TrueHeartWork | Joy
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Joy Tag

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Sun in Libra September 23rd

dreamcatcher-1030769_1280“Be glad. Be good. Be brave,” wrote Eleanor Emily Hodgman Porter in her best-selling novel, Pollyanna. The year was 1913. This simple statement resonated in the matrix of the Collective Consciousness as the dark war clouds blotted the sun over the Balkans and young men were soon to drown in their blood in the trenches of World War 1. Ninety-nine years later, we continue to enlist in our private battles for survival—financially, emotionally, or spiritually. When everything around us seems to be falling apart, this steadfast statement bids us first and foremost, to be grateful. To conduct our lives with integrity and valour. The fortitude and unwavering optimism of eleven-year-old Pollyanna offered the comfort of hot-buttered toast and a cup of sweet tea at a point of impact in western civilization when there was no going back. When to be glad, good, and brave, was one constant beacon amidst cataclysmic change.

So often we hit a wall. Collide with an immovable force that profoundly alters the trajectory of our life: the accident, the lawyer’s letter, the termination of our employment, the conversation with our doctor that leaves us hemorrhaging hope. We stand at the door unopened. We tremble; we know with every fibre of our being that there will be no going back. When we cross this threshold, this crossing will reverberate across future decades of our lives – and the lives of those we love so fiercely. When we take those fateful steps, we feel in the deep silence of our heart, that we have to choose: to be angry, bitter, desperately powerless to change or control what has gone before. Physicist Stephen Hawking who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in his twenties believes. He once told the New York Times, “my expectations were reduced to zero when I was twenty-one. Everything since then has been a bonus.”

73859.ngsversion.1466467572965.adapt.1190.1The Sun moves into the sign of Libra on September 23rd, marking the Autumn or the Spring Equinox. The turning of the Great Wheel of the Year. The Scales of Balance are poised. Compromise or polarisation. Quiet desperation or the grace to remember that this is precisely what we have come here to do. In scales of Libra we hold the tension of opposites. Light and shadow. The paradox of our humanness in the eye of the storm.

Rivers Dark 3Richard Tarnas, author of Cosmos and Psyche, writes, “Our time is pervaded by a great paradox. On the one hand, we see signs of an unprecedented level of engaged global awareness, moral sensitivity to the human and non-human community, psychological self-awareness, and spiritually informed philosophical pluralism. On the other hand, we confront the most critical, and in some respects catastrophic, state of the Earth in human history. Both these conditions have emerged directly from the modern age, whose light and shadow consequences now affect every part of the planet.”

63782.ngsversion.1467253445414.adapt.1190.1Pollyanna is a virtuoso at making deliciously sweet lemonade from the tart lemons in her life. She adroitly gathers comfort and joy from the shards of pain and misfortune. And she is skilled at playing The Glad Game. The rules are simple: find something to be glad about in every circumstance of your life. She’s a waltzing in the moonlight Libran as she gazes about her, finding beauty in the world she sees.

Our evolutionary challenge this month is inner serenity and a selective, deliberate focus on those things that are right in the world and in our relationships. Lévy-Bruhl and, later, Jung, wrote of the Participation Mystique. That mystical participation that can manifest in situations and material things in our lives. That sense of wonder and magic that is inherent in small children and has been codified as The Law of Attraction. We are required to “always look on the bright side of life” as we bravely embrace the contradictions, the baffling complexity, and buckle up for those roller coaster rides that leave us whip-lashed, aching and bruised.

Happiness, and her twin sister, Joy, dance in Gratitude, in the “little things that are the hinges of the universe” according to newspaper columnist and novelist, Fanny Fern. Gratitude is a spoonful of sugar to crankiness. Gratitude is like a garden. It requires careful tending if we want it to flourish. It may require gentle coaxing back into bloom after a storm or the cruel crush of frost. It certainly takes a good sprinkling of imagination and a stir of magic to feel it sometimes, and yet like the fairies that sit on our garden wall and fly about our heads as we water the rose bushes, it is always there if we look. If we believe.

Melody Beattie believes,“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.”

Gratitude, like Love, is a choice. It’s an inside job. If we feel like Cinderella, no pumpkin carriage, no diamond tiara, glass slipper, or handsome Prince will make us authentically, radiantly happy. If we play the Glad Game, and cheat because we don’t truly believe, we can’t evoke the magic. We cannot fake it ’til we make it. We cannot buy, Botox, or bargain our way to Gratitude and contentment. We cannot pretend to be Little Miss Sunshine if we feel like The Snow Queen.

