Sunday, March 29, 2009

Not A Problem To Be Solved

The Los Gatos Creek is bursting with flowers at this time of year, including the beloved California Poppies. Today's weather was perfect: the blue sky, and warm sun transformed a just-slightly-brisk 66 degrees F (19C) into springtime air that was like being kissed continually.

Like most days recently, this morning I went for a long walk, ending up at my favourite coffee house. Besides the coffee, I enjoyed a very pleasant conversation there with my "best acquaintance", and subsequently enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the Campbell Farmer's Market.

And while heading back to my apartment, I noticed that I was happy. In particular, I was not worried about the future of my marriage.

The moment seemed so rare that I had to explore it, even while smiling and singing happy, silly songs to myself. What about Tigs? Was I still thinking about her? Well yes. I found that I still missed her, hoped to see her again and, it's true, can't see myself with another woman until this all gets settled. But in this moment it was not a source of anxiety, fear or worry. I was just happy to be who I was, where I was, at this very moment.

What about you, dear reader, can you be happy right now despite all the problems in your life.

I had an insight years ago that I often need to remind myself of: life is not a problem to be solved.

Friday, March 27, 2009

"I See Your Tears"

Here is part of another song I came up with this Thursday morning during my walk.  I was trying to really imagine what it would be like to finally make the decision to divorce E.

Verse 1

I see your tears I know
there's only one thing I can do.
And that's to make it clear
that I must say goodbye to you.

When the words are spoken
and the papers have been drawn,
You know our lives aren't over
and the family will go on.

To tell myself "It doesn't mean that much"
is nothing but a lie.
I don't need to deceive myself
in order to get by.

Sign on the dotted line.

And step into a future
full of uncertain time.

The days and nights together
are already at an end.
So now let's make it legal
and move on.

And here's just a fragment of another verse:
I'll take the unknown future
with the trials that it brings.
Step out into adventure
and stretch my wings.

No, it's not a pretty picture is it?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It Was a Little Awkward When ...

It was a little awkward when the pharmacy called my house and left a message with my wife that they had received insurance approval for the renewal of my Viagra prescription. E and I have been separated for 8 months ...

I'm not sure what she believes. The fact is that I'm not seeing anybody else, nor do I plan to do so until we resolve the future of our marriage. But I do want to lay in a reasonable stockpile ...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ewwww! (#2)

Breaking up with E
Is like a long, slow, painful,
Bowel movement (ick!)

Where the damn'd turd is
Bigger than me.  Or maybe
I am the big turd?

Monday, March 23, 2009


For any readers just joining us, my wife E and I have been separated for 8 months. In an effort get myself off the fence and toward a decision about our future, I've been trying to plumb the depths of my feelings for her. One way is to review how I once felt, so this is another post celebrating memories.  See also Wedding Day.


That first cold night it wasn't clear
Which of the girls that I should woo.
All three were right, and each so near
All three were pearls but I chose you.

And yet it took me several weeks
To hear your voice upon the phone.
Guess you were spooked by my technique
Or tacky choice of men's cologne?

But finally, when we stood in line
For tickets to see "Superman"
It didn't seem like any time!
It eased through my attention span.

I'd meet you at your job at Sears
We'd take our lunches to the creek
Collecting rocks for souvenirs
A "rocky start", or so to speak.

Just two months later, we agree,
While risking what we didn't dare
I asked if you would marry me
In the back seat of your Corvair.

The church a big part of our life,
The Spirit and the Bible True.
Our pastors and the elder's wife
Asking, "What would Jesus do?"

So when the day at last arrived
To fill the largest church in town
You knew that I was circumcised
But never heard of "going down."

Apollo Unchained -- March 2009

Yes, it's true. E and I had wonderful long make-out sessions, and even fooled around a bit, but did not have sex until our wedding night.

Image Credits:

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wedding Day


Kyra is one of my favorite bloggers, and it made a big impression on me last year when she wrote a very moving piece about the blissful times when she and her husband first fell in love.

Besides being a lovely, sexy story, beautifully written, I was a little surprised that she could revisit those days when their love was fresh and yet still come back to squarely face the serious issues in their marriage today.  As I said, it made a big impression on me and I told myself then that I should try to write seriously about my wife E.

