Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two are better than one

We're on our way to Boston in the morning. Little brother is getting married Saturday. Exciting times. Because I don't imagine I'll be blogging much in the next several days, I thought I'd post a poem I wrote for a wedding of some very close friends about four years ago. Last month when D and E (his wife-to-be) came to visit, I gave it to them. So, in honor of them (and, by extension, all marriages), I give it to you (the ubiquitious, unknown you):

Marriage
The magnificance of
wine-colored sunsets,
moonlit whispered promises
A long flowing white dress and dark tuxedo
in a flower-scented church full of friends
Romance,
Breath-held joy
All just an instant
The length of a camera's click,
In a life-time of two-becoming-one

Then,
Ordinary, braided strands of corded new life
Working side-by-side to build the walls,
laboring together to create a space within
Accumulating moments, days and years of working
to know each other, to grow, to become
Rehearsing in private: "This is who I really am,"
Face to face in the loving mirrored eyes of the other
who also speaks, "This is who I really am."
To say in public,
outside those walls, "This is who we are."

Ordinary, twined cords
sometimes fraying a bit,
or a lot
Falling down, one or the other,
In anger or pain,
"Why are you like that?"
Cried a thousand times
a thousand ways.
Letting the sun go down on anger
Because it set before the anger died
But the other, in such otherness, still reaches out
To grasp, to pull, to tease, to lift.
Forgiving, accepting, loving
The cord firm, tight, binding

Ordinary, safe, loving strands
Intimacy, nakedness
a knowing and unclothing
A stripping away of expectations,
old clothes of former selves, and
"That's not the way my parents did it!"
To be covered by the blanket of new dreams,
new goals and "This is what we will choose to be."
A cord to stretch across a lifetime of
letting go of the me
and a picking up of the us.

But this is no ordinary cord
Two are better than one
But braided through this two
is a strand made from stone
Hewn from the rock
of creation and tombs and foundations solid,
This third strand,
inside your two-become-one, the-Cross-between-the-two,
three-strand-cord,
Stands firm,
not quickly broken,
and
Belongs to Him.

Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12

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