Gratitude must become habitual for the magic to work.

So, observe those wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. Give thanks that the silver white winters will melt into springs … And hold steady in these challenging times. Encourage ourselves and each other to keep moving, keep focused, as new life emerges from the dead leaves of change. 71645.ngsversion.1467253694265.adapt.1190.1

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It’s The Little Things

images3FMBX3H7How do we prepare for those things that impale us on the sharp horns of dilemma? The challenges that test our endurance and spiritual mettle? When someone we love is dying. Do we fly across continents to hold their hand? Do we wait and go to their funeral? Do we leave our marriage and hope to find lasting love in the arms of another? Do we resign from our well-paid job and back pack across Asia?

We wouldn’t embark on a trip through the Namib Desert without water. We wouldn’t apply to appear on Survivor without knowing how to light a fire, or volunteer to nurse in Haiti unless we’d honed our nursing skills. And yet blithely we wing our way through relationships, marriages, careers, parenthood and the  process of  ageing and dying, so often with very little competency or application. “Experts” proliferate offering scratching’s of undigested knowledge unseasoned by experience or wisdom – they thrive in a world that venerates the quick fix, the easy answer. Suddenly the wolf is at our door and how he huffs and puffs and blows our straw house down.

 “Sweat the small stuff” says astronaut Chris Hadfield who claims to be annoyingly optimistic and buoyant by nature, but writes eloquently about the power of negative thinking in his book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. His maxim and one that has saved his life and the lives of crew members, is to anticipate a problem before it becomes a calamity.  “Spend time visualising defeat and figuring out how to prevent it.” His take-action, attend to the details (meticulously over and over again) approach to life is one that pioneers, athletes and those of a competitive nature use to achieve the results they desire. Counterintuitive behaviour, deliberate team work, helping others in competitive situations, learning from mistakes and importantly, seeing criticism (even of the most personal kind) as helpful, are all tactics he uses to perfect performance and cope with the vicissitudes of life.

images6WMFZVJNPreparation for departures and new journeys requires focus.  Contingency plans can reign in wild panic.  The combination of focused thought, visualisation and action can help ease our passage through the stormy waters of change, or bring a sense of personal triumph. When we find ourselves in times of trouble we know how to reach down to that still calm place within. To override the primitive response of our old brain. Like practicing a fire drill, or a resuscitation procedure that stays “in the muscle” of our memory, it helps to have a plan of action, a sequence of events that grounds us in the moment. It helps to find the epicentre of calm amidst calamity.

Mercury travels Retrograde from February6th till the 28th, a cosmic in-breath and a timely reminder to focus on the little things and “be prepared”. Mercury rules  all forms of transport; agreements and all means of communication, especially gossip. It’s domain is business matters, postage, vehicles, mobile phones, cars and computers. So cross the Ts and dot the Is. Back up, re-charge and repair. Attend now to the details we so often brush aside like crumbs as we rush on to the next thing. Practice that Cinderella virtue – patience.

Professor Randy Pausch, in his Last Lecture, delivered  months before he died of cancer, says with lightness and great humour, “Another way to be prepared is to think negatively. Yes, I’m a great optimist. but, when trying to make a decision, I often think of the worst case scenario. I call it ‘the eaten by wolves factor.’ If I do something, what’s the most terrible thing that could happen? Would I be eaten by wolves? One thing that makes it possible to be an optimist, is if you have a contingency plan for when all hell breaks loose. There are a lot of things I don’t worry about, because I have a plan in place if they do.” imagesAW6N17E3

Everything in our magnificent Universe is in constant motion. “Not to decide is to decide. Try not to make choices by default,” says Neale Donald Walsh.

Calm methodical preparation increases our discrimination and tones competency and discernment. “All things are ready, if our mind be so,” the Bard said. So be calm. Make preparations. Envision your journey and be grateful for all the little things that dust our lives with joy.

