By Marti Fenton White Deer Song
In the beginning we see in the other a reflective mirror of all we desire to be
And fall in love with the beauty of our own potential in another.
This sweetness lures us into the magic mirror and onto the path.
The spirit of love has a scheme for this sweet attraction
To mold our souls into a unique configuration of the divine,
Bringing differences into new recognition. Seducing us with hope
Of what gracious treasures lie along the road.
Then comes the fall from paradise, or so it seems, when the mirror shatters from
The shock of our imperfect reflection and this path seems dead-ended.
We see only weeds where flowers grew.
Many end their story here, tear up the memories and begin again
Always seeking the beautiful in anticipation of a new beginning.
Like a too high flying balloon, the dream bursts
Drifting to the dense earth in torn shreds.
Yes, we live in an imperfect world and when we feel the
Cruel hardness of the ground that breaks this fall and our dream
We feel deceived, betrayed by the one being we thought
Should free us from our fate and lead us to our dreams.
Torn apart, alone, betrayed, the dream shattered,
Each of us seemingly deceived by a false image of the other.
Many end their journey together at this harsh fork in the road.
But this isn’t a rightful ending for those with heart.
The trickster god of the crossroad, Hermes, Alchemist,
Magician of turning lead to gold is testing
Readiness for the next stage of this adventure,
But do we have the courage?
Love is not a game but a perilous journey.
Many souls die along the way deteriorating where they fell
While only their ghost drifts on lost in self-deceiving dreams.
If we survive this test we discover that we are able to walk through
Many broken mirrors, then meet in a new reality where we become
Co-creators in our shared future.
Those who survive into this unique partnership called marriage
Are as a pebble dropped in the sea of the world,
Waves spreading out in all directions as
Fractals of the human potential.
For in love lie all the dangers, challenges and powers of
Our human adventure on earth. We build this road to the future for those
Who continue the journey when our adventure has reached its final destination.
In true love, two into one have the strength of many.
And we are not lost to ourselves but recognized for who we are yet to be.
On September 24th Standing Deer and I were married. This turned out to be a greater step than I anticipated. Perhaps the degree and intensity of the event is in proportion to everything leading up to it. After all we’ve known each other for 19 years and been lovers much of that time. Our relationship has continued to develop through two marriages and many girlfriends and it has been beyond understanding for most of our friends.
I think the last phase began about two years ago but I’m not sure about the time. I had finally decided to give up on any future us. It wasn’t the first time but it was the best time. It came after another drifting out on his part. He had sworn undying love, said he would never hurt me again, apologized for what he put me through and then began to fade out. Before long he was dating someone else but didn’t say so. I just knew the signs by then. I couldn’t stand to see all that I put in his house being used by another woman so I removed my paintings and the small pieces from my mother’s house. We had worked together for weeks to clean decorate and paint his house. My mother had passed a few months before and it was comforting to have her furniture in the home of my love. Now I felt betrayed. He reacted by having me take everything out. I rented a large storage space at Hinds & Hinds next to Smith’s grocery. I met him there and we unloaded the furniture silently. The tension was as tight as a piano string.
Even through grief and disappointment I felt a surge of renewed energy. I moved all of the things in my garage to that storage space and every load I took lightened my soul and linked me to the person I was when I first came to Taos. My heart was both shattered and renewed at the same time. I remembered just how the air felt and saw the leaves in the trees become greener and the sky cleared. I was back to my beginning in Taos. My first husband and I used this storage space when we first arrived. Everything came back as if no time had passed. Excitement, grief, anticipation of the new adventure, as well as the people who became part of our new life, all were here again just as they had been. I looked at my mother’s furniture. The new furniture that she and I picked out when she moved to the senior apartment that was her last home. It was beautiful and truly her own in every way. I felt sad that this phase had already ended and yet she was complete in her own way. Now it belonged to me as well as the memories that went with it. The emotions were so big that I couldn’t contain them all at once and I came back again and again. I prayed, I cried, I remembered and remembered. I knew that my old life was over and though I didn’t know what was ahead I was finally ready to find out with no expectations of the future.
