Monday, June 16, 2008

yes I said yes I will Yes

Happy Bloomsday! (Click here for an engaging post on the subject.)

Last February The Hunk and I celebrated 12 years of legal marriage. This month we celebrate 12 years of sacramental marriage. We like this two-anniversaries-per-year thing.

So because love is in the air on Bloomsday, I thought I'd treat myself to a re-read of one of my favorite love poems ever, a sonnet by Irish poet Micheal O'Siadhail (MEE-haul o-SHEAL, or o-SHAY - I've heard it pronounced both ways and don't know which is correct).

I first heard his work during a C.S. Lewis Foundation workshop at Cambridge University in 1994. He totally ROCKS. To hear a podcast of an interview with O'Siadhail, click here.

while you are talking

While you are talking, though I seem all ears,
forgive me if you notice a stray see-through
look; on tiptoe behind the eyes' frontiers
I am spying, wondering at this mobile you.
Sometimes nurturer, praise-giver to the male,
caresser of failures, mother earth, breakwater
to my vessel, suddenly you'll appear frail -
in my arms I'll cradle you like a daughter.
Now soul-pilot and I confess redemptress,
turner of new leaves, reshaper of a history;
then the spirit turns flesh - playful temptress
I untie again ribbons of your mystery.
You shift and travel as only a lover can;
one woman and all things to this one man.

- Micheal O'Siadhail

*Sigh.* I am a hopeless romantic.


Every anniversary I try to reflect on why our marriage has lasted so far. We share few interests. We have little in common academically or culturally. But we seem to work because of a few big things and a whole lot of little things, among them (and not necessarily in any order)...


-letting each other's lives and hopes matter to us; interest in how each other's day went even if it involves things that don't in and of themselves interest us
-frequently (read, constantly) expressed affection
-consistently expressing delight when we see each other after an absence - like, at the end of the work day
-basic courtesy: still being polite when we miss each other's calls, courteous when we ask each other to run errands, and sympathetic when the other has a bad day
-at least one compliment each day, both ways
-knowing that if we can't do for ourselves, the other will help us, with compassion (like, I want to be sure my daughter asks herself of a potential life partner: Will he help you on and off the commode if you break a leg or a hip, or help you shower if you injure an elbow or a shoulder? Will he keep to you if you're injured, mutilated, paralyzed, burned? Click here for a well-written, sobering post from RT101 which asks the question, how far do you take "for better and for worse?")


-tolerance of imperfection (which he has needed in spades)
-loving admonition of each other's faults and trust in the other's continued respect when on the receiving end of those admonitions


-shared values/faith
-shared laughter
-ability to be happy/content when alone / independent (though admittedly happier when the other is present)
-security, and in fact happiness, in the face of the other's successes
-capacity for stimulating intellectual discourse or downright silliness, depending on the moment
-still flirting years later

Thank you, sweetheart...


Anonymous said...

Nice post hon!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing these!

Lisa Johnson said...

Happy Anniversary! ; )

T. said...

Thanks, everyone!

K. said...

Beautiful poem...thanks for sharing this!!! I had never read it, and like you, am a hopeless romantic!