E. Winter Tashlin

Love Among The Stars [Picture Tells A Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | March 14, 2015 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: astrophotography, cape elizabeth, commitment, dyer point, long-term relationships, love, Maine, PTAS

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That's my husband Owen standing in the foreground of today's photo. He's carrying my camera bag because he's amazing, and wearing a down jacket because even a warm March evening in Maine is still in Maine. He'd also probably want me to point out that for this photo he had to hold completely still for thirteen seconds, which for a guy with ADHD standing in the cold is another sure symptom of being amazing.

Owen and I haven't had many moments like this one recently. He works long hours at his job, which is extremely people-focused for someone as introverted as he is, and doesn't get him home until ten in the evening most nights. For myself, amidst my teaching, consulting, and job hunting, I've been in a pretty deep morass of depression, leaving me not particularly good company. Plus our home situation is far from ideally set up well for social time, lacking anyplace to eat a meal together, and with our respective desks on opposite ends of the apartment.

We have been together for over fifteen years and it's easy for comfort to grow into complacency in a long-term relationship, especially when one has a multitude of other romantic and sexual partners. We have been fixtures in each other's lives for nearly as long as we've been adults (if nineteen year olds can be called adults), and precisely because of that fact, it can be challenging to remember that our relationship needs nurturing and care just as much as one that is newer or less secure.

That's why this Wednesday we headed out to Dyer Point in Cape Elizabeth to enjoy the unseasonably warm temperatures and each other's company. Owen long ago grew inured to my need to take photos, so our conversations ranged far and wide, punctuated frequently with the quiet click of my camera's shutter. From differing perspectives on elements of our shared spiritual beliefs, to concerns about politics, reflections on books we'd each recently read, and just how damn beautiful the sunset and and stars were, for the first time in a long winter we carved out time and space to just be present with one another.

Of course, the lack of cell reception out on Dyer Point surely helped with the whole "staying present" thing. Which has us thinking that designated "no connectivity" time is probably important for the health of our relationship (and ourselves for that matter).

Our relationships with one other in this world, romantic and otherwise, exist as beautiful and complex elements against an at time chaotic background of our busy modern lives in much the same way that the constellations hang amidst the majestic static of the stars. Owen loves the constellations, and is quite taken by the way Orion the Hunter is hanging just above his head in this photo. You have to look closely to pick Orion out from the background, but when you do it's hard to believe that you could have missed him at all.

Which is exactly how I was feeling about my husband when this picture was being taken.

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