyes would then, of course, chart that course down her naked back with its beautiful arch towards her dimples of Venus just above her soft round and shapely cheeks. Those cheeks were the immaculate intersection of long sexy sculpted legs and that elegant back.
I couldn't get my clothes off quickly enough in order to dive into the pleasure of her body. Once on top I would automatically bury my head into her hair and breath in the floral softness as my torso and my hips tasted of the feel of her lithe body. I would kiss my way down her body to her hips as my fingers reached under her body and into her. I would then gently coax her body over. Once on her back I moved onto, over, and into her. If I wanted to give an objective assessment of sex I would say Shannon was not the best I've ever been with and yet no woman ever fit better. It was as if our hips were meant to be conjoined. Her legs wrapped neatly around my waist and her head perched pleasantly below mine. Propped up on my arms I could gaze down into her eyes or look further down and see myself entering her. Then I could drop down and her head slightly below mine was in perfect position to kiss. I loved that feeling of being connected at the mouth and the hips as stomachs sliped together across the sheen of sweat between out bodies. Shannon was never very vocal yet I could tell when she was close. She moved into me and I felt her muscles tighten and pull at me at a quickening pace. At most she would sigh. I always tried to time it together. For me getting to climax was often difficult even though the process was so pleasant. Often the effort pushed me and by the time I came I would gasp loudly as if I was back in the pool gasping for breath at the end of an arduous 500 meter freestyle.
At some point my body would fall away. Drenched in sweat we would simply lay there together side by side now both warmed in the shower of afternoon sun. Peacefully resting, perhaps a bird singing in the distance was a peace I'm not sure I've ever again felt.
This was the glory of reawakening from winter in those springs gone by. Or perhaps it was the naivity in the newness of spring before the coming winters of our life.
For now I choose to enjoy just the memory of those lazy spring days.
A year ago I wrote what I think may have been one of my better posts. It certainly was one of my most difficult posts. I have to confess when reading it before publishing a tear came to my eye. I'm not sure it was a tear of sadness for the realizations I had come too or a tear one gets when one sees a cold crystal melancholy truth.
Regardless, I have to admit that writing these days is getting harder and harder and on this rainy night after a day of sunny elation this is the best I have to offer. A warm memory and a cold repeat. Perhaps not so bad for a post written in 20 minutes in the lobby of my gym as I wait for my daughter's pick up time at ballet.
from March 20th, 2014......
"There are known knowns...., there are known unknowns....., and there are unknown unknowns..."
A. Rumsfeld, US Secretary of Defense
Wow, as a left of center guy I feel rather odd quoting a member of President Bush's cabinet. However, that is just the type of quote I love. It seems so ridiculously silly and obvious! But as one columnist said in response it is "in fact a brilliant distillation of quite a complex matter."
Actually, I was at a conference this weekend and someone used the quote and I just liked it! But the quote ties into something else I ran across recently that is at the heart of today's post. Johari's window is a simple and very elegant way of self assessment, understanding your relationships to others, and most importantly how others see you. To look through Johari's window is to look into the knowns and the unknowns and it can, in fact, be quite scary but quite illuminating.
I rather think this is why blogging, and perhaps Ashley Madison, are so enjoyable to us. By blogging we get to stay within our Facade and only allow others into our Arena. On the blogosphere we don't have to worry about our blind spots and those scary unknowns!
But as I thought of Johari's window I began to realize that a marriage is the ultimate Johari's window. There are things we both know; he watches too much football, she love's to plan vacations. There are the things we suspect; I know he hates it when I crack my knuckles, I know she hates that I leave the bathroom light on. But then there are the true unknown unknowns (our "Bling Spots"); he is on a "married dating" website because he needs to be needed and she hasn't needed him in years, she has connection issues formed out of issues she had with her parents that may mean that she will never be able to be emotionally connected to someone and bring down that titanic sized cognitive brick wall that stands between them and being physically and mentally connected.