But until now in "Apollo's Fire" I have not said much about E on a personal level. As I look at my current list of tags, the most frequent are "Tiggy" and "Marriage": I've talked a lot about Tigs and a lot about the precarious state of my marriage but not so much about E herself. 

My main life goal at present is to make a choice: will E and I divorce or not? And before I opt for divorce I want to try every path that might rekindle my feelings for her. And then if they don't reignite, we can at least celebrate the feelings we've had. Our wedding day is a good place to start.

Wedding Day

I stood in rented elegance
By the altar
At the cross

Six men helped me hold my stance
Not to falter
At the cost

On my right six ladies fair
Bridal sisters
Satin clothes

Fresh cut flowers in their hair
To assist her
"Plight her troth."

Down the aisle a sea of faces
Great and small they
Came to see

Here to bless us by their graces
Here to weigh

Sunlight streamed through glasses stained
By the colors
Of the saints

This day for which we all had strained
Fathers, mothers,
None did faint.

And time for me stood still
In that slow, careful moment
When the oak door stood aside
And down the aisle
one hundred yards
Of faces
To look at you.

I saw.
Your face shone,
Standing graced on father's arm.
Did the wind blow
Gently through your veil?
Or did an angel sigh?

My weakened knees began to bend,
Beauty more than
I could bear.

And so I leaned upon my friend.
He, my best man,
Gave me care.

And so the wedding march began
Heaven guiding,
Down to me.

Down the aisle to take my hand.
You came gliding
Setting free.

I remember oh so clearly
All your beauty,
charm and grace.

Even how I loved you dearly
Love I could see
in your face.

Back in nineteen seventy-nine
No one faltered,
No one lost.

Our lives since have been intertwined
By the altar
At the cross.

Apollo Unchained -- March 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

"I Wish I Was There For You"

On my morning walks lately I've been trying to capture whatever fragments of poetry or song that I come up with.  Lately I have been listening to a lot of Al Green and it's been putting me in more of a soul/R&B frame of mind than usual.  So here's what I came up with this morning.

There's just one verse.  Think R&B ballad, tempo around 78.

I wish I was there for you,
But you don't want me around.
I wish I could help you through,
But you don't need me now.

I could hold you in my arms
For at least an hour or two each day.
I could take your hand and tell you
All the things I want to say.

But now those days are over
And only God knows when
I'm ever gonna be with you
(Be with you) Again.

Apollo Unchained -- March 20 2009

I know, Rev. Al it's not ...

By the way, here are some of my favorite Al Green songs:
  • Take Me To The River (1974)
  • Love and Happiness (1972)
  • Here I Am (1973)
He does plenty of other great songs but these are three favorites which he wrote or co-wrote. Besides his own creativity and outstanding performances, the 1970s Hi Records tracks feature tight arrangements that totally kick ass. The horn stabs on "Here I Am" drive me nuts.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

On St. Paddy's Day ...

I'm not Irish.  I'm not Catholic.  And I'm not in favor of terrorist national liberation movements.

But I'm off to my local Irish pub, wearing a green shirt, on this St. Patrick's Day.  Is it the height of hypocrisy?

No!  It's because my apartment is boring, even with my new Al Green collection playing.

Even Tigs is blogging from her current favorite watering hole, bless her sweet heart.

So before I go, here's a tidbit from Wikipedia ...

Did you know?  According to legend, St. Patrick used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish.

This does not surprise me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Doors of Imagination: An Update

I started this series on Doors over a year ago. Imagining various scenarios helped me to begin thinking seriously about changing my life situation. 

In real life my pace of change has been remarkably slow. I'm not sure that's bad, but I do think it's time for an update.

Our Story So Far

Cock Robin and the laundress Ms. Tiggy Winkle become lovers after she cleans his pocket handkin.  Their time together is glorious, but after a few months Ms. Winkle realizes that married birds are not for her.  She goes her way, sadly but with conviction.

