There was an old country song by Crystal Gayle where she crooned the question, “don’t it make my brown eyes blue?” There’s also a song by Tonic where they stated “if you could only see how blue her eyes can be when she says, when she says she loves me.” Both of those have been running through my head lately. Mostly because my eyes have been grey for days now.
My eyes are generally blue. At least that’s what I say when I’m asked. But they’re blue only sometimes. Other times they are green. Still other times they’re grey. Or some other variation of the three. My daughter calls them “Mood Eyes” and she swears she can tell what mood I’m in by reading them. She may be onto something. It seems that they tend more toward the blue side when I’m excited and happy. Green is reserved for those times I’m relaxed, at peace, and enjoying myself. And much like storm clouds, my eyes are grey when I’m down or angry.
My husband always loved my eyes, and he once bought me a set of blue topaz jewelry saying they reminded him of my eyes. But he also liked when they changed colors. He would often tell me that I was beautiful when I cried; he loved seeing my eyes dark and ashen. One day it hit me and I asked him point blank, “Is that why you argue with me? To watch my eyes change?!” He thought about it for a while and then said “yeah, maybe.” I just shook my head and walked away.
That was how we argued; he became a snake, ready to lash out, and I was a turtle, retreating into my shell for protection. Through time and a lot of discussion, we both tried to learn to be a little more like the other. He wouldn’t allow me to retreat and taught me to stand up for myself. I, on the other hand, showed him that he didn’t need to be on the defensive and lashing out was unproductive. Don’t get me wrong. It was work. Even though we had a strong relationship based on love, it wasn’t easy. We had problems like everyone else. But it was worth fighting for. We were worth fighting for. Together, not against one another. Because that’s the way relationships last. You both have to be rowing in the same direction, or you just get tired, frustrated and ready to throw in your oars. My husband taught me that when he wouldn’t allow me to run. And I suppose he learned from me not to always be on the offensive. Because you can’t work together if you’re apart. So we learned to work in tandem, and that’s a beautiful thing.
Despite the fact that my partner is no longer with me, I’m hoping I can take the lessons we learned together and apply them to every relationship in my life. At least those relationships worth keeping. There will be some people who simply refuse to work with you. They will always have a hidden agenda, or don’t want to work together, or who are incapable of the work involved in a good relationship. So I will take the lessons I’ve learned, apply them where I can, and let go of those people in my life refusing to row in the same direction.
So, who’s with me? Ready to row? I see a little stream right over there…
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