Reflections on a Conscious Life
Cradle of Wisdom
Goodbye to Temptation
Dolphin Magic: Hunting the Dream
A Wide World of Water
Watsu: Spiritual Therapy
Journey to the Source
Green River Hubris
Pebbles in the Stream
Writing to Heal
Taste of Fame
A Tale of Two Marriages
Sense of Place
Bear Creek is a little stream trickling along the Mesa Trail in the foothills near my Boulder home. It sings its placid song down a steep grade, then pools in a wider spot near the trail. With shade from the pine forest and smooth rocks for seats, this bend in the creek is a welcome resting place on the seven-mile hike from Chautauqua Park to El Dorado Springs. Small pebbles and smooth river rocks shine in the creek bed, clearly illumined in summer sun. Short gusts of wind ruffle the pool’s surface. Wavelets pop up, then flow back, as the stream hurries on down the hill.
This creek is a metaphor for my life’s episodes, times in which experiences form, emerge, crest, and dissipate, making way for the next memorable event. Like waves and currents in the stream, these experiences appear discrete, separate in themselves. But they are not. Waves come, then go, and they are always really just water. Similarly, even the most significant personal events are simply segments of the larger stream of a lifetime. The events pass, but their memories remain. Beneath the current in Bear Creek, smooth pebbles drop and linger on the bottom of the stream, just like our memories.
This book recounts my own shining pebbles, turning points that changed the direction of this life. For the past twenty years, I’ve been writing about straight spouse recovery. Originally, I wrote to understand and heal my own wounds by documenting the experiences of others in mixed-orientation marriages. My books and blog and documentary reveal pivotal crises and recovery stories of dozens of other people in this situation. My own history as a straight spouse mirrors theirs, though I habitually avoided disclosing much personal information.
In the early days, there were few books on this taboo topic, but not so, today. People who find themselves in mixed-orientation partnerships now have many resources for help. The internet is rich with online support groups and non-profit organizations that serve straight spouse needs. I’ve done what I could in the field, and it is satisfying to know that I tried to increase understanding and bring comfort to readers. Now, that work is coming to a close. At last, it feels appropriate to explore my own turning points in greater detail, episodes previously only suggested in my poetry.
I titled this more personal book Turnings, because each chapter focuses on a pivotal event that turned my life in a different direction. It offers brief glimpses of experiences that replay repeatedly in my reverie. These memories are my significant pebbles, still lying on the bottom of life’s stream. Finally, I can reach through time and retrieve them, wet and gleaming in the sunshine of peaceful aging. May the insights of each be useful.
-- Carol Grever