The Inverse of Spoon: A Writer Wednesday Post

October 10th, 2012 | Posted by Irene in Essays


Thirty Year Spoon, photo
and all text ⓒ Irene O’Garden

To listen to this post, please click here:The Inverse of Spoon

One day last month, while eating a bowl of oatmeal, I slit the inside of my lip.

I felt that infantile fury, shock and unfairness we feel when pain comes out of nowhere, when all ordinary precautions of life have been taken, yet something goes awry. Whole-grain danger? In our very mouths? Looking at the spoon above I understood.

Thirty years ago yesterday, on our wedding day, nestled in a chest with the rest of the set, sat this soup spoon, brand-new. We decided not to save our silver “for good,” but to use it every day. Thirty years spooning oatmeal, chili, soup with this spoon. Thirty years soaping and rinsing and wiping it dry.

I realized we have lived together long enough to wear down our spoons. What cut me was the glorious thinning edge of commitment.

In its capacity to deliver both nourishment and pain, marriage is a knife-edged spoon. But as the gauze of years unwinds, as intention and love become more refined,  marriage becomes the inverse of the spoon that bit me.

The knife-edge dulls, subsides to mere accident, like a scratch of your spouse’s unclipped nail. The measure of the bowl expands and deepens, holding and offering health, awareness, joy.  A spoon that shines even when empty.

This week my love and I celebrate thirty sterling years of spooning together.  While marriage may not be for everyone, we can’t help congratulating and encouraging all the young couples we meet. We’ve become our own proverb–a wish for a long marriage: May your spoons grow thin in your mouths.

Beaming Nuptials, 1982
photo by David Dosh









Thirty Years: Oct 9, 2012
taken by our dinner server



If you were a proverb what would it be?

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  • sasha

    Happy Anniversary!

    • Dear Sasha, warm thanks!

  • mark

    happy anniversary! with all the love we have inside Mark and Thomas!

    • That’s a heap o’love! Thanks from the two of us to the two of you, dearies!

  • Debbie Phillips

    And, it is almost my 10-year, life-changing anniversary of meeting you. Thank you, beautiful Irene, for these dazzling posts that light up of my week! Congratulations to you and your handsome man.

    • How nice to hear from you Debbie! Ten-years–wow. So glad you’re enjoying the blog. Please let me know if there’s anyone you want me to pop on my weekly link-list– Warmly–I

  • Ann

    How lovely to share! (We wish we could be there to give you hugs! Thanks for your story

    • Your lovely marriage is an inspiration to us all, dear Ann!

  • Scott

    How lucky I am to remember the glory of the two of you standing on those stairs. I knew then that you were creating a magic that is greater than any two people treading the boards alone. Thank you, both, for sharing all of your silver (and gold and platinum) with the world and not keeping the good stuff locked away.

    • Ah, Fella, you truly knew us when!

  • gloria grieve

    Dearest Irene and John,
    I send my fondest Greetings and Best Wishes for 30 years of celebrations. Missed seeing you this year and getting caught up on your many talents. Read your messages with great anticipation.
    Mental hugs Gloria

    • Dear Gloria–many thanks! We miss you!

  • giom

    …may there be no fork in the road in your playful walk together…congratulations to you both…

  • Congratulations, Irene! John is a lucky man!

    • Thanks, Laura–hope your trip went well–

  • Vay

    One magic day that led to total enchantment. Love you both so!

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