Friday, March 09, 2007

Redemptive Love

My husband recently wrote a sincere and beautiful tribute to me, his wife. It was honest, and completely lacking in cheese products, cheese sauces, or even essence-of-cheese. He also posted a photo of me where I look like a stupid little girl who just stole a cookie. I mean, he admitted to the world that he was decidedly in love with a dorky looking girl from darp-ville.

Running on empty myself, My heart gingerly tasted the offering he had laid out for me. I knew there was no manipulation in his intent, as he is not nearly as under-handed as *I* can sometimes be.

For me, the real thought provokers were in the comment section. Comments of admiration from people who wished their marriages were as idyllic as Captain I Wonder's surely was. Observers who surely wished their days were filled with wine and tributes, foot rubs and roses, and knowing glances cast across vats of mass produced yellow-brand macaroni and cheese.

Well, after a fourteen year honeymoon of bliss, here's what I say.
Anything worth keeping is worth going to battle for. Its like anything else real in life. The beauty will get smudged with the reek of excrement, your feet will get thick and ugly with corns and blisters from the times when plodding on is the best you could do. The cozy love nest can feel constrictive and prickly some times. The whole game of marriage, once out of its shiney, colourful packaging, can appear to be nothing like what you'd envisioned when you first spotted it in that mail order catalogue. (No, I did not order Brian from the "Schwartzgreig Classifieds")

But here's the mystery, the redemption. Two imperfect, selfish people determine to love intentionally. They decide that in their ignorance, naiveity, and imcompetence to do all this stuff together. Imperfectly. Painfully. Awkwardly.

Chins set like steel, feeling the fear mixed with determination, we go on loving even if it does not add up in the immediate accounting sense. Even when we hate the sight and smell of each other. Even when we understand nothing, we have no answers, and the lovers nectar has soured.

Precious, powerful, overcoming love that when the black winds howl, allows me to feel my hand clenched forever in his, my fears soothed by the sound of his voice propelling me forward.

**This is no way meant to say anything about marriages that end in pain. This is a reflection of my journey alone, and not in any way an attempt to suggest that human love and commitment are enough to subdue any evil. (Although that is a beautiful thought!)


Judy said...

So true, Joyce.

It reminds me of a quote I read in a woman's magazine years ago when I was pregnant and bedridden.

"My Husband - the one who stands by me through all of the pain I never would have had if I hadn't married him."

Anonymous said...

Marriage is hard work, so are kids, homemade bread, handknit afghans, most of the good stuff is hard work, but it's usually worth it in the end.

And what he wrote about you was lovely, you're a lucky woman, who works hard at it.

esther said...

so REAL...
thanks joyce.

lettuce said...

I don't think there are ANY "perfect" marriages, the way people sometimes think. But its the accepting imperfection and that determination you talk about which makes it so powerful and precious - and almost better than "perfection".

Heather Plett said...


it's a gong show... said...

so true Joyce!

Roo said...

well said my friend.
rightly so as well.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to add a male voice to this estrogen entry.

Some lines from a book jumped off the page for me recently,

"And what is love if not a creative act, in which two beings fuse into a single consciousness scarred and healed a thousand times? Love's mystery resides in oneness, and so does God's."

Romeo Morningwood said...

Relationships are the most complex journeys that we take in our short lives. They can make or break us.
Finding someone with the right balance of red lights and green lights for your ego is nothing short of a miracle.
We all know 'static' people who live out their lives of quiet desperation and put on a good show for everybody. What is the point of living if you are dead inside. There is something to explore everyday and knowing that you can never have all of the answers is just part of the program.
Finding someone who willingly holds your hand while you veer off the beaten path to smell the flowers is the absolute best that this world has to offer.

Gigi said...

I am forwarding this to my daughter....we were just talking about this this morning...thanks for the post so beautifully written.