James and I met in Seattle, Washington, in 1996. We’ve been together ever since and we continue to establish how well matched we are. Some of the stories are told in previous years’ blogs, so why reiterate when I can link back? But…
The way I (Dena) was attracted to James in the beginning was a solid foundation for where we’ve come together. Smart, focused iconoclast with a strong fuck-it tendency and a stronger give-a-shit? Sign me up. Here we are, that much closer year by year to our best selves in great part because James and I work together. My ethical bright lines and James’ energy for getting to the right side of history; James’ deep and thorough musical knowledge and appreciation and my scattered and strong tastes; my hunger for his presence, his body and James’…
And Dena, the person on this planet I (James) love the most! Her clarity, her passion, her hunger for adventure. Her willingness to learn and experience everything as it comes makes and keeps me the person I have always wanted to be. Her joy, intelligence and presence are my inspirations and have been for almost three decades now!
…And then there’s the music we created together. Not just the harmonies of the bodies and the swells of our emotions but the actual notes from things that inspired us. We bought a digital recording studio on the Big Island of Hawaii at a garage sale for a few bucks (that we could have bought some food with…talk about poor in paradise, word!), we taped the lyrics we loved to the cinder brick walls and marine-grade plywood bulkheads and wrote a bunch of songs around those words, then we made up some more words and adopted those that Dena’s dad had been writing and added more music to those inspirations and put up some songs online for the world to hear. They, the world have…still are… When you put yourself out there, sometimes they hear, sometimes they don’t , sometimes they do. Can you?
The years…wow 27 of them with her and I all in a row. We met, we got those “Expensive Dreams” (have we told you this story? it’s ridiculously funny), we made them our own, and then we went sailing…
We discovered each other along the way, then that way, and this way.
We discovered another way to do the things without cars and trucks, then without engines of any kind, but always together. Discovering each other first.
Now on October 25th, 2023, 27 years into each other, we rediscover a world under sail, under us, under our terms together.
So once again…
We hereby declare the promises we have made one another. We invite you all to witness and take part in this celebration of our love.
We promise to work at loving each other.
We promise to take care of each other when we need it, to leave each other alone when we need it, and to ask when we do not know which is needed.
We promise to communicate our needs to the best of our abilities.
We promise to remember that we are individuals.
We promise to weigh each other’s wishes before making decisions concerning each other.
We promise to try to know each other to the fullest extent possible in each phase of growth and change.
We promise to keep these promises fresh and relevant and to keep our love young and new.That was us, October 25, 1998
A windy, rainy day spent working on this, looking at the photos of our lives together, was a perfect way to spend our anniversary. We walked through the rain to sushi and red wine and then walked home so very deeply connected.
I (Dena) love James.
I (James) love Dena.