Updated: May 15, 2021
I love these old grapevines entangled in giant bur oaks. They're thick and firmly entwined enough to have lasted for many decades now since I first saw them. They draw resources from ground, air and sun, producing their fruit far out of reach among high, heavy branches. The old oaks seem not to mind them hanging on at all and they may even be cooperating in some synergistic manner, unlike my previous marriages which were both entanglements of one-sided nature, sucking greedily from my body and soul without reciprocating in any form or fashion for personal effort expended, much less any level of love or the slightest devotion.
But unlike this lasting give-and-take relationship between vine and tree which has obviously enhanced the lives of both, the parasitic marriages failed from poisoning–both easily, cheaply terminated without use of lawyers and without the slightest contest from either ex. They both knew full well how they had brazenly used me up to the point I had nothing more to give, shoving me away after being squeezed for as much sweat and strength as possible.
Fortunately neither of them were ever able to extract blood or life force from me, though both tried mightily to do so. And in that sense the experiences turned out to be valuable as lessons in life for me, even though neither brought any trace of personal joy whatsoever.
Now I can sense threat of inequitable entanglements before it's too late and have no problem avoiding them, no longer so foolishly trusting as I was in youth when I still hoped too much to share deeply in love and devotion for mutual enhancement of life rather than being stalked, trapped, used ruthlessly and then heartlessly discarded out of hand.