A Reading for a Wedding
A friend was looking for readings suitable for a wedding. Several
acquaintances suggested a number of different ones. Some of them were
good; others were impossibly idealistic and probably written by someone
who will never find a relationship to be happy with. So I contributed
this. I think it's fine advice for newlyweds. Others who have been married
longer than I have agreed with me. (And here's some advice for those
planning a wedding: Avoid anyone and everyone who specializes in
Romance is fun but exhausting. Like drunkenness, you eventually tire
of it. Every so often you feel like a bit more again, and a little is
fine, but you need to be careful that you don't end up with your head
spinning and your stomach lurching, wishing you had been wiser.
It is common but foolish to equate romance with love. Romance is something
you can't ignore when it's around. Love is like the air: you're not
conscious of it most of the time, except when it's disturbed, but you
would notice its absence in one breath. And holding it back is as bad
as having it withheld.
When two people are united, they do not become one, contrary to romantic
myth. Two hearts do not beat as one; you will always be surprised and
comforted to hear a different heartbeat so close to your ear. Two minds
do not meet as one; you will always have disagreements how could
you broaden your own mind without another to force it open? Two souls
do not join as one; you will on occasion look over and be surprised
that you are actually living with this person, this wonderful, beautiful
or frustrating person. Two voices do not sing in perfect harmony, especially
not without a lot of rehearsal; the singers try to make music even of
the discord, and to learn from the off notes.
If you want someone to join you in the fire, very well; be careful
not to get burned. If you want someone to join you on the highest peak,
make sure to bring ropes and oxygen. If you want someone to swim with
you in the deepest ocean, mind you don't get the bends. If you want
someone to dance with you in ecstasy for eternity, bring water bottles
and linement. Me, I want someone to join me in bed, in the kitchen,
for strolls, for dinner, at family events. I want someone who is worth
not climbing mountains, swimming oceans, braving fire or dancing
in ecstasy if that's not what that person feels like doing at the moment,
however much I might want to.
I don't want just a best friend. I don't want just a lover. I want
to be husband and wife.