It’s The Little Things – The Gothard Sisters

Chris Hadfield An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth

 

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Be Careful of my Heart

After the initial parabola of passion, affairs can be a descent into hell. A roller-coaster ride that skewers our heart. Scalds us with guilt and grief in the after-shock of transcendent bliss. In virtually every marriage code in virtually every society, adultery is unequivocally prohibited. In ancient Babylonia, punishment was death by drowning. And incredibly, in many places today, the perpetrators of this dastardly crime against the laws of man are flogged – 100 stripes, or stoned to death. For millions more, the punishment is divorce, financial ruin, loss of their children, ostracism from their families, or worst of all,  the solemn burial of their authentic feelings, and their true selves deep within a life of quiet desperation. Increasingly in these financially austere times estranged couples rattle about in the empty shell of their marriage because of the mortgage repayments. Some stick it out for the sake of the children, the elderly parents, blocking their ears to the silent scream of indifference which brutalises the soul. The tender memory of the lover’s embrace bruises the skin for years to come, long after the albatross of the affair has been killed and thrown into the ocean depths.

Adultery comes from Latin which means to pollute, or corrupt.”  What is polluted? Trust? Ownership?

“Morality is a human creation. The Universe does not judge,” says Gary Zukav.

The psychological view sounds more like a laboratory study of Planet of the Apes. Therapists, like little boys, pull the legs off butterflies, break things into smaller and smaller pieces so that they can see how they work. Marriage counsellors urge couples to “work harder” at their relationships; they come up with strategies, hormones, and formulae to fit the  broken pieces together again. In her book Adultery, Louise DeSalvo comments, “ perhaps adultery makes evolutionary sense: perhaps it is a pesky way our species guarantees its survival.” David Barash, in The Myth of Monogamy proposes, “ When it comes to human beings, there’s absolutely no question about monogamy being natural. It’s not. The male’s goal is to make sure his genes live on and therefore he sets out to fertilize as many females as possible. Women, on the other hand, spend nine months pregnant and then have to care for their children. So it’s in the interest of the woman to find one man who will stay with her, or at least help her take care of her offspring, and some might argue that the man is preferably wealthy or powerful. Females, by nature, are choosier and less opportunistic.” 

If only it were that simple. So often, in Love, the dots don’t join. Like the waxing and the waning of the moon, the human heart has phases of light when we turn to face the full magnificence of the sun; times of darkness, as we enfold the mystery of our passion close to our breast. There’s no book of rules, no etiquette to guide us through the perilous seas of Love. Do we throw everything away if Love comes knocking at the door, splintering our hearts, battering down the walls of the life we have built so carefully? Do we risk all for passion, adventure, the unknown, when the rugged terrain of a long relationship has been charted, co-habited. Do we stay, knowing there will always be more soul work, more growth work, as we grind away the sharp edges? Do we fall from the trapeze if there are no waiting hands to catch us? Do we encounter the paradox of forbidden Love, swooning as our hearts sweeten with joy while our minds crucify us between the thieves of Shame and Sorrow? If we’re the one that leaves, our parting of ways will involve a dismemberment of the life we knew. An annihilation of our old self. There will be dark nights when we wake with fear gnawing through our belly.

It is worse to stay where one does not belong at all than to wander about lost for a while and looking for the psychic and soulful kinship one requires”, says Clarissa Pinkola Estes. At some time or another, we will come to the crossroads of choice, and the awakening of consciousness. So do we hone what we have into what our heart longs for? Do we differentiate, individuate, heal our childhood hunger … if we can’t be with the one we love, do we love the one we’re with?  Or do we risk it all to leap like a salmon over the rocks, tumble over waterfalls following our instincts as a new impetus of growth calls us up to swim as if our life depends on it. And it does.

There is some kiss we want with our whole lives,” said Rumi.  Some of us may search for that kiss through our adolescence, our experimental twenties, and often turbulent thirties. We stuff the anger, the longing deep down.  Numb our longing with the busy-ness of life. Is this as good as it gets, we ask ourselves, filling the hole in our heart with longer hours at the computer, the gym, the office, or another glass of wine when we get home.

It may take the catalyst of an affair to expose the cracks in the chalice of our marriage. It may take the sweet kiss of just one person to awaken us from our slumber. And one day, we take the risk…

Re-birthing our souls is never as simple as leaving the husk of a desiccated relationship, changing jobs, walking the Camino, or falling in love with someone new. It is an arduous task, which requires endurance… and courage. Unless we’re willing to look honestly at ourselves, merely switching partners will bring the same issues we tried to escape from with our previous partner, often leaving us marooned, stripped of our innocence. But if we are conscious, and serious about the tugging at our hearts, there are rich lessons in each new relationship, as we retrieve the long-buried parts of ourselves — our passion, our sensuality, our joy — our deceitful, destructive  Shadow.

