Thursday, October 02, 2008

No, Listen--!

No, listen--!

Marriage is wonderful. It really, truly is.

Of all the many wonderful and miraculous things that I've experienced in my life, from the smell of clover in my six-year-old nose to the sound that a good dog makes settling at my feet by a fire, the best, the absolute most wonderful and beautiful best thing of all is being married to Peter.

I know--not exactly interesting to those of you who are not married to Peter. I'm sorry. But to those of you who are also married well, caught up also in a deep spring of love with your spouse, isn't it the truth? What is more worth the price of admission than this?

To those of you who do not know if there is a God or any gods, or who believe that the universe is flat and without life or meaning, let me say this: I can't prove to you that God exists or that Spirit exists, any more than I can prove to you that there is a difference between what is so cloyingly (but correctly) known as True Love and its simulacrum: convenient companionship and habit.

But, oh, there is a difference, and once you have tasted it, you understand forever that miracles are real, miracles are important, and if we could bring the world into proper focus and see it truly, we would be shouting aloud with joy every moment.

Admittedly, that would be loud and distracting, so maybe it's better that we can't keep our miracles in that kind of focus, and that the trivia of everyday life breaks through the gnosis of love with laundry, trash, alarm clocks, and bills.

But, oh, friends--do not settle for almost-love, and do not settle for almost-God. Let life sweep you off your feet. Wait. Be patient. Hold out your arms, open them wide in trust and love, and don't close them on anything but the miracle, anything except the Real Thing.

What brings this up for me tonight? Just the angle of the evening light, I suppose; the taste of a cup of coffee my beloved brewed me just because I am tired.

And I've been reading about marriage and love in a wonderful book, Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, and recognizing love in its pages; and reading there, too, an excerpt from another wonderful book about love, A.S. Byatt's Possession:
"What is it? My dear?"
"Ah, how can we bear it?"
"Bear what?"
"This. For so short a time. How can we sleep this time away?"
"We can be quiet together, and pretend--since it is only the beginning--that we have all the time in the world."
"And every day we shall have less. And then none."
"Would you rather, therefore, have had nothing at all?"
"No. This is where I have always been coming to. Since my time began. And when I go away from here, this will be the mid-point, to which everything ran, before, and from which everything will run. But now, my love, we are here, we are now, and those other times are running elsewhere."
It breaks my heart, to know this music will one day end. All that lets me bear it is the knowledge others can hear the music, too--and that I know that the Light that shaped us both in love will continue on, long ages after we are gone.

My heart was made to love. My heart was made, as all human hearts must be, to break. And it is well.


Anonymous said...

"It breaks my heart, to know this music will one day end.…"

In one of Ursula K. LeGuin's books (I'm pretty sure it's "The Dispossessed") one of the protagonists says something like:

"The sun will go out one day. What else keeps it shining?"


Francis sirfr AT earthlink DOT net

Erik said...

Only the knowledge that there are others who can hear it, too, and the Light that shines on us both from the Spirit who shaped us both in love lets me bear it.

That, and the knowledge that Love itself is eternal.

From one lover to another - love on, always.

Lindley said...

Thank you, I needed this so much right now. I'm sitting in a hospital room with my beloved. Two years ago he went from being perfectly healthy to having seizures, and although they're controlled now with medication, the doctors still want to figure out what's happening and why. I'm terrified that something horrible will happen while we're here. This was exactly what I needed to see.

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Sir Francis, Erik, thank you for your comments. It is such a good feeling to have, that something this important in my life is understood by others.

Lindley, I am more grateful than I can say to think that words of mine can help you and your beloved in a time of anxiety. May all be well, and may you live and love together in contentment for long and good years upon the earth.

Thank you all. Blessed be.

Laurie Kruczek said...

Beautiful writing and wonderful post. I had my first night out alone with my husband in who knows how long, and it was so sweetly perfect. We've been together 7 years and just keeps getting better.

Congrats to you and your love :)

Bright Crow said...

Perfect message, Dear One.

Thank you,
Michael Bright Crow
(and Hubby Jim)

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

Laurie, Michael...


*blush, smile*

staśa said...

Blessed be! :)

Liz Opp said...

Very sweet to read this. So many of your words reflect my own journey into Love, including the command, "Don't settle."

And now I can at last say I've met both you and Peter. Also very sweet but far, far too short a time!

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

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