POSTED: FEBRUARY 1
As you know from previous posts, I am quite taken with the things to be learned from others and I am always astonished with the nuggets of knowledge or insights that seem to fall out of some people.
Lately I have been observing the ages of the people I admire. Some of the athletes, musicians, artists, writers and advocates that as kids we would call our heroes were usually older than us by at least ten years, but in recent years I have replaced many of those heroes with many who are much younger than I am. A few anomalies exist of course as at times I am impressed with the ideas from people much older than me. People like Malcolm. He is old enough to be my dad, and I can soak up a lot just being around a person like that.
It is also true that sometimes when around these people others are not as noticed yet may also have amazing thoughts and ideas. So when Malcolm’s partner Martha was strolling by En Plein Air one day I was pleased to get to spend some time with her over a coffee. It is always a bit stressed and weird these days maintaining a couple of meters, especially on a boat, but the interaction, in whatever form we can get it, is even more cherished in these times. I think she was out for a bit of change of scenery. Malcolm is quite a thinker but a bit intense and living with him and his various ponderings, prognostications, and pontification’s I would think would could be a bit of a challenge.
She had dropped by when I was writing the post Better With Time and she asked me what I was up to and I let her read it. Most people I have day to day contact with don’t read my posts, or don’t admit to it, as its kind of close to home – like having a personal relationship with your doctor, therapist or parole officer. Other than those I am close to I don’t even reference this website as my writing is not for everyone.
She read it, told me she enjoyed it and we went on to have a good conversation about lots of other things. That was about two months ago.
Today she strolled by for a coffee and with some specific thoughts in mind. She had been reflecting on that Better With Time piece and wanted to share some observations on the notion of “Better with Time”, but not with the same ideas but very different ones. She was thinking specifically about her relationship with Malcolm in all its various phases and all the changes they have been through and how their relationship has grown and become better over their time together. They had met in academia and she had been a graduate student and he was her prof. so the phases of that relationship with this older man have taken a variety of forms.
It was a rambling chat and one that totally engrossed me as she was very candid in her thoughts.
She described her time with Malcolm to me in its various phases of the relationship: Life as a student, life as a muse, life as a partner, and most recently, life as a parent. The challenge of being the younger, less experienced one, and often in the shadow, to being an equal and then with the aging process being the one to make the key decisions and hard choices. I expect this is a common evolution in relationships of people of significantly different ages. That crazy imbalance on some fronts that with the passage of the years and the experiences shifts the balance beam.
Her description of the evolution of their intimacy was quite detailed as well, not in a graphic way but as a poignant description of two younger people satiating the needs as a physical pairing, who age together and the relationship both physically and emotionally evolving in a similar way. [ I am hoping that descriptor was cryptic enough for underage readers to not understand]
When she left, I scribbled down a short poem (almost a haiku, but without enough attention to the syllable count) on the topic of that intimacy intertwined with their relationship and got her thumbs up before posting hit here.
Better With Time
Began as boxing
And the relationship too