Tuesday night I went to a super-cool concert featuring The Stellas and Lauren Zettler. The bands were great, but the venue was awesome—out in the middle of nowhere, the groups playing on the front porch of a cabin lit by white Christmas lights. Everywhere I looked all I saw were hills and trees and sky. There might have been forty people there spread out on blankets and camp chairs as if a concert in the sticks on your friend’s front porch was totally normal. It felt like a big shared secret. I’m smiling writing about it. :)
I’d never heard of either set of performers, but when The Stellas got up and started singing and talking and basically being themselves I couldn’t help but think—those two are my marriage twins! That sounds weird without backstory. The Stellas are in their thirties, they have two girls and they’re a struggling musical partnership—not struggling with the music or the partnership, just struggling to “make it.” At one point they started talking about touring with their daughters in the backseat and their music stuff in a uhaul behind the car, and I thought—that’s my life.
I have no idea why. I mean, I’m not in a band with my husband, obviously. We don’t “tour.” But something about their way of life just seemed so much like mine…
I’ve been thinking a lot since Tuesday about what it would be like to sing with Justin—for a living—to duet, to collaborate, to write together, to perform together, to work together, to depend completely on one another for professional success, to harmonize, to physically be together in the same space pretty much all of the time. The man and woman in that band are better at what they do because of each other and, truthfully, they have nothing without one another. They need each other.
I was thinking too about the creative element of their job, about how they create together constantly. Not just in the songwriting process, but even in the singing. Every concert is an opportunity to make something beautiful and something new, something never before seen, with your spouse.
What they make, too, is more beautiful because it’s the proclamation of their life together. Love songs are more moving because both lovers are present on the stage. Sad songs more tragic because the pain is present, not removed. Every song is about their life and it seems all of their life is on display.
How cool must it be to succeed together? For every mountaintop experience to be ours—not just mine or his.
Writing this all out I can’t help but see why I related so strongly to that image of these two artists working life out together.
I’m not writing about them. I’m writing about us. That’s my life, my marriage. It’s a complete collaboration, a sharing of life—totally. Every thing I do is wrapped up in Justin and all he does is dripping with me. That’s marriage, a duet—a beautiful, productive partnership.