Beauty and the Beast

Dani Shapiro, whose writing I like very much, has a new book out, entitled “Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage” – a memoir which is being highly praised as a compassionate, intimate account of her long-term marriage, written in elegant prose. The words elegant prose have definitely captured my attention, so I’m eager to read it and plan to begin this afternoon. I never tire of well-written memoirs.

This morning, while puttering around the house, I turned on the Bette MIdler Pandora Radio station. Peter won’t be home for a few hours and I’ve developed this habit of turning on music – sometimes quite loud – when he’s gone, and singing my heart out. The habit seemed to evolve quite naturally, and is for me, total fun. It’s also a great stress reducer. Singing helped me to endure adolescence with my psychopathic narcissistic father; now it helps me to escape for a while from the realities of living in a country with a psychopathic narcissist as president. Just sayin’.

“Beauty and the Beast” is a Walt Disney movie that perhaps many of you have seen, and the music is beautiful. I particularly love the theme song of the same name, so when Pandora bellowed it through my house, I joined in. The lyrics by Howard Elliott Ashman  are a perfect fit for describing my view of successful marital therapy. Take a look at a few verses: “Tale as old as time, true as it can be. Barely even friends, then somebody bends unexpectedly…both a little scared, neither one prepared…bittersweet and strange, finding you can change, learning you were wrong.” Lovely, isn’t it? I’ve been retired for two years now, and from this vantage point, when I look back over the years I was a marital therapist, I’m often reminded of what a privilege and joy it was to witness those tender, often powerful moments of healing between a couple. “…Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the beast.”


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