Without Her...

How do you say good-bye to someone you love more than anything in the world for several months. Well, that is what I put us through in Rome over the weekend. I feel as though I said good-bye to one of my arms or legs and part of my soul at the train station in Rome yesterday.

What a terrible feeling. I felt guilt, loneliness, sorrow, quietness, detachment, sorrow, sorrow and sorrow.

We had a wonderful weekend in Rome, although it was laced with times of quiet and long glances. 'How can you leave her alone for such a long winter?' I kept asking myself. 'Is photography so important that you are willing to be away from part of your soul for so long? How can you do this to her...to yourself?'

All of these thoughts ran through my head for days before. And I am sure they will for the months ahead. Leaving was the hardest thing that I have done, and I am sure that it was the same for her.

'Surely this time will make us stronger as one, when we reunite again.' I keep thinking to myself as I got on the train and saw the sun breaking through the fog as we leave the station.

I will miss the insignificant times together the most. It seems that the grand times together should seem the most important, but for me it is the lesser times; the off moments that mean more to me. Just as when I was a child, I discovered that those 'off' times, the times when I should be looking at something else became the most critical and important times for me. They are times when I sometimes 'feel' the most. They are times when I connect with my soul the best. They are times when I get a better sense of who I am and what I (not we) am all about. These times allow me to see the beauty in the moment as reflected in myself. The insignificant times. The times in passing when the eye, as a camera, makes a snapshot of the moment and it becomes etched as an image on sharp glass of the lonely time ahead.

These are times that I hold in my memory. These are times that I think will pass before my mind's eye as I lay on my deathbed. These glances become, for me, a preview of later years. Just like the photographs that you make today tell you about your future, the images etched in my mind from these insignificant sightings prove to me that I see the beauty in the passing moment.

I will wonder for the next several months about my decision to be away. My introspection will carefully examine the best of the times together. The worst will be pushed to a corner of the mind. 'The grass is always greener...' the saying goes. I feel there is truth and merit in that. But the reality is that these corners become the passing glances, the passing times, the passing fantasies. They are all rolled into one experience. We evaluate them as they come to the 'surface of the mind. When and why they come we can only have psychologists making careers out of telling us, in their opinion, why.

I will cherish these moments as I would a jewel, or a new born child. I will live with these feelings as I would a lover, or any relationship. For the next few months, they are my family.