B and I are driving through the slush headed away from the city on 55. We’re our way to his 4th job of the week- music director at an Episcopal church in the suburbs. He loves this gig, the community of people in the congregation, as well as the choir he conducts. Up until recently, I attended every Sunday with with him. Now, I just come along for the ride, drop him off at the church, and pop into a nearby Starbucks to get some reading and writing in. The broken routine gave way to a new one that I find much more enjoyable to be perfectly honest.
At the Starbucks, I’m sipping my usual decaf chatting with my friend D online about god. We’re both metaphysical. While it’s great to engage with people that don’t share the same values as you, sometimes good to talk to people that actually do. My faith system is less religious and more personal. It hasn’t changed all that much since I was a child. It works for me and I’m content with it. When talking with D, I feel like our values are synching up like gears in a clock, a feeling that I have never felt in any Christian gathering as long as I can remember.
B is a leader in his church. It’s wonderful to watch him play the piano and see the little kids at the end of service dance to the music. One of the many things I find so intoxicating about him is how the warmth of his personality radiates. He gives each person he’s speaking with special attention. He looks in your eyes when he talk to you and his smile, I’m sure, could disarm the most aggressive of people. I love seeing him in his many professional roles. I love that I get to be a part of all of that.
After one service where a joke in the sermon really hit me the wrong way, I decided to take a break to reevaluate why I wake up at 6AM every Sunday morning, make B a coffee and go with him the trek all the way out to the suburbs. It came to me rather quickly that while I LOVE the congregation, and I LOVE seeing Brian at work, I feel more removed from Christianity than I did as a kid. At the same time, I am more one with my own spiritual system than I have ever been.
I asked B if he would be offended if I stopped going to church so regularly and instead, used the few hours he’s there to get some writing done. He’s been worried about me not taking enough time for myself lately, so needless to say he was more than supportive it.
As I write, I’m thinking not just about god, and about this particular thing in my relationship with B, but in our relationship as a whole. We’re both about as selfless as can be when it comes to each other. He does all the cooking and I do the bulk of the cleaning. I wake up before him to make us both coffee, he takes care of anything involving the cars. We’re endlessly giving to each other. The difference is, B has no problem doing things for himself to bring his career forward, or to make him a better partner for me. I on the other hand exhaust myself with the house, and the cats, and being a supportive music wife, leaving little for me once it’s all over.
My relationship with B has caused me to grow in so many ways and has enlightened me on aspects of my personality I was too stubborn to admit to-one of them being I’m almost too happy to put him first, even at a disservice to myself. We work better together when there’s a balance. As for church, while I love observing him from the outside of a situation, nothing brings me closer to the idea of god than doing something I love to do. If such an conscious, omnipresent being exists, I’m sure they’d understand.