We grow up hearing the Hollywood Fairy Tale which brings a relationship to the point were the hero and heroine unite at last, true love triumphs, barriers to happiness are removed, a marriage ensues and …… they all live happily ever after.
But that is not reality. In real life the wedding ceremony is only a beginning. People who see their “perfect day” as some kind of ending to be enshrined and treasured forever are fated to be disappointed.
“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being “in love”, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.” from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Berniéres
This entwining of roots is an interesting metaphor. From the day of the wedding we begin a long journey of co-creation. We create the partnership and to a great extent we create the person that our partner becomes, and they have a heavy hand in creating the person we become.
Every day in every act and interaction we give each other tiny permissions, approvals, disapprovals, censures etc. We validate certain behaviour patterns with our permissions and we invalidate others with our refusals. As the years go by we settle into these patterns like the couple on the beach in Beckett’s play “Happy Days” who settle deeper and deeper into the sand of their routine.
So think about this; If you get 40 years into a marriage and you find you can’t stand your partner just think about the fact that this is a person you created. You are rejecting the very thing you have had a strong influence in building. What does this say about your feelings for the person you are?
If on the other hand you are lucky enough to have a marriage that deepens in love and mutual respect then well done and give yourself a pat on the back.
The house above is our current home and we have it up for sale. It is a home where my wife has deep roots, her Grandmother was born here. The DNA of her extended family is woven into the very fabric of the building. While I have had a role in creating the person Louise is today there is no doubting that this house, this land, these fields and streams had a role in creating her too. Never have I felt more like Thomas Kinsella than in this house.
P.S. If you want to buy my lifestyle it’s for sale here: Ballykelly
Another September: by Thomas Kinsella
Dreams fled away, this country bedroom, raw
with the touch of the dawn, wrapped in a minor peace,
hears through an open window the garden draw
long pitch black breaths, lay bare its apple trees,
ripe pear trees, brambles, windfall-sweetened soil,
exhale rough sweetness against the starry slates.
Nearer the river sleeps St. John’s, all toil
locked fast inside a dream with iron gates.
Domestic Autumn, like an animal
long used to handling by those countrymen,
rubs her kind hide against the bedroom wall
sensing a fragrant child come back again
– not this half-tolerated consciousness
that plants its grammar in her yielding weather
but that unspeaking daughter, growing less
familiar where we fell asleep together.
Wakeful moth wings blunder near a chair,
toss their light shell at the glass, and go
to inhabit the living starlight. Stranded hair
stirs on still linen. It is as though
the black breathing that billows her sleep, her name,
drugged under judgement, waned and – bearing daggers
and balances – down the lampless darkness they came,
moving like women : Justice, Truth, such figures.