Sunday, February 28, 2010

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, March 1, 2010

To Speak of Woe that is in Marriage

"It is the future generation that presses into being by means of
these exuberant feelings and supersensible soap bubbles of ours."
- Schopenhauer

"The hot night makes us keep our bedroom windows open.
Our magnolia blossoms. Life begins to happen.
My hopped up husband drops his home disputes,
and hits the streets to cruise for prostitutes,
free-lancing out along the razor’s edge.
This screwball might kill his wife, then take the pledge.
Oh the monotonous meanness of his lust. . .
It's the injustice . . . he is so unjust--
whiskey-blind, swaggering home at five.
My only thought is how to keep alive.
What makes him tick? Each night now I tie
ten dollars and his car key to my thigh. . . .
Gored by the climacteric of his want,
he stalls above me like an elephant."

Robert Lowell, American poet, born on this
date, 1917, in (of course) Boston

Whew! I had no idea that Robert Lowell, that Brahmin of that famous Boston clan, was such a tough poet! And this is a tough poem! After a Sunday thinking about “Jerusalem” as the symbol of that “place” where God and God’s people live together in an unbreakable relationship of Love , and thinking of how Religion has so often equated marriage with this symbol, this poem of the mid-20th century powerfully challenges us! (Forget the Schopenhauer quote: I can’t figure it out either!)

But, I think a lot about marriage these days. Especially as Dennis and I are not allowed to get married (except spiritually, which we are, and which is most important) given the last referendum vote by the good people of California. Given the fact that at least 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. Given the fact that marriage has long become a civil contract by which the government makes money, and married people gain many tax and other benefits. Given the fact that most “counseling” in preparation for marriage is useless. Given the fact many young people today don’t get married; just live together. Etc, etc.

Anyway: here’s my comment. Until men learn how to be decent human beings, see women as human beings rather than sex machines, come to an understanding that their lives will be greatly enhanced and blessed by marrying an equal, marriage will rot. As it should, IMHO.

But worry not (I know, I know, this is too long!) : we are, I think and hope, in a phase. Shakespeare shall prevail:

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
Oh, no! it is an ever-fixéd mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come'
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Brian+ (offering but a point upon which to think)

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