Unitarian Hymnal Sing-along

In which Kathryn attempts to sing a different song everyday from the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, 'Singing the Living Tradition'. Earlier posts are based on songs from the Reader's Digest songbooks she found at yard sales as a child, including: 'Reader's Digest Treasury of Best Loved Songs', 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook', and 'Reader's Digest Family Songbook of Faith and Joy'. Bonus Folk song material from: 'Folk Song USA', by John and Alan Lomax.

19 October 2005

"Till We Meet Again"

A WWII song, again very sweet and sincere and lovely. But help, help me, they're really all blurring together, and I can't remember what I'm singing any more, argh! And it's way too late to be writing anything tonight, I worked later than planned, and now I'm just beat, after coming home and doing a little catch up on the phone with my brother and sister-in-law. The ones holding down the 'living in sin' card, not the actually married ones.

Tonight someone asked me if I believe in marriage. An odd question, actually. Marriage does exist, it's not the Easter Bunny. Do I believe in the institution for myself? Well, I am married. And so determined was I to be married, that this is my second try at it. My mother says that the first time I really wanted to be married, but I didn't consider closely enough the person I was choosing to be my partner. He was a good guy, and a great playmate, but not the best partner for me in the life game. Maybe someday I'll fully get over the guilt of not being smarter and braver about that whole thing.

Being married did change my current relationship (with my husband, in case there's any question here). I didn't think it would, since we were already living together before then. But somehow it felt like things dropped into a new level of comfortable security, a very nice thing. We did want to have a child, and that was the main reason to make it all legal, but the unexpected feeling of stability, groundedness, was a bonus. Now, I'm still content with him, happy, even. Still in love, still attracted, still liking the time we spend together very much. We've had our struggles, paid our dues a bit. And yes, ended up stronger on the other side of the ordeal. All cliches that have turned out to be true, not that I ever doubted; based on what I've seen, getting through the shit with someone successfully will bring a relationship stronger than before, more intimate.

I believe that commitment to something is important, if only because it tests and strengthens one's willpower to accomplish great things. There are so many things that cannot be measured, as physical strength or even I.Q. is measured, but these strengths of will and of purpose are perhaps more important, in the end, when determining the quality of the lives we live. And marriage is not a work of art, it is not something that we finish and hang on the wall. It does not, frankly, have to be called 'marriage', the terms can only be adequately defined by the individuals involved, at this level (community acknowledgement is a whole other significant issue). Marriage is, like parenting, a thousand little moments, some of them boring and routine, that make up a long saga. We don't know the end of the story until we get there, and probably not even then. It is, like so many things for me, another way to practice being in the moment. Being here, and here, and here. Pay attention. Don't take for granted this time, this place, this person. Don't run away from the painful or joyous moment, breathe deep into it, smell heaven in small whiffs of magic.


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