For the first time in years my life force was awakened and I was ready to move on. That same spring I went to Denver to see friends and family. My dear friend Rachel and I ate at our favorite Italian restaurant and I told her that I realized that Standing Deer simply couldn’t do a relationship and that I finally recognized that it was unfair of me to expect more than he was capable of. I could care for him as an old friend and important person in my Taos experience but I needed to move on and be well when he did the same.
On the way home my cell phone rang at the top of La Veda pass. My first instinct said that it was Standing Deer and it was. We had been on the same plan and he gave his phone back to me when we broke up so I knew he didn’t have a phone. I surmised that he was in a bar and borrowed someone’s phone. I soon lost connection because reception only works on the top of the pass. When I got to the bottom I called the number recorded on my phone but the man that answered didn’t know who or what I was talking about. So I let it go. When I arrived in Taos he called again and said he had another piece of my furniture that he wanted to return and asked me to meet him at the storage unit. I said I’d take my luggage home first and meet him in an hour. After unloading I remembered that I had the cell phone he’d returned to me in a drawer. Since I was responsible for the duration of the contract whether or not he used it I decided to take it along and offer it to him.
At the storage we were a bit stiff but after unloading the piece I offered him the phone to use for the rest of the contract. He seemed a bit reticent but decided to take it. I could feel something else on his mind. After several awkward seconds he asked if I would like to have a glass of wine before we went home. We considered a couple of places in town and then he suggested the Steak Out. This was a place where we used to watch the sunset over the entire valley from the patio. This was the beginning of a new chapter. Everything changed that evening.
I felt free for the first time. I no longer cared what he thought of me or what our past had been. I just felt comfortable listening to what he’d been doing and sharing my Denver trip with him. He said he wanted to do some travelling and felt he wanted to stay out of relationships until he was clearer. We drank way too much wine. There was an Indian man at the same bar from San Juan Pueblo and we discovered we had some friends in common. We talked to him and shared a couple more bottles. Finally it was dark and late. Neither of us said anything about it but he came home with me.
After that night we were together. There were a couple of minor glitches when he decided to live alone in his house for a few days. But it didn’t last and gradually those times went away. This was the first time we’d actually lived together on a daily basis. But always there was something between us that wouldn’t go away no matter what we intended or who we were with.
So much has changed since that day at the storage space that it’s not easy to remember how we used to be. He insists that it was that particular day at that particular place that everything in his life changed. He did exactly the opposite of what he’d intended to do because at that moment he realized he would regret it forever if he didn’t.
The next spring we visited Cottonwood and Sedona Arizona, scheduled a workshop for the following September and made several more trips. Because of Standing Deer’s lung problems we decided to move there for the rest of the year. We found a charming little cottage in Cottonwood. It was a blissful time. We enjoyed furnishing it, visiting friends, painting in the covered porch, hiking and getting used to living together. We grew very close because it was our home rather than his or mine.
We are in Taos again taking care of our homes here but we hope to be in Arizona this winter. It will be different this time. I find that we are so much freer together now. It is quite a surprise because I had a meltdown two days before the wedding. A dark cloud was hanging over me and I felt that all the demons of my previous lives were ganging up to create some disaster. Fortunately I’m old enough to recognize a panic attack. It’s not easy to accept the realization of one’s hopes and dreams. There is nothing left to anticipate and reality presents the possibility of disappointment. Standing Deer was so happy and full of joy that I felt guilty for these feelings but decided I had to share them with him or risk sabotaging everything we were about. After that crisis everything was smooth and the wedding itself was a beautiful experience. It became a wonderful gathering of friends. I must say there is a glow that is still sending energy to everyone within range.
Update: I’m finishing this piece in Cottonwood, Arizona. We are house-sitting for a dear friend, and hoping to find a place for the winter. Yesterday we weathered our first major crisis. Standing Deer had his melt-down post wedding. Later I realized how important it was. His oldest demons decided to put us to the test. We got through it together and came out better than before but it made me realize that “happily ever after” is shallow. This partnership is about transformation and the fulfillment of a contract made before we met in this world we now share as partners.