Looking at this photo just now, as I've been uploading it, I am struck firstly by how much of a spunk he is, and secondly by how much sharedness we have together, Mat and I. I have looked at his face for almost half of my life. There is so much 'us-ness' between us. Fourteen years of it. It's a long time. But then again, when we are old and grey and our wrinkled toes instinctively find each other in the bed for the six billionth time, fourteen years will seem like a drop in the ocean.
This man, this brilliant, unique, spectacular man, has shaped my life in ways I could never have predicted. Somehow I knew as I looked at him across the room one day, drawing feverishly, that he was a catch. But I had no idea just what kind of crazy adventure I was embarking on by choosing him as my man. We have had the most amazing highs together, so many of them, and ridiculously high! Our feet barely touched the ground for so long. Years. Two innocent, big hearted souls bursting with joy in the presence of each other, heads shaking in disbelief at the fact that feelings this intense were even possible! A cosmic dance of connection and union, two true opposites joining to form a magical whole.
We've also had our lows, as all couples do. Our feet did touch the ground, eventually. I in particular got bogged down in some muddy ground that I spent the next decade trying to get clear of. Mat was such a complex part of it all. In some ways, he held me up and kept me from totally drowning in my self-destructive urges. He loved me through it all, and stayed by my side when many would have left. He barely wavered. And in other ways at other times he took my hand and led me in even deeper, when I was barely staying afloat as it was. Relationships are funny like that.
We are such different people, Mat and I. Really complete polar opposites in so many fundamental ways! Sometimes I don't know how it has ever worked at all! He loves black metal and breakcore and all sorts of noise "music", and I love silence. The sounds of nature. Or Radio National. I love food and cooking and love planning meals and shopping for food at markets and cooking and eating, love love love it all, and he could quite happily subsist on toast and coffee and the odd pizza. I love travelling, he hates it. Seriously. He is the only person I know who gets stressed out about going away for the weekend, and would really rather not go, thank you very much. He is a true hermit, only emerging from his cave to play the odd gig now and then. I have dreams of travelling
Australia and the world; he could think of nothing worse. I really could go on with these diametrically opposed elements of our personalities, but really, there are so many that it would become a very boring post indeed. Suffice to say, alike we are not!
But beneath and beyond all of these surface level differences, our deepest and most dearly treasured values are almost completely matched. We share philosophies on life and people and morality. We stand united on everything political, environmental, social. The same things make us angry with the world, the same things fill us with hope and joy. We agree totally and utterly about how to parent Indi, what we feel is important in shaping her environment, in order to totally support and nurture her beautiful little body and soul. And that is just so wonderful. So wonderful. All of these things which are really important to us, all of these things which are a part of a life lived thoughtfully and from the heart, we share. And for that I am so very grateful.
But for some time now I have been feeling a little lost in amongst all of our great differences. I have been lamenting the lack of shared interests, and the resulting fact that a lot of the joys we both experience in life are experienced without the presence of the other. It has made me really sad. The other day Mat told me he thought I was unhappy, or stressed, most of the time. I reacted really badly to this, because I have been feeling more like I have found my place on this earth than ever before, now that I am a mother. I have felt more fulfilled, truly, than at any other time in my life. And it made me really sad that he wasn't seeing this. And I realised that a part of the reason was that many of my joys, my daily happinesses, occur without him. They happen in my garden, on my walks, when I connected spiritually. Or in my kitchen. All without him, all private. I questioned whether this was right. Whether a truly healthy relationship can exist between two people who really are so very different in terms of what they like to do with their days. Whether the infinite love two people both share for their daughter was enough of a 'shared interest' (if you can call it that) to be enough? It has been really hard having these thoughts.
But then, when I really really think about it, in the areas that matter, in the way our hearts dance in our breasts, in the way our eyes sparkle and gleam with love and joy, we are so united. We may DO different things, without the other, but when it comes down the the important stuff, we are right there, side by side. At the end of the day, I would rather, much rather, be with a person who has interests really different to mine but who shares my deepest values, than with someone who likes to do the same things as me but doesn't agree with my core philosophies on life.
I think that relationships are complex beings, and as the old cliche goes, they are hard work. They really are. But when I look back at the relationship between Mat and I, I feel so blessed, so awesomely lucky to have found someone so caring, so loving, so passionate, and so truly unique. Anyone who knows Mat understands what I mean. He is a very special person. A real gem of a human being. I don't know anyone who lives by their morals as closely as he does, who lives so thoughtfully, so authentically, so earnestly. I don't know anyone else who has such a drive to create and be creative. And I don't know anyone else who has been so unwaveringly supportive, who has stood by my side, the whole bloody time, with love just pouring out of him. Not only am I the luckiest woman alive, to have him, to be with him, but my daughter is the luckiest girl in the world to have him as a father. He is the most loving, devoted and joyful father I have ever seen, ever!
I am crying as I write this, as I declare to the world, once again, how much I love him.
Mat, my cosmic partner, my true best friend. I love you so much! Thank you so much for every minute, my sweet one. I am truly blessed. You have shown me love beyond anything I could have even fantasised about before I met you. You have expanded my mind and my heart, and introduced me to whole new worlds. I continue to learn and be inspired by you. And I couldn't have dreamed up a better father for my child. I feel like the queen of the world, living by your side, your cosmic wife.
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