I tend to be a zealot at self assessment. Perhaps that is why I started these "Shannon Stories." Or perhaps it's just story development because I like to know what characters in a story think and feel, even the one's I may not like. Anyway, as I look back I think these "Shannon Stories" may be my own Johari's Window and maybe through wedging myself through self discovery I've forced myself to look into those unknown, unknowns.
My Shannon story starts here.
My Shannon prequel starts here.
But as I watched the movie I began to feel connected to Elsa.
"Don't let them in, don't let them see be the good girl you always have to be. Conceal, don't feel; don't let them know," Elsa sings.
As a girl I always tried to be a good girl. But looking back my parents did very little to make me feel validated and they certainly were not very loving. My mom went through erratic mood swings and when she was mad at me she simply wouldn't talk to me for days. My dad had the quick temper and would yell as I played the piano on a Sunday afternoon when he was trying to watch the NFL. I felt emasculated. However, I do have to say that dad, while hot tempered, always cooled off fast and apologized. Yet, still, he is not an affectionate man and never has been one to compliment.
Still I tried to please but over the years I became evermore used to being disappointed. I won prizes as a pianist and was quite a good dancer. But my dad was more interested in golf or whatever game he had bet on, he was not often at my recitals. My mom on the other hand was always there but not really in spirit. I always knew she was living vicariously through my sister and I. My mom too was not close with her mom and I'm sure felt inadequate. My grandma often spoke poorly too her in front of us. I'm not sure if it was because of that treatment but for whatever reason my mom was for all intense purposes a hermit. Yet living vicariously through me became an immense burden. My mom was delighted when I was a cheerleader in high school. However, when I tired of the drama during my senior year she was infuriated when I quit. She wouldn't talk to me and said she was embarrassed. How do you say that to a child, what damage does it do?
"A Kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the Queen," yeah sing it Elsa; I'm with you!
I don't think Ryan ever really even noticed as I drifted away until I was too far gone.
Work for me has been a love-hate relationship. It has torn me from my girls too often and that is a fate I will always suffer interminably. But as I have fought to preserve my sanity and fought to be a good mother I have realized freedom through my own success and from gaining recognition from people I admire and care for and who care for me.
I soon found myself in Elsa's place "the fears that once controlled me can't get to me all. It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through." While my travels have often been a burden I've gone places, met people, done things I scarcely could have conceived of back in school.
As I had success I didn't have to count on Ryan or my parents anymore. I could lead life my way.
And it's true "it's funny how some distance makes everything seem small." As I fly through the air each week to another destination I find the weekly battles with Ryan so small. What matters is my girls and the magic of now. I want to live for now! "Here I'll stand, let the storm rage on!"
Elsa sings "the cold never bothered me anyway." And now I identify with that.
The other day I was sitting in a crowd at my daughter's basketball game. There were a lot of people there, sweaty people who had probably just come from Wal-Mart. I realized and even exclaimed to Ryan "I don't like being touched." Obviously in those situations not many people would wish to be touched but later that night I thought about that statement and why it seemed to traverse my whole psyche. In fact, I don't like to be touched anymore or perhaps never did. Now that doesn't involve my daughter's who I could cuddle with all day or my little kitten cat who I love as well. But other's - not so much.
"the cold never bothered me anyway."
"The snow glows white on the mountain tonight,
not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation and it looks like I'm the queen.
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside.
Couldn't keep it in, Heaven knows I tried.
Don't let them in, don't let them see.
Be the good girl you always have to be.
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.
Well, now they know!
Let it go, let it go!
Can't hold it back any more.
Let it go, let it go!
Turn away and slam the door.
I don't care what they're going to say.
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway.
It's funny how some distance,
makes everything seem small.
And the fears that once controlled me, can't get to me at all
It's time to see what I can do,
to test the limits and break through.
No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
Let it go, let it go.
I am one with the wind and sky.
Let it go, let it go.
You'll never see me cry.
Here I'll stand, and here I'll stay.
Let the storm rage on.
My power flurries through the air into the ground.
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I'm never going back; the past is in the past!
Let it go, let it go.
And I'll rise like the break of dawn.
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand, in the light of day.
Let the storm rage on!
The cold never bothered me anyway..."