I recently had a final meeting with a couple who are getting married next month. During a leisurely Starbucks conversation, the groom, Max (names changed, said this to me:
“I had to reach rock bottom in past relationships before I could find Kate I had self-imprisoned myself in a gulag of abuse. I knew I wanted better and so I set out in search of Kate.”
The old cliché that marriage is a “ball and chain” made no sense to Max, as for him marriage was freedom – to experience love, to love and to move closer to being the man he wanted to be.
One of my favorite poets, Mark Doty, observed:
How shall we know ourselves, except in the clarifying mirror of some other gaze?
Max and Kate understand that their wedding is a celebration of choice – a celebration of moving into the light.
And so for them, marriage, with all of its unknowns and uncertainties, is about overcoming fear: the fear of not being worthy.
Can I as a wedding officiant predict the future for any couple? No.
BUT with Max and Kate I can bet my money that theirs is an enduring love.
Because once you’ve “seen” what they’ve seen, it’s very, very hard to “un-see” it!
In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you,
Appear the words, ‘Here begins a new life.’