Wednesday, March 18, 2009

My Dear Professor

Remember Tolstoy's three questions? Did you take on the challenge?

The one closest to me that day was my Dear Professor. My favorite photograph of him is this 30 year old portrait with his Dad and his firstborn son. Three generations of men. It's my favorite because my Dear Professor tends to get very self conscious in front of a camera. He says it is PTSD from too many Christmases trying to shield his eyes from the glare of the stadium lights his mother used to take silent movies of her precious son and daughter. He understands, along with Brangelina and all the other famous couples, how worrisome the paparazzi can be.

Only in his case it was the mamarazzi.

And she could be every bit as determined to get the shot as the camera wielding madmen on the hunt for a photographic pound of celebrity flesh!

3gensprad copy

I truly love this photo for my Dear Professor's total lack of his own self awareness, his emotional nakedness, a glimpse of his soul through the perfect alignment of his eyes, the camera lens, and my eyes. His tenderness for his firstborn.

It will always be a special moment for me.

A few days ago we were enjoying a deep conversation. Deep conversations are a new experience for us both. We lived together far too many years, each immersed in our own concerns, living parallel lives. The story of how that changed I will save for another day. But change it did, about four years ago. We are only now beginning to understand ourselves and each other and discovering a treasure there.

This is a recent picture of my Dear Professor, book in hand.

dp book

I love this picture just as much as I love the other one, but for a different reason. My Dear Professor loves reading as much as I love watching movies. For many years I did not understand how his quest for truth and understanding are an important part of who he is; that in dismissing that, I was failing to appreciate the man he is.

There was a time when I could truthfully say that this man, this partner of many years, my anchor, my love, would have a difficult time having to choose which to save first out of a burning building, his books or his wife.

I can say that no more. In the newness of our 31 year relationship I know that he loves me more than his books. And I love him, his mind and his desire for truth more than . . .