Sunday, 19 February 2012

Remembering perfection

Some months ago I thought, "This is a perfect time. I am very happy."

This was immediately followed by a worry that to think it was a time of perfection was to put it at risk, to tempt fate.

I felt uneasy, that something would go wrong to shatter the happiness. A loved one may die, or become ill while I was far away. Another form of disaster could befall me or my wife.

I realised it was a certainty that the time of perfection would not last: time passes.

My superstitions are long dead. What is in my mind will not make my loved ones more likely to suffer an accident or illness. Even the preachers who claim distant events can be influenced by prayer do not suggest our happiness will be punished by tragedy (unless you are Job).

So best to enjoy the happiness while it lasts.

We had returned to my wife's country and she was overjoyed to be catching up with family and friends and looking to restart her career. I had enough work to keep me busy, but also had time to exercise in the agreeable climate, shedding the pounds that had made me a stranger to myself. We were back in our home, our bills were low and debts built up under less favourable circumstances were rapidly being cleared.

In our relationship, we seemed to be on the same side, us against the world, challenges making us stronger, not driving us apart. It was not always so.

This was before I began this process of remembering, meaning I don't have the luxury of being able to scan back through every day of this happiness. I wish I did.

I do clearly remember the morning I awoke to it and dismissed the fear that noticing would jinx it.

It ended sooner than I hoped. My wife's plans did not go as she wanted and she suddenly announced she wanted us to return immediately to my country. She could not articulate a clear purpose to justify the financial consequencies and we argued about the sense of it, but in the end we returned.

Three months later, we are settled, but the harmony has not yet arrived. It is a trick of memory that moods bring back memories associated with the same mood. When relationships breakdown, partners catalogue events both recent and long past, a chain of hurt that hides the links of love and happiness.

Which is why it is important to me to be able to remember there was a time not so long ago when things were perfect. It is a chain of those events I wish to see.

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