Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happily Ever After Again, Decision Portrait Series

(Above: Happily Ever After Again, Decision Portrait Series. 2010. Framed: 31" x 37"; unframed 25" x 31". Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand beaded and stitched. Words: 1994 Married 1995 Divorced 2009 Remarried. Click on image to enlarge.)

Love and marriage! They're complicated matters for many....and I'm really glad I don't fully understand the emotional toll of a significant break up. I met my husband Steve during an Ohio State football game. I'd been a college freshman for less than two weeks. He was a first year graduate student. I wouldn't date him for months thinking he was "too old" for me....twenty-two. I really had no serious experience with guys at all. I was scared. But, once I gave in, we became a couple....waiting for the "right time" to get married. Had it not been for college tuition, the need to introduce one another to our parents, and all the other social requirements of an actual ceremony, I would have married Steve within a month. That was in the fall of 1977. We got married in 1981....and have joked that the only way out of this relationship is for one of us to die...which is only a "joke" because it is true.

(Above: Happily Ever After Again, detail. Click on image to enlarge.)

Over the years, we've had many friends suffer the pains of divorce, failed relationships, and the problems of being both "married" to the "wrong" person as well as "being single" when a relationship was most wanted. I've come to appreciate my own happiness on a deeper level. Love and marriage really are complicated. There's no "easy" answer.

When asked why our relationship works, we don't have a "magic" formula. What seems "simple" to us really isn't "easy". So many external factors could change everything in an instant. What brought us together, what keeps us together, what could drive up apart, and what would allow us to find one another is as complicated as the road these two people have walked. Once they were married, then divorced; but, they found one another again.

The two recently came to the opening reception of my Blues Chapel and Last Words. I would have thought they've been together forever. They are happy. I hope they'll stay just that way. I hope to stay happy and married myself. We'll all have to work at it....because love and marriage are complicated.

By the way, I've updated the Decision Portrait blog with new ideas for future work (MY "WISH LIST"). Since I've got an upcoming exhibition, I REALLY NEED more people willing to share one of their decisions. It is EASY to participate. Just email me at with a digital image of yourself and a note about your decision. I will provide a standard "model's release" and a self addressed, stamped return envelope. I'll share the work with each participant before posting it and will invite them to all opening receptions when the work is shown in public!

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