No real prevailing sentiments about the way of the world lately, no supercharged literary or media experiences. I've been putting together the 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of life these past few weeks, been way overworked and underslept and overall just have kept the energy small and necessary. This is the first time I think I've lifted my head from the searching for and careful placing of pieces numbered 577 - 600.
Some thoughts on marriage: some people get married. More people these days are not marrying at all or choosing to wait... sometimes for an arbitrary time, sometimes based on tangential events (homebuying, childbearing, [un]employment). Like I try to do with most things, I reserve judgment on this one. I don't care when or if you get married, I really can't say I care what your ring looks like, but I will come to your wedding and probably will weep a little at the ceremony. Hell, I'll even perform the ceremony for you and your partner if you'd like :-) I will itemize my sentiments to the best of my ability:
- I have witnessed people getting married for reasons other than what I believe marriage to be for. I think marriage can be a whole host of things, from a declaration to commit to the person you have chosen (barring ideas of "true love" and "the one"), to an economic arrangement, to a lifelong experiment, renewed daily. To me the trouble arises when someone looks to the Wedding as a day that will mark a change in the relationship, when someone looks to the Marriage as something different than the Relationship they're already in. This is dangerous!! It is a recipe for deezaster! Maybe not certain doom, but certain disappoinment no doubt.
- While witnessing a beautiful, sincere, and perfectly pulled off low-maintenance wedding a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I felt myself breaking out into hives at the thought of ever having to do what they were doing. The socialized me said "shame on you! don't you want to get married someday?" and the itchy me said "HELL NO INEVERWANTTODOTHISEVEREVEREVEREVER." The truth lies somewhere in between.
- I could not get up in front of a crowd of people and declare my love for the idea of a person, which I think is where the scared voice was coming from (not that they were doing this at the wedding - Basonge and Gina, your wedding was spectacular and I was honored to be there). That to me is where the fallacy of some weddings gets my goat. I can't get up there and be all light and no shadow. I hold both, because each complements the other. HILARIOUS TANGENT: Ayano told me that he and Taina were talking, having a hypothetical conversation about a hypothetical wedding. He said something about not wanting groomsmen but instead wanting bridesmaids, because we all know about the collective of wonderful, strong women he holds dear. Taina responded, "See Daddy, this is why Amelia will never marry you because you have all these WOMEN around you." He laughed. I laughed when he told me the story. The girl is wise.
- My relationship is my practice. That is how I approach it. That is what has made it successful, if you measure success by longevity and a considerable level of respect, humor, passion, and comfort. I love yoga. I would practice yoga daily if I had the time (I must! in there somewhere...) and inclination (which shows up more like 3 times a week...). I would meditate every day if the same qualities of time and inclination were there... but guess what!? My relationship has been and continues to be a daily practice in my life. I am not perfect, he is not perfect, there is not some other perfect ideal out there for me. I work with whatever feelings come up: fear, bliss, anger, frustration, confusion, elation, passion, lust, desire, whatever. They are there to be observed and explored, and I have been lucky enough to be with someone who (most of the time) can be present and just let me have my experience. All along, even during the most confusing times, there has been a voice deep down that has simply directed me to "stay." My mind may be swirling, my body may be fighting or fleeing, but the voice, somewhere below my heart yet above my belly (I believe that's the 'self') says "stay."
- So I could get up in some kind of fancy dress and talk about my practice, and hear about how being with me is also a practice, and I could get up and say to everyone that I am choosing formally to commit to the practice of the relationship for my own sake, for our sake, for the sake of our families, for the sake of the community. I could do that. And then I could keep practicing... ad infinitum. I might wear a ring, but I probably won't because I'm just not a big jewelry person. And I'm definitely not going to do the macarena.