Mary talks…about love
Mary talks … about love
«…Love affair – Mary and Alec – how it hap- pened:
«I had married at the age of 26 in 1955 to a begin- ning doctor, an internist at Yale Medical
School. We had met while he was an undergrad at Yale and fell in love through his training at
Yale Medical School. By 41 I was single. He had become an alcoholic, a large factor in our
marriage ending. From 41-46 I was free and unsure that I would ever marry again.
A very good friend, Donald Tirrell, was one of a group of us in psychoanalysis in N.Y.C with
Erlo van Waveren, a very exceptional analyst we were each fortunate to have found. We were into
the work on the “Self” for the long haul. I had met Donald in my days at Yale. He had a
farm not far from N.Y.C in New York State. He was a set designer in his career but more
deeply interested in psychological work than anything else. Donald had grown enormously from his
years of analysis with Erlo. He called me one time to ask if I could come up and help him
ana- lyze the dreams of the young people who came to him each weekend. I had become an
analyst myself by that time and said yes, I would come to help him.
I was 46 at the time. One of the group coming to Donald’s was Alec Martin who was 28 at the time.
In the intermission time, I talked to Alec in Don- ald’s kitchen where Donald had prepared
home baked bread for the group. I heard Alec’s English accent. He was born in Lancashire,
England. My oldest sister had married an Englishman from York- shire and so we had lots to talk
about. At the end of the dream analysis, the whole group of us sat at a long rectangular
table, had tea and each one of the group who were into music at the time (Alec was) took
time to perform either instrumentally or vo- cally. Alec was writing his own songs at that
time. When it came to his turn, he couldn’t sing a note that day. Something blocked him.
Next we all walked to a chapel on the prop- erty before each one of the group went his
or her own way. Donald had made a beautiful chapel with stained glass windows at either end and
Elizabethan music piped in for us to enjoy as we sat there. The barn had been a cow barn. Where
there was now an altar and flowers, had been the pit where baby cows had been born over many
years. Alec sat alone in the back. The pews were long wooden boards, the high- est at the back,
lower each row until even with the
pit at the bottom. It was a naturally beautiful space.
Donald had many requests for marriages to be held there. A year later, at Thanksgiving time,
Alec and I stood together alone in that pit and married each other. Out of no preparation, no
intention we both spoke the words “I marry you.” That was in 1977.
What had happened to make that happen?..»
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