More technical account of getting married is over on ooohshiny and here is me taking an opportunity to philosophise about it.
It was a perfect day, inconceivably beautiful to me despite the rain. It was funny, I had been so focused on all the minutae of the process (get cooking done, get house clean, wake up ridiculously early, change into dress at the hairdressers like Clark Kent into Superman) that the larger reality of marriage didn't completely hit me until I was legging it to the church and there were my friends and the florist handing me a bouqet of orchids and ivy.
I could see Z and the best man across the church and we giggle at each other like teenagers, a mix of nerves and happiness and wow, isn't this surreal. And then the music was playing and time was slowing down and flowing around me like water and I was walking to the altar as though in a dream. And then there we were, standing together, he and I with the minister and our two attendants, still giggling at each other like teenagers except by now we had also acquired an identical nervous twitch at the corner of our mouths.
Mostly I wasn't thinking about anything at all except smiling as a method of twitch-prevention. I was trying to make my mind still, to absorb and remember everything about the moment - our friends radiating well-wishes, and beyond them the presence of something vast and nameless and sacred in which I thought I felt infinite love and the hovering presence of my ancestors. I felt so light, so blessed, so certain that I was doing the right and perfect thing.
I never thought I was the marrying kind, and surprised myself when I realised I wanted to tie the knot with Z. I'm glad I did, because it felt so deeply meaningful and since then things between us have subtly shifted and changed.
Marriage is a rich word, a Klimt painting in russets, and golds, and warm earth tones.
By marrying him I did not increase my love, but I did promise to love him first, to put him first. I think I've become more tangible to him as well for always beforehand there hovered between us this idea of abandonment and loss. My heart is a big place with a room for many loves, and I do not like to be tied down. I think always before marriage there was a part of me that kept a small open door and looked out for other possibilities, for the appearance of other loves and more rewarding circumstances elsewhere. And marriage for me has meant letting go of that, allowing the door to finally shut, coming to terms with how much our lives were intertwined.
Intimacy is frigtening for almost every human being, due to the riskiness of being vulnerable. For him, he allowed me into his world and allowed himself to relax enough to connect to another, to allow himself to be connected to. And me? I loved him well enough, felt safe enough to allow myself to be lured into staying, into building a life, into believing in the possibility of a future despite the scary possibilities of grief, and death and loss of beauty.
It's a profound thing, this joining, this promise we make, this risk we run -of losing, being lost. We are people who carried similar sorts of wounding and were fortunate enough to make an alliance, to find shelter in each other. Marriage to me is no light thing. It feels solid, like a war bond with promises of support, with the trust that your back will be looked out for, that we are on each other's side. And it makes it easier to face so many thing knowing that, and more difficult to face others because the knowledge that I could lose him, that he could die without warning is a shadow in every room we inhabit.
And now as an ending note, and a diversion from all of the above seriousness, here is a theory of mine. Namely, that time as we know it is an illusion. That somewhere outside our perception of hours and minutes and days the moments we've known remain captured and everlasting like images on a film reel.
So, on a plane I can sense but cannot see we are timeless and all the things we experienced still exist, filed away in parallel dimensions, infinate. So, somewhere out there I am being born, and my father is young and excited and alive. Somewhere out there my grandmother is playing in the lush gardens of her childhood, before the First World War. And somewhere out there, it is forever my wedding day.
From the left: Natasha (best woman), me, Z, and Juan (best man)
In the foreground- my cousin. The man with his back turned is Adam, and he is standing next to his partner Natalija - they are motorcycle buddies of Z's. In the background to the left are Jelena (she is a long-distance runner) and Juan.
From the left : my cousin, my friend Susan, my lovely co-worker Ellen and Z; the man clutching his head in the background is called Darko (one of the Z buddies)
I'm curious about everyone else's thoughts on this. What have been your experiences of marriage? What is your attitude to it? If you yourself married, in what way has being married differed from your initial expectations about it?
xxxx my dears.