It has been an interesting ride for both of us. Relationships are such a learning curve. In that first rush of love we are overcome with the sheer beauty of our own idealized projection. Of course that projection is a disastrous set up, interpreted through the lens of desire, convoluted experience, belief and even disappointments. We interpret our mate and are astoundingly surprised to discover that they aren't what we expected. Well duh! Then if you are lucky, you can take off the barricades of expectation and begin to see the imperfect beauty of life unfolding in your partner. You can get to know who the other person is, again and again and in context you glimpse your own true face. It isn't easy. It is prickly, uncomfortable and rewarding. At times my own fear of self and other loom so large that I ache for an escape with obsessive tenacity. At others, my heart opens and I can see past the wall of self and love shines. And although I have long abandoned my hallmark view of love, I believe it has been replaced by a more encompassing view that commands the sacrifice of my fear to really reap its bounty.