When, at last, we come to trust our own instincts, hear and respect our own voices, feel valuable enough to touch that fertile, erotic, vulnerable part of our self, buried beneath the sediments of cultural conditioning and wipe the sleep from our own eyes, we dare to risk bursting into blossom.

Our choices in love are sacred. Authentic love feels like a reunion, recognition, and if our ways must part, the love we once shared remains, all-ways.

Painting by Frida Kahlo

Tracy Chapman

You and your sweet smile
You and all your tantalizing ways
You and your honey lips
You and all the sweet things that they say
You and your wild wild ways
One day you just up and walked away

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Cannon Ball

Sometimes it is a slight tremor that cleaves a reservoir of ancient sorrow.

A rebuff by a friend or family member. An email, a text, you thought you had deleted, that besieges you, ravaging your heart. Sometimes it takes a cannon ball to crash through the structures of our carefully constructed lives: a trauma in the shape of death, divorce, or terminal illness…

This week, grief came to call, throwing a dark shroud over the landscape of my life. The death of my beloved, chocolate-coloured Burmese released a deluge of sorrow, plaintive echoes of an unbounded lamentation.

Each one of us has a unique journey. A timeline marked by graves of grief, some neglected, some still tended daily or on certain occasions. For some, letting go, moving on, comes easily. Others flee from the ravenous jaws of grief, buffered by a smokescreen of a smiling face, or the distraction of a full schedule.

Times of sorrow are not events, but transitional processes that unfold slowly.  These are sacred times in our life journeys. We are obliged to review, to reminisce. To embrace the lacerating pain, and make up a story that makes sense of it all, for us. It is at times of mourning that we must forgo the busyness, the anti-depressants, the avoidance and embrace the weight of silence that descends in the wake of loss. It is at these times we must fully experience the darkness, contemplate the nothingness, without trying to replace or substitute. Our inner children require nurture (not a spa-day of pampering), our bodies require rest, nourishment, a withdrawal of the senses. Our souls require silence, so that grieving can become sacred, rituals relevant.

Grief can be deeply unsettling, disturbing, and uncomfortable for others to witness. So often, I find myself stumbling over words, mumbling platitudes, sending my “deepest sympathies”. Shakespeare knew that grief requires framing: “Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak, whispers the o’er-fraught heart, and bides it break.” And physician and pathologist, Sir Henry Maudsley wrote at the dawn of the twentieth century “sorrows which find no vent in tears may soon make other organs weep.”

Kahlil Gibran observed “Tears and laughter are inseparable. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain…. Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy. Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced…

We cry when we are joyful, and when we are overwhelmed by grief. Emotional tears differ from the slicing-of-onions tears. They contain hormones and endorphins which are a moist balm to the searing pain. Tears herald the depth of feelings, reveal relics of unresolved emotions. But only words can identify what lies buried in the heart.

In life, there are those people and animals we deeply love, those we meet in body and mind, a few very precious souls who know our souls. They may be born into homes, cities, countries, so far away from our original starting points. Through our choices, and the complex interwoven chainmail of synchronistic events, our journeys converge; mingle, often for just one brief tremulous moment. Tempus fugit … time flees. With each passing milestone, an anniversary of a death, or a birth or something new, the sweet remembrance of a time tinted now with nostalgia, we become aware of the transience of this life and the Mystery of it all. Sorrow can be a gestation period, long cold waiting in the dank bunker of nothingness… The bittersweet memories, “little bit of your taste in my mouth…” the faint perfume of sadness, the remembrance of deep sense of aloneness that pervades our lives cyclically in a heap of broken images. The inconstant ebb and flow of feelings. The fallow periods of sorrow that herald the bright bud of hope. We may appear less efficient in the world of doingness, and feel as though we are falling apart. We are. Everything will be a mess, and we are required to laboriously re-build from new foundations.

Sorrow, melancholy, depression, like the clouds that scud across moonlit skies to obscure the pure luminescence of the lunar face, are ephemeral, always cyclical. Like the ocean, they ebb and flow, to flood our shores with boundless energy and inspiration, or recede like the tide, revealing shards of broken shells and glistening pebbles etched in the wet sand.

Do we really ever get over ourselves? Should we even try?

