Sept 28 — Getting married in 1935

Wednesday September 28  —
That we endure absence, if need be,
Without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

Readers of these posts may have observed lately that these posts are more family-specific than ordinarily.  My dad and mom set things up that way by choosing each other with birthdays 4 days apart and then deciding to marry 3 days later, setting in  motion a family week of rolling celebrations at the cusp of autumn.  Choosing September 28 was taking advantage of coincidence.  Choosing September 1935 was more.  Like their age peers, they entered their thirties battle-hardened by the unforgiving hammering of the world’s Great Depression.  Quite a time to make one of life’s hope-filled choices:  “in sickness and in health, in good times are bad, we will trust our futures to each other.”  Brave for sure and leaving scars that, in the right light, glow.

Marriage is not the only sort of bravery and beauty, and like all the others its moments of wonder are crowded with the plain and ordinary.   Perhaps that’s why people pause some times to exult and dance.  It happens that the University celebrates Homecoming this weekend.  One of the 15 or so events will happen in the McNichols Campus Ballroom at 4:00 Saturday when some of the many couples who met here will renew their vows.  For today’s post I am returning to a life-long source of grace for me,  Denise Levertov’s “Prayer for Revolutionary Love.”  When I read it — out loud, with pauses — these words sometimes bring me close to Hilde and Louie in 1935 and many times to couples who anoint my life with their beauty and bravery.

If you are on the McNichols Road campus for Homecoming, come, married or not. —>   Beauty everywhere, all of it flawed, all of it waiting to be seen and heard and touched.

 

john sj

Today’s Post – “Prayer for Revolutionary Love”

That a woman not ask a man to leave meaningful work to follow her
That a man not ask a woman to leave meaningful work to follow him.

That no one try to put Eros in bondage
But that no one put a cudgel in the hands of Eros.

That our loyalty to one another and our loyalty to our work
not be set in false conflict.

That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work
That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.

That our love for each other’s work give us love for one another.
That our love for each other give us love for each other’s work.

That our love for each other, if need be,
give way to absence.  And the unknown.

That we endure absence, if need be,
without losing our love for each other.
Without closing our doors to the unknown.

denise-levertov

Denise Levertov
b. October 1923  d. December 1997

 

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