The house is a wreck. Clothes are strewn all over the bedroom, Jeremy’s suitcases lie open empty on the unmade bed, papers cover the piano, music is randomly piled all over our living room, my suitcase from my jaunt to Italy is half unpacked and awaits a repacking for my trip tomorrow. I found myself saying to a singer who came to work with Jeremy today, "I'm sorry - I promise, we don't really live like this." Jeremy is trying to fit in his final coachings before he relocates to the Washington, DC area for a summer of work at Wolf Trap Opera. I leave for Oregon tomorrow for a weekend of Carmina Burana with the Oregon Symphony. What makes this trip unusual for me is that instead of coming home to an eager, excited, smiling Jeremy like I usually do, I will come home to an empty apartment next week. We both stare down what seems like a long tunnel of time apart, not looking forward to feeling lonely for each other.
I recently rented the DVD of HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me, a show about four couples in various stages of their relationships. Being a thought-provoking program, it prompted some domestic debating. Relaxing on the couch, watching the pilot episode with Jeremy, we got to talking about the biggest issue that repeatedly causes tension in our relationship – our working schedules. It is almost impossible for us to feel that we get enough time with each other. It’s something we struggle with constantly, and while we have our rules about seeing each other, it never feels adequate. Either I am on the road or he is at work most of the day and night if I am home. We blame each other at times, or we blame ourselves, or both. It leads to endless frustration.
We do make some progress, though. This is our passion, and we are blessed to be able to call it our vocation and make a living at it, let alone work at the wonderful places we have the opportunities to work. With that blessing comes a bit of a price, it seems, but in the end is it much more of a price than anyone else pays? Most of us have to go to work and have what seem like endless responsibilities that tear us away from our loved one at various times. The plus side is that we get to experience the sweetness of reuniting that much more frequently.