How intact are your illusions?
September 27, 2018

Katie and MomDo you have a photograph that calls up a memory so perfectly it takes your breath away? I do. It’s this one, from the summer of 2009. That’s me, on the right -- standing next to Katie in the fountain at Washington Square Park in Manhattan.

There’s a name for what you see on my face, and it’s happiness. I was in my favorite city in the world, standing next to my favorite person in the world, looking at my other favorite person in the world -- Darrell, who was taking the photo -- and all was right with the world.

Darrell loves this photo so much it’s the background on his computer, which I mention only to tell you how often he says I look exactly the same to him -- nine years later. Why mention that? Because it illustrates why our marriage, and maybe yours, has endured. It’s a little something called the power of positive illusions.

You don’t have to look very far to find people burning up years of their lives defending their political opinions. Why not spend a fraction of that time dwelling on what you love about the people you love?

It reminds me of a greeting card I saw once, two newlyweds gazing out from the tiny deck off their tiny apartment. I can’t remember how they could see their reflection. The glassy surface of a calm lake, perhaps? But it was the two of them, a prince and a princess, gazing out from their castle.

Life is what you make it.