Just the head shake.

Warning: this is super duper long. Read this in the dentist's waiting room.

Irrelevant backstory:

Boz and I recently hired a new dog sitter as our previous gal moved away with her new baby and soon-to-be husband. We will be spending a week fishing in Canada in July so we arranged for this new sitter to spend the night last Saturday. We wanted her to get comfortable with our condo and Pancho while we  were still relatively close by, so we spent the evening at a little boutique hotel in Fredericksburg. F'burg is in the hill country and is packed full of wineries and German restaurants. It's a pretty popular weekend destination for Austinites and the residents of lesser towns in central Texas.

The real stuff:

We had a fantastic getaway and returned on Sunday afternoon with the intention of chilling for a few hours and then going for a run around Town Lake. Boz sat down on the couch to watch golf, Pancho curled up next to him, and I innocently browsed the internet for a few minutes before being absolutely rocked to my core. I discovered something that is now insiduously ruining my life. In the spirit of goodwill towards mankind, I've been keeping this to myself for three days...but it's getting overwhelming and I see no option but to take y'all down with me. Read on at your own risk.

Have you guys heard of Marina Abramovic and Ulay?????

I'll pause here for 10 hours so you can follow my lead and read every single article ever written by or about both of them.


Ok, so you watched the video of The Artist is Present performance, right?


I mean...I can't even. Of course y'all already know this...but they fell into a completely crazed, all-consuming love affair in 1976, collaborated oh-so-intimately on absolutely everything for 12 years, and then went their separate ways for a few decades. Ulay apparently found fidelity to be a bit challenging towards the end of their union and they both admit the unparalleled intensity and depth of their relationship couldn't be sustained for a lifetime. Considering their mutual goal was to destroy their selfhoods and become one entity, I must admit I can see how it could all become a bit much. That being said, I'm not sure I will be able to enjoy my own life if these two don't get back together. I've listened to the song by How I Became the Bomb a gazillion times and the (absolutely perfect) arresting image of Ulay shaking his head, the eye contact that betrays SO.MANY.FEELINGS, the tears...it is all just seared in my brain. It's so powerful, right!? It's killing me!!!

And...of course...it's got me thinkin'.

Boz and I are at a pretty exciting crossroads right now. We need to move out of the condo as the HOA has officially had it with our blatant disregard for the no-pets policy. Boz is considering his future career path and we're open to a move out of state in the semi-near future. There is a LOT up in the air and B regularly (and wisely ;)) asks for my input. And this is precisely where I get all freaked out. Boz and I moved to Texas separately and although we met about 15 seconds after landing in the Good Republic, we lived our own lives and established our independent identities here without considering marriage for a VERY long time (<practically an eternity in the eyes of B's grandma). Of course the move to Japan was a giant leap forward in terms of intimacy and building a joint life...but we knew it was temporary. We assumed (and, most of the time, hoped) we would head back to our established lives in Austin. But this next move will be permanent. This next move will rip the roots up.

And I'm just nervous. I'm nervous to leave everything and just go along with my man and my dog...to who-knows-where-or-what...and dig a little deeper towards the very thing I admire about Marina and Ulay. Occasionally Boz will ask how I would feel about accompanying him on a sabbatical...touring around the U.S. in a giant R.V. for a year. It is his #1 dream and while I don't know if it is 5 years or 15 years away, I know he is very, very serious about it. Y'all know how I feel about camping...and travel...but I am also an extreme introvert and every time he mentions this goal, I think "oh my. holy hell. how will i find alone time? what if it's the best thing ever??? and what if it's the worst thing ever!?!?!?"...and then my brain short-circuits and I go for a run around the lake.

Where is the line between Marina/Ulay intimacy and mutual destruction? How do you attain that completely perfect head shake of a million unspoken words...while simultaneously maintaining a healthy independent identity...while simultaneously helping each other pursue dreams that might include a YEAR IN AN R.V.!? Is it possible to move way beyond a run-of-the-mill partnership without dipping a toe into crazy? A Catholic theologian and psychologist of whom I'm quite fond feels the goal of a marriage is for each partner to help the other become what Christ intended for him/her. This seems quite lofty to me...and also quite enticing...and also extremely dangerous if at all misinterpreted.

But then...(while running around the lake)...I inevitably ponder what it would be like if Boz and I were 90 years old, and I am immediately certain my only wish would be to have ten more years to drive around the U.S. in a giant R.V. with my man and my dog.

Boz and I went out to dinner with two other married friends last Friday and towards the end of the meal, one of the gals remarked, "I have never seen a couple talk amongst themselves so much!"...as Boz and I had spent a majority of the evening sitting across from one another, immersed in our own private conversation. She was good-naturedly teasing us...but it was definitely the greatest compliment I've received in recent memory.

I know B and I have an awesome foundation and almost a decade's worth of experiences to bond and buoy us. And I'm pretty confident my incredibly well-developed natural defenses will always prevent a hijacking of my identity. But I also know it takes a lot more digging to get to that Ulay head shake. I really want to be able to sit across from Boz someday without the conversation. I want just the head shake.

So...folks...it looks like the roots are comin' up...and it's time to start digging.