“I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage where every man must play a part, And mine is a sad one” the bard said.  Some walk lightly, some dance and sing along the way, others have a more sombre journey. A friend of mine shared that she had discovered a pair of pearl earrings in a velvet lined box. She had worn them only once. On her wedding day, a dewy-eyed bride, dressed in white. For her, these lustrous orbs from the watery deep enclose two tear drops of a frozen memory, the chronicle of a sacred day. She described how she had enfolded the cool silky smoothness in her hand, revisiting that time in her nascent life, to feel once more  the featherlike nudge of innocence, and the bittersweet lamentation of enormous loss.

Many of us may cope by framing a new narrative for the lost dreams and disappointments  that lie in wait like sharp stones on our path.  Nelson Mandela told a friend of mine who had a private luncheon with this iconic figure of the joy he experienced in his incarceration when he and the other prisoners would sing together as they worked crushing rock in the quarry, day after day in the searing sun and scalding wind. Many public figures have a narrative of their lives which fits their public persona. Often their birth charts may suggest otherwise. Nearly all of us have misty water-coloured memories of the way we were … our version of a prism of an event, faded by time, embellished by the re-telling.

When we are ready, we re-frame the story in the picture gallery of our life… or float like a cannon ball… until we understand why we are sinking… Damien Rice

THE TINY BOAT

God bless this tiny little boat
And me who travels in it
It stays afloat for years and years
And sinks within a minute.

And so the soul in which we sail
Unknown by years of thinking,
Is deeply felt and understood
The minute that it’s sinking.
Michael Leunig (1945- )

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No More I Love Yous

Love never dies when soul meets soul. Our souls never stop loving the significant people who appear as actors in the various scenes in the play of our lives. Because once we ignite the flame of love, no matter how briefly, or how fiercely, devastatingly, that flame burns and chars, Love endures, long after we part, long after we die.

I met my former husband for lunch yesterday. He appeared taller, younger, and happier than I have seen him in  years. “She’s the One,” he said, eyes sparkling. “I’m going to ask her to marry me.” Still sprinkled with the glitter of his happiness, I left this man I had lived with for 26 years, my heart a – bloom with flowers of joy for him, for her. There are never No More I Love Yous. The container of marriage may fracture and break under the avalanche of an affair, a cot death, an intrusive in-law. Love affairs are extinguished not with a bang but a whimper, realtionships stagnate as the current of passion dwindles to a trickle. Even in the No More I love Yous, are small seeds of renewal.  There are really no “lessons” to be learnt so we do not make the same “mistake “again.  Our marriages are the holy sanctums for the in-breath and out-breath, the cycles, and twists, of our soul. From the moment we say our wedding vows, through all the in the years we may spend grinding off each others’ rough edges, even in the heartbreak and despair of the endings, are our soul’s rites of passage; our circling Home.

A divorce can be a sacred act of renewal, if we transcend the power plays, the anger,  discard the role of Victim.  Love can be transformed into a caring friendship if we are willing to step into Gratitude for all the memories, and experiences of our past, that have made us who we are today. When we are able to look into the eyes of our former tormentor-husband, wife, lover, mother, father, friend – and feel the lotus flower of compassion blossom in our heart, then we will know our own Wholeness. The ancient Greeks knew that Love wears interchangeable costumes: Agape meant the deepest sense of true love, that sense of contentment and mellowness, the holding of another in the highest regard. Eros was understood as  passionate love, sensual desire, and intimate love, which did not have to be sexual – it could be the power of beholding something beautiful within that person. Philia was the love of friendship we feel in community and family. So what is this thing, called Love? Even after death, divorce, frozen years of separation, the sacred vows reverberate. We may find, after the atomic fallout, the love we never dared admit, even to ourselves, is there still. We find a wedding photograph, a piece of jewellery, a gift given in the innocence of that love that carries a fragrance of sweet memory. There is remains a fragment of something noble and pure in the the vows we made all those years ago.

These days when I go to weddings, what I celebrate is the Hope that comes, an invited guest, to the bridal table. The noble belief in a love that will endure as the dark storm clouds gather on the horizon. First marriages are sprinkled with Hope and Great Expectations that we believe no man will tear asunder. Second and third marriages are more sober affairs. Jean Kerry said wryly, “being divorced is like being hit by a Mack truck. If you live through it, you start looking very carefully to the right and to the left.” We are not always wise in the choices we make. We do not always listen to our inner guidance. But in our fumbling, in our folly, in our delusions, will always be the seed of great passion and enduring love.