Cock Robin, pining for Tiggy, becomes acutely aware of his desire to leave the sweet and unsuspecting Mrs. Cock Robin to fly south with another bird.  Not being one for rash action, he does nothing.  Yet his passive-aggressive side steps in, increasing the emotional distance between Mrs. Robin and him as he leaves increasingly explicit hints that all is not well in the Robin love nest.

Mrs Cock Robin is confused by the changes in her big bird. And when she stumbles across a bill for $4.53 to the veterinarian for services that appear to be for a vasectomy she becomes suspicious.

Even while Robin lingers on the fence, the situation he has created begins to move of its own accord.  One night, as he comes to bed in the wee hours, Mrs Robin, wakeful, turns and asks, "Have you been unfaithful?"  Stunned only momentarily, he silently gives thanks and seizes this opportunity for truth.   "Yes."

The details of what happens next are told elsewhere but, in short, Cock Robin is soon out of the comfy familial nest, living by himself on the bare branch of an oak tree near the Los Gatos Creek.

Door Zero: The Mother of All Doors

Cock Robin awakes with a headache, his eyes blurred.  Was it the gin?  Or was it the wine?  Or just not enough sleep.  He squints to see the clock.  The iPod is playing his wake-up call, and he gives thanks for Steve Jobs.

Robin fluffs his feathers and hops out onto the adjacent trail, thankful once again to find a nest in such a convenient place.  When he first settled here he would run the trail, flying down its pathways.  But this year's cold winter kept him indoors too long -- now he walks, rebuilding the strength and flexibility in his knees and calves. 

He feels acutely the loss of his home, his wife, so many of his friends, and so much of the life he had constructed.  But Robin's only thought is of moving forward.  Maybe too slowly and too carefully, but forward nonetheless.  It's a hopeful determination.  Grim sometimes and not attractive, but he knows there is no choice but to see it through.

Returning to the apartment, he folds his wings and steps through the door.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


She and I of different tribes,
Differ by the truth subscribed.

Hers to Aphrodite pray.
Mine? Apollo! All the way!

Her tribe, brightly feathered, dance
gay Paeans to the goddess fair.

Mine just get a cash advance
and Idolize a billionaire.

Hers, in secret glade they kneel
to Ancient rituals recall.

Mine, in towers of glass and steel
Define "truth" Once and For All.

and While in wisdom spirits grow
by Making charts and casting cards

We get by on what we know
and Send our rockets to the stars.

From polished sands
To tree-filled lands
Our peoples vie!
They misapply
the lessons of ten thousand years:
A witch is just an engineer.

Apollo Unchained, March 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Season of Change Comes to Apollo's Fire

A new season of change has come to my life, and "Apollo's Fire" is not exempt.

Regular readers will notice something of a new look: the fonts are a little larger and more readable.  The layout is brighter, and more cheerful I think.  I've updated the blog description. And you may notice that the blogroll is gone.

"What, no Blogroll?"

The blogosphere includes many interesting blogs about marital infidelity and they cover a wide range of opinions and attitudes.  "Apollo's Fire" was, of course, born in the midst of my own extra-marital love affair and I found it very helpful to read what others had to say on the subject.  And yet I was surprised when someone characterized this blog as representing my "adventures in adultery". The implication seemed to be that I was embarking on a lifestyle of deception and multiple partners.

But I had never intended it that way, not in the sense of recording multiple liaisons or reveling in a long-term deception of my wife, E. But I can see how it gave this impression. My own actions could be interpreted in this light, and my blogroll contained a long list of role models doing exactly that.

And yet my favorite bloggers are simply those who write well, think clearly and creatively, have a sense of humor, are concerned about moral issues but who, like me, have found their marriage so unfulfilling sexually that they have decided to take action (or fantasize) and do something about it.  With someone else. But I don't think this was sufficiently clear from the blogroll.

So removing the blogroll is part of repositioning "Apollo's Fire". I'm not trying to sanitize the blog, or rewrite history. But I do want "Apollo's Fire" to better represent who I am right now.

So who is this Apollo?

I'm a married guy who is no longer in love with his wife. We've been separated nearly 8 months, and we have been seeing a counselor together throughout that time. At first I wondered if I would have a "come to Jesus" moment and fall back in love with E. But it hasn't happened so far. Neither the bolt of lightning. So it's time to stop holding my breath.

