Tag Archives: Marriage


22 Mar


1.  dearly loved.
synonyms: darling, dear, dearest, precious, adored, much loved, cherished, treasured, prized, highly regarded, admired, esteemed, worshiped, revered, venerated, idolized


Morning light


A Long run

Cold water on a hot day



Riding my bike




Back roads

Grasshoppers skimming from weed to weed

The smell of cut grass

My Dad

Small towns



(With a hard preference for the old rail car variety over the giant, novel-length menu, Jersey variety.)



Being lost

But not that lost


And it’s music (Bob Seger)

Grand Haven


Shaving in the sun, window open with a view through the trees.


And all it’s boltholes

History.  Near, and brushed against.

And the trains

Withnail and I

The Orkney sky


Late at night and early in the morning


Robert Elms

Open Country

His Finest Hour

Road trips


And their pools in the afternoon light


Wild Flowers

Okie Donuts

And kindness

My neighborhood

My friends

The little patch of dirt I call a garden

A slow afternoon in the kitchen


With wine

Especially the reds of Italy

(I could go on)

Waking up after a snowstorm with nowhere to go

Soft warm socks

And a good book

Jim Harrison

Michael Palin’s diaries

The music of Gavin Clark.

Time alone

Skating the smooth ice of a frozen lake

The evening sky ablaze


And People





Hallie, nearby, as I’m falling asleep

Heath, with his arm across my shoulders

And Amy, who illuminates it all and makes my life shine.



21 Sep


If ever there was a sun that shines on me,

If ever there was a dream come true,

If ever the truth existed,

It was you

–Martin Sexton*

In the autumn of 1993 the sun shone in Northern Italy as grapes were harvested, gently crushed and slowly allowed to ferment.  Sunlight was captured in a bottle, while half a world away, I met a girl.

I was 30 years old, just back from Europe, and I was alone.  I was not a religious man, but there were prayers.  During those gray fall days, they went something like this:  “Dear God, if I have to choose between having a career as an actor and finding the person I want to spend the rest of my life with, please let me find that person.”

Of course, I still expected both.  But I had begun to sense that maybe all my dreams were not going to come true, and I wanted to make sure my priorities were clear, which was wise.  Because, looking back, it was as if I had walked into the mountains without a map, dropped my compass in the river, lost all my food, and took every wrong turn.  Until I met Amy.  Beautiful, talented, funny and wise, she found me wandering in circles and, together, we found our way home.

Wine is about moments.  Fleeting on their own, together they create an alchemy of weather, skill and time, evolving toward the moment the wine is tasted.  There’s magic in all of this, but there’s a special magic in the sharing.  Wine never tastes as good as it does with Amy.  And tonight, when things settle down; when Hallie’s in her PJs, and Heath’s had his shower, in celebration of our marriage, twenty years ago today, we will open that bottle of wine, a 1993 Barolo, and unleash the sunlight of the autumn we first met.

And we’ll kiss, and I’ll realize, once again, just how lucky I am.  And then I’ll say another, simpler prayer.

“Thank you.”

Let Love


* You (My Mind Is Woo) by Martin Sexton


Big Magic

22 Sep

Central Park

Falling in love is small magic, a beginners sleight of hand.  With a little time and patience anyone can do it.  Marriage is something more:  A time-release miracle, performed in tandem, naked on a high-wire. Friends and relatives offer a toast as you climb the ladder, and then go their way, leaving the two of you to walk out alone, exposed, your lives in each others’ hands.  And while this is very brave, it’s not yet miraculous,  for alchemy takes time.

Saturday began early, crisp and cool, as we made our preparations for the Buddy Walk, the yearly Central Park gathering of the nicest families I know, and the day we join with friends to celebrate Hallie.  Heath hates this, of course.  He has to leave the house, spend hours outdoors, walk great distances, socialize in a loud communal atmosphere with limited technology, and all because of his little sister.  “Why God?!”  he cries, his hands aloft like a latter-day Tevye, “Why must there be so  much walking?  Why must there even be a Buddy Walk!?” And then he does his best to close out the world, burrowing beneath a sweatshirt, and desperately trying to find something, anything, to do on his tablet.  For Heath, we call this being a good sport.

As we move through the day, the clouds come and go.  Far more social than I, Amy is in constant motion.  She greets, she organizes, she chats.  I hang with Hallie as she gets her nails done (tasteful pink) and her hands painted (“Star,” she says, pointing solemnly to her left hand; “Heart,” she says, pointing to her right.).  Spending the day within a few feet of each other, we barely speak, and as the afternoon winds down, and our friends disperse with hugs and thanks, we make our way home to prepare for her brother Tim’s annual cook out.  More food, more wine, more friends.  A day of love, friendship, good food, and a little too much wine.