Says Marion  Woodman,  “real love happens when soul in the body meets soul in the body. Not in that disembodied world of spirit where we want to be perfect, but in life, where we’re changing the diapers of the one we love who is dying, swabbing the lips, doing things we never thought we could do. Stripped of all pride, of everything unreal, we have no false modesty. Where soul meets soul that is Love.”

How can there ever be No More I Love Yous when Love never dies. It simply changes form.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5z7R-5Znoc

 

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White on White

 

Fairy Tale Weddings are compelling in their sentimental perfection. The flowers, cake,  months of meticulous preparation. The dress, tiara, spray-on tan, flowers in the button holes.

In our desire for the perfect wedding we so often find the golden apple of Discord. TheTrickster appears to knock the bouquet off the altar of tradition. The fainting bride, the lecherous uncle, the little page boy who squeals just as the vows are pronounced. A flaw in the perfection of the meticulously planned occasion that brings laughter, the prelude of a profound agitation of two entwined souls. Think back to your own wedding day. Was theTrickster at play? I was a guest at a beautiful wedding ceremony recently where there was a glitch in the sound system. No music at the wedding, and a brief, tumultous marriage, with no music to bring joy and levity into their troubled relational space.

Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner,” says Amy Bloom. There is a celestial line-up in relationship orientated Libra right now. The Sun and Saturn, spotlighting the importance of mature and committed relationships.  Inviting us to clarify, define, strengthen our identity by confronting us with limitations. Challenging us to grow up, make our dreams real. Commit to  honest self-appraisal, compromise, acceptance of reality.  

For me, the compelling mystery of Marriage is that it can flay and brand, or softly kiss our soul. It is through our sentimentality, our innocence, our insistence in the “happily ever after” and the romantic dream of the marriage made in heaven, that we meet the dark challenges that a soul-ful union will always toss, like a gauntlet, before us.  It is through the difficulties, often the sojourns in hell, that we refine the prima materia, the raw stuff of life, and learn the phases of Love in all their complexity. Like actors on a stage, bride and groom, play out the old scripts of the marriages before them. In their own lives, or in the matrix of their family history. Their unconscious roles as little children,  keeping warring parents apart,  holding psychic secrets, plugging the grief that spills under doors and carpets, the dissappointments, the frustrations, the bitterness. We hold this energy in the etheric, in our limbic and nervous systems, in the fascia of our bodies, and play it out with the men and women we marry. Our mother who married “to get out of the home,” our grandmother forced into wedlock before her belly ripened, our father who married “beneath him.”

Today, we think we have free choice in the men and women we wed. We believe we marry out of our own free will. In the West, we have inherited an ancient world view based on a biblical view that marriage is sacrosanct, in juxtaposition to the view of the ancient Greek philosophers and  French rationalists, where the right of the individual to happiness is enshrined. So we have the challenge of  delineating our personal identity within the structure and boundary of  marriage – a tangled web of roots that dig deep into our personal and collective history!

Marriages based on love are as fragile and fickle as the gossamer thread of love itself. Few of us thoroughly modern women need a partner to protect us physically, to provide for us financially, or to give us the social status of “married woman”. Many of us do not choose marriage to sanction the birthing of our babies, or to provide us with clan. We marry for love. Yet the cost of failed love can cleave hearts and families. Divorce is an emotional and economic apocalypse. No one walks away unscathed. There is always a great gaping hole and scar tissue in your heart, no matter how much you loathed the bastard. The dismemberment of divorce ranks next to the death of your spouse, as the most stressful event you will ever endure.

So if we marry for love, we gamble with the fragility of our hearts. As Mignon McLaughlin says, “a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” On a metaphysical level, the ritual of Marriage is sacred. It is a rite of passage, through which we metamorphose into a deeper, more soulful self. We integrate the masculine and the feminine within; we discover that he or she is not the god/goddess we thought they were. We discover we cannot depend on our partner to make us whole, to love us forever and ever. Perhaps we could see marriage as a threshold into a mansion of self discovery. An archaeological dig into the layers of our ancestral past. A calabash that holds the milk of compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and for each other when we make mistakes, behave appallingly. Perhaps we ought not give up too soon, stand on our soap boxes pontificating about the flaws and weaknesses of the other. Perhaps we will learn to truly love one another and not make a  bond of marriage, but a circle of love that protects those who dwell within. “You were born together, and together you shall be forever more. You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.”  Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet.

Remember Danny Williams from Port Elizabeth? Today he sings for us White on White

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edmej2DOiLM&feature=related

 

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