Sometimes change does come by itself. Sometimes it comes riding by and we simply jump up behind the saddle. But other times we have to go out hunting for it, seize it, and make it happen.

That's where I'm at right now and I want to focus on it. I never considered "Apollo's Fire" an "adultery blog", it has always been blog about personal change. Well, ok, it was about sex too. But right now it's time to concentrate on change.

And what about our Blog Community?

I'll still be around and I'll still be reading your excellent blogs. Not as much as last year perhaps, but as much as practicalities allow.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Moving Furniture

Construction begins today (Monday) on our remodeling project.

I got home to my apartment Sunday night exhausted from packing and moving furniture.  Some of the heavier pieces I did by myself at the end of the day -- E was gone to dinner with "the girls".  Kids C and D were off in their own eccentric orbits.

But it gave me pleasure to perform these solitary tasks.  

The grandfather clock that belonged to my great-grandfather is over 200 years old, made around the same time as the American Revolution.  In my youth it stood resolute, stern and untouchable in my parent's house.  Now, with my own hands, I open the case, remove the pendulum and unhook the weights.  Pull the case away from the wall to open the back, carefully slide the top case forward and gently lower it to the floor.  The delicate clock mechanism is now fully revealed atop the main case.  Slide it forward and off.

The main case is still almost as tall as I am.  Gripping it in a gentle bear hug I lift it onto a dolly and wheel it to the garage door.  Then another bear hug -- down the two steps and over to the place by the wall where it should remain during construction.

The TV was heavier and more difficult -- it's going upstairs and I can only lift one end at a time.  I slide it off the stand and onto the dolly.  Three feet later it's off the dolly, up one step, and sliding across the smooth floor to the stairs.  And then, step by step, carefully lifting and pushing, up the carpeted stairs until I reach the top.

It's slow, but I am patient.  I've learned that a man can accomplish amazing, unthinkable things by just beginning and taking step after step after step, no matter how small.  Soon the massive stand follows the TV up the stairs.  It gives me pleasure, peace, and a sense of empowerment to do these things alone.  It may be slow, but the job is done.

Finally I'm looking around the empty downstairs of my house, where I no longer live, appreciating the metaphor.  My house is being emptied and rebuilt.  In the process we've found a lot of dust and cobwebs, places we should have cleaned a long time ago.  But it was easier to let things stay as they were.  Now the time for change has come.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Change is on ...

In January I mentioned that, even though we're separated, it's very important to me to complete a home remodeling project I've started with my wife E.  Well, construction starts tomorrow (Monday).  It's taken a lot to get here and there's a lot more to go, but it's been a valuable process in many ways.

  • E has really stepped up and taken on responsibilities that previously she would have left to me.  This makes me feel a lot better about her ability to function independently if we divorce.
  • Despite our separation and my pulling away from her emotionally, I think the fact that I'm still heavily engaged in this project has reassured her to some extent (and the kids too) I'm not going to completely abandon her.
  • In order to prepare for the remodeling there's been a lot of sorting, packing, and throwing away, especially of my own stuff and accumulated memorabilia. This would have to be done eventually as part of a permanent separation or divorce, so doing it all in the context of something much less emotional ("remodeling") has actually been a relief. 
  • There have been many lessons in sorting through nearly 30 years of accumulated stuff.  Here's a thing that at first I found painful: cards from E where she tells me how much she loves me.  She writes beautifully -- if anything would rekindle our marriage this would be it -- and yet.  I love her too, and yet I still feel, very strongly, the need to move on from our relationship.
Of all the things on my "new years" plans for 2009, the one item I'm really failing at is "Tiggy: I can't continue obsessing over her."  Well a big part of each day is still spent thinking of her and missing her.  A new feature, which I'm not pleased with, is that recently my confidence has been faltering.  It's the whole "I don't know what she sees in me" thing.  I know these are not constructive, helpful thoughts --  I blame the weather.

Tigs, you so rock.  "There's times it seems so clear, times the fog is dense."  Thank you for always speaking truth.