Sunday is our anniversary.  No gifts, no dinner, no expectations.  We can barely get off the couch.

Eighteen years ago I knew little of magic.  I just thought I was lucky.  I had met this sweet, funny, beautiful woman, for whom I felt a love stronger than any I’d ever known.  I offered my hand, she took it, and together we climbed the ladder and stepped out onto the wire.

The wonder of a good marriage is that there is no illusion.  It is very, very real.  And very pure, for it’s a miracle you create solely for yourselves, using only what you’ve learned from each other.  A mutual act of strength, humor, joy and grace, performed fully cognizant of how many times you’ve kept each other from falling.  And it’s so much fun.  To this day, nobody makes me laugh like she does.  And the magic just grows with each passing year.

I’ve always had trouble seeing myself.  There are moments of clarity, but most of the time I struggle.  Perceptive with others; I am, to myself, an amiable blur.  But for eighteen years Amy has been my mirror, unrelentingly showing me my best self.  A simple gift of incredible value.  And the biggest magic I know.




Winter Rain

5 Mar


Morning darkness, and the house is at its most gentle, whispering me awake.  Amy has gone upstairs to prepare for her shower while I lie warm beneath the covers, listening for the water, shaken by a dream.

I’m on a ramshackle camping trip, a bunch of us kids unloading gear from our beat up cars and station wagons, carrying it through the grounds of a small carnival to the old houses beyond the fairground.  And somewhere on this journey, it seems, I have made a friend.  She has short dark hair and great big eyes, and although we’ve just met, we’re like puppies in the back seat, leaning into each other, shoulder to shoulder, heads close, laughing, and then going quiet as the miles roll by because nothing has ever felt this good.

Then it begins to rain, and everyone’s a step ahead.

Tents have gone up, a garage floor has been cleared, and while I stand outside, my ratty, unrolled sleeping bag growing heavier by the minute, I realize I have nowhere to go.  She stands at the door of her tent, wringing water from a cloth, and even though she has plenty of room, there’s no way I can ask.  It’s embarrassing just to be standing there.  I move away, into the garage, out of the rain.  But looking around I see all the spaces have been taken.  Busy strangers ignore me as they smooth their pallets across the floor.

And then she’s there, her sleeping bag spread out, and she’s inviting me to join her.


“Yes!” she says, smiling, shaking her head.  I step lightly on the sleeping bag, and we laugh because it’s a little squishy from the rain.

Suddenly my knowledge accelerates, and in a flash, I see everything that’s about to happen . The longing, the intensity, and the unbearable sweetness of this friendship going somewhere I had never thought possible.

And then, for the first time, I remember my kids.  And Amy.  She would know.  And even were I willing to risk that, this young woman clearly has no idea I’m married.  My ring has been lost.  I’d be lying to her as well.

Morning comes.  The rain has stopped.  Friends and neighbors appear.  We share a big box of raisin bran.  It’s the best raisin bran I’ve ever tasted.  Revelatory.  As people pack all around us, I look for her, but she’s nowhere to be found.  Maybe she’s in the car.

The water downshifts to the low hum of the shower, and I have to get up.  Leaving the warmth of the bed for the cool morning air, the anger builds like a cloud in my head.  Tight and sore, my achilles tendons play hell with my balance as I head down the hallway, passing all the stuff we don’t really need.

She took me in out of the rain.

Hand on the rail, I climb the stairs,  squinting and unsure; not yet ready for the light of day.

B&W Rain

When Time Hesitates

20 May

Some days are holy, some days are rough, but that’s alright…

  –-Patti Scialfa

Standing in the kitchen on a rainy Sunday afternoon, Amy smiles as she catches my glance, and asks, “What?”

“Nothing,” I say, and move on, still shy with her after all these years.

It’s her eyes I’m searching, taking a moment to plumb the depths I dance across from day to day.  Because while two children and nearly twenty years together has fostered the illusion that I know this woman, I know that’s not true.  I’ve  amassed a certain amount of knowledge, certainly.  But I don’t kid myself that it’s any more than the tip of the iceberg.

