Oil and Water

Let’s think of famous pairings, shall we? And to be challenging, I won’t include comedy duos. Ah-hem: peanut butter and jelly; bacon and eggs; black and white. Surprisingly, as I tried to think of other pairings, most everything involved food (tea and crumpets) or opposites (up and down). Each of the items my intellectually starved brain could conjure is either, as mentioned, opposites or compliments. The exception is oil and water. Oil and water neither fully repel nor fully compliment each other. Yet together, they create a menagerie of colors.

Truly, this reminds me of marriage. “Not my marriage,” you may say with much indignation. So, I’ll concede and say this reminds me of my marriage. Like all metaphors, this one could fall apart if you pick at it too much. Set that overly analytical part of your brain aside for a moment, and let’s go with my original observation.

My husband and I were attracted to each other for many reasons. We both have an artist’s mentality. We both have similar core values. We both place a great deal of importance on the role that our faith plays in every day life. We even share similar weaknesses. Just as oil and water are both liquids, at our core, we run and meld together.

There are, of course, marked differences. One that probably causes the most work is the fact that I am female, and he is male. Shocking, I know. Our communication styles seem to be miles apart sometimes. While we are both artists, because of that we often clash because of aesthetics. This is the part of our marriage, of any marriage, that requires the work — the working past, if you will. I don’t pretend to set myself up as an expert. We have only been married for seven and a half years, and in that time have made many stumbles.

Our saving grace has been that while we can be fearful of being vulnerable to each other, we still long to be close — intimate and of one heart. We may dislike each other sometimes, but we battle through the brush and climb over the terrain to find each other again, to be close again. We have been blessed with each other, and we know that. Often that gratitude trumps the rest.

What happens when we find that place — when we find each other again? Colors. Bright, beautiful, peaceful colors. Roll your eyes at the sentiment if you must; but my eyes are misty right now, and my heart feels soft and mushy.


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