Libraries are filled with volume after volume. Bookstores relinquish texts for a tiny ransom. Meaning isn’t released until we open the cover. The spine crack, and words and images spring into being, entering through our eyes, into our hearts.
We invite you into our book, the collected expressions that capture the essence of our transformation as individuals and as a couple. The stories are based on real experiences. The give glimpses into very private lives, lives that may be uncomfortable to read about,since they have been at time uncomfortable to experience. The journey extends of a period of ten years, beginning at a time when we sensed growing dissatisfaction and restlessness. Simultaneously, we were reading and learning about philosophy, ancient and modern. Those philosophies, based in truth, passion, enchantment, and psychology, inspired us and influenced our individual perspectives. Our search for ourselves took us on literal journeys as well as spiritual ones, resulting in fresh personal awareness and interpretations.
Time to Partner is about individual growth, and about establishing true partnership. We pursue a dream of the soul. That dream is to celebrate the human spirit, and to recognize that there are no time references or constraints. We believe the human spirit seeks expression, and harmony with realities far beyond its own immediate surroundings. We believe that most people ignore or deny parts of themselves and long to rediscover those shelved aspects. Have we lost sight of our passions in living our day-to-day routines? Do we miss the excitement of discovery, or the feeling of being in love? Is there a reason why our wildest dreams can’t come true? We believe that uncovering and nurturing wonderment and awe is a missing step,one that we all can rediscover and enjoy. We invite the reader to revisit an old dream. Create a new one. Share a passion. Grow an idea. Engage in conversation with a friend, partner, lover, or someone who might just be in the same place at the same time. Keep a diary. Scribble notes in the margins. Jot down some random thoughts. Drop a hint. Create a memory of a melody that someone might hum. Leave a trace, a clue about yourself for someone to find, to know you just a little better.
As with all research, we must include resources and credits. Authors, experts. and examples are plentifully offered. In the body of the stories, there are references to specific influences. In attempting to weave our own fabric, we have taken up odd thread, here and there, harvesting the occasional shiny ribbon and blending it with twigs and treasures to create this nest we now recognize, as the beginning of our truth. It is the home from which we fly and to which we return, gathering food for our daily sustenance. Our lives are bound together spiritually and tied to the world by these threads. Harmony is a journey, as well as a destination.
Our lives in the past were filled with predictable certainties, but in this re-acquaintance with our core personalities, we have been met with surprises. It has been an awakening, a spiritual renewal, and a time of growth and change. Or learning have brought deep happiness, fulfillment, and enthusiasm. To call this simply a “book” is a misnomer. It is intended to be non-traditional. It is intended to be interactive and provocative. Each story is captured as a self-contained moment, amid the full and certain knowledge that there is no such thing.
In our early forties, we became increasingly aware that we were living lives that were failing to satisfy us completely. Despite a wonderful family and successful careers, over the years we had adopted a life-style and values that didn’t appear to reflect our true identities. Awareness of dissatisfaction began to show up at home, at work, and deep in each of us. We were no longer satisfied with the self-limitations we had accepted, or the prospects of continuing in the life-style we had created. After nearly ten years of introspection and documenting our conversations, mood, and feeling, we made a joint commitment to one of the most significant endeavors we had ever undertaken together. We decided to reread our years of journal entries, reinterpret the drawing we had made, and rediscover the music we had written to accompany the narrative of our lives. Slowly, we unraveled the tangles that hd led us to this time of frustration, and began to carefully reweave the individual threads into a new future.
We wrote Time to Partner over a four-year period. It is the narrative of how we reassembled the pieces of our lives into a new story. We believe that our story is uniquely ours, but that it mirrors common human conditions. It is a tale told in poetry, song, and everyday anecdotes that, we hope, will enable you to see more clearly who you are and who you can become. Time to Partner is a process that resulted in the creation of a product, namely this book and our music. It has given us the clarity and strength to follow our dreams. Now, we hope it will inspire you to follow your own visions and imaginings. The book is a handwritten, old-fashioned love story, for those of us in the new millennium who long for the courage to build more soulful relationships, while finding extraordinary meaning and satisfaction along the way.
We have included small pictorial icons to distinguish realizations, observations, or learnings. Thoughts are accompanied by a photograph of an antique watch or a copy of a hand-rendered sketch of one of the four faces depicted by Michelangelo’s Dusk, Night, Dawn, and Day cycle. Scattered throughout the book, the icons are visual reminders of personal hopes, possibilities, and dreams.
If intentions are true and pure, our vision comes into view, and we begin our journey.
Our narrative collage is built of many inlaid pieces from the lives of our two wonderful children, now adults. Our son, Aaron, and daughter, Iris, were daily participants in the scenes that unfolded. Their gifts of letters and stories have lent reality and texture to the picture. Other friends, family, and acquaintances are included anonymously or with permission. It has been our intention to share only what we have experienced, while not betraying the confidences of others. In each case, our hope has been to create learning and growth.
We had been married thirty years when we began our journey, leaving our professions to become self-employed in pursuit of our dreams. Formerly, we enjoyed successful careers in a variety of professional roles that included art, architecture, corporate positions, and college faculty. Other experiences included leadership roles in human resources, city planning, engineering, European studies, community relations, and communications. Our work has taken us to different countries and cultures. It has given us a rich perspective and has stimulated deep reflection on who we are as individuals and partners. We have lived in a variety of contexts, from small-town heartland USA, to the fast-paced, dynamic Silicon Valley. During the writing of this book and the decade beyond, we have lived in the village of Saratoga, in the San Francisco Bay Area and countryside in the outskirts of Florence, Italy. The contrast between the two environments has added greatly to our evolving perspectives and inspiration—and for that we are extremely grateful.