When I read a truly great novel for the first time, I figure I’m lucky  if I get ten percent of what it has to offer.  I read too quickly, my eyes racing faster than my thoughts.  I get the story, but I miss so much.  Rereading helps, but it is only in slowing down, in forcing myself to savor every moment, every thought, that I begin to fully appreciate what’s before me.  This is even more true of Amy, a creation of far greater complexity than any work of art, whose beauty I will never comprehend and whose mysteries will never be fully revealed.  Blending the outrageously comic with the heartbreakingly tender more effectively, and more honestly, than any piece of literature I have ever encountered, she is a wondrous work in progress, her final pages yet to be written, let alone read.

And that is why I’m standing in the kitchen on a rainy Sunday afternoon, while our daughter takes apart the house and my son yells at the computer, as darkness approaches and baths are delayed and the idea of making dinner grows more daunting by the second.  That is why I’m looking into her eyes, trying get behind her smile, and into the warm depths of the twinkle that comes with it.

“What?” she asks, and I’m almost there.

“Nothing,” I say, and move on.  Still shy with her after all these years.


Ruby & Pam

13 Aug

Ruby and Pam are getting married today.

Hitched, united, tied, coupled, bound, wedded and joined in Holy Matrimony.  It makes me happy just to think about it, which is odd, because I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve always taken marriage for granted. 

Don’t get me wrong.  Amy is the best thing that ever happened to me and I’d be a very lost soul without her.  But I’ve never been sure that we actually needed the marriage.  

You see, I have a great relationship with my heart.  It speaks the truth very clearly and I, for the most part, listen.  Shortly after meeting Amy it grabbed me by the front of the shirt and insisted, in no uncertain terms, that I would be an idiot to let her go.  Luckily, she agreed, and we’ve been together ever since.  I’ve never been sure we needed anything more than that. 

And yet, and yet…Our wedding was one of the most joyous moments of my life. 

Maybe that’s why I’m so happy.  For I know few people who more richly deserve such a moment than Ruby and Pam.  After more than a decade of building a life together, of raising a son, of doing good work and being great friends, they are what a marriage should be.   And now they have traveled half way across the country to honor that commitment. 

So in away, it matters little that they’ll be returning to a state which, like a child who closes his eyes against something he doesn’t wish to see, will refuse to recognize their union.  The union exists.  It always has.  And the joy of this day will be theirs forever.  No willful blindness can ever take that away.

So that’s why I’m happy.

Ruby and Pam are getting married today.



A Change of Seasons

19 Sep

The first frost warnings of the season came to the outlying suburbs last night.  The resulting surge of cool autumn air blew through the city as if to clear away the greed and folly of this past week, and remind us all how little nature cares about our problems.  Robert MacFarlane points out in his wonderful book, The Wild Places, that the great forests that once blanketed North America waited Seventy  million years for the arrival of man.  I have little doubt after this week that those trees will also watch us go, and that our time here will be seen in their collective memory as a flicker of sad comedy, a slapstick spasm of existence that faded almost as quickly as it arrived, leaving a world to undo the damage and then quickly forget our meager shot at grace.

Which is to say, funnily enough, that I find solace in this change of season.  Amy and I will celebrate our twelfth anniversary this weekend and though I don’t think we intentionally planned our wedding for the autumnal equinox, it makes so much sense.  The wistfulness of summer’s end meeting the fresh hope of a new beginning is marriage in a nutshell.  And as my  week moved toward this time of change and celebration, it grew so rich in moments of beauty and hope that it stood in stark contast to the frantic scurryings on Wall Street just a few short miles away. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

As I was turning off the light in Heath’s room last night he awoke and said “Dad, what are you doing? Is it Christmas tomorrow?”  Taken aback at this unexpected view into the my son’s heart, I was moved to learn that upon awaking from a dead sleep his first thought is of Christmas and that his greatest hope is that it’s tomorrow. 

Hallie, to the amazement of her therapists, burbles incessantly, emphatically making her points in a language all her own, and punctuating her few moments of silence with a solemn upraised fist.  Fight the power sister. 

And Amy, nursing a cold, a constantly hungry baby and a three year old boy who would happily crawl inside her skin if he could find a way, has graced me with some of the warmest, loveliest smiles I have ever seen.

New York is a crazy place.  Among it’s most widely accepted myths is that money bestows wisdom, happiness and importance. When you walk among the wealthy every day it’s a very easy belief to buy into.  But lately I’ve been thinking about Stonehenge, where, in the coming days, the sun will rise over Salisbury Plain, fall in perfect alignment with the ancient stones, and illuminate the heart of this solemn structure.  Such is the day I married Amy, and such are the moments we share with our children, when we look into their eyes, hold them close, and allow them to show us in so many ways that what we are doing is right and necessary and important.

They illuminate our lives.