Friday, March 9, 2007

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

A friend shared with me a program from a wedding she recently attended. The bride was an English major, so it was about eight pages thick and filled with verse, poetry and sonnets. It was a great read. I'm often asked by brides to suggest readings for their wedding program. My favorite is 1 Corinthians 13. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." It's been read at weddings so many times, I'm pretty sure no one listens anymore, but each time I hear it I find it to be extremely powerful. These days when I read it I think of my own relationship: "Love is patient. Capital P-a-t-i-e-n-t. Love is kind. Love is patient (did I say that before? well, it bears repeating). A new favorite of mine is "Why Marriage?" by Mari Nichols. I stumbled upon this poem one day while surfing the web. Apparently, the author had written it for her fiance back in 1995. It doesn't rival my second favorite by Emily Dickinson, but it has certainly found a place in my heart, if not in my wedding program.

WHY MARRIAGE?
~ By: Mari Nichols-Haining ~

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body...

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won't hold them against me,
Who loves me when I'm unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me...

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold...

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship...

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements...

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole...

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me,
I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage...

Because with this understanding
The possibilities are limitless

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Stumbled on your site and was shocked to see my name. I'm honored, flattered, humbled...all that good stuff.

~Mari

nichols cet.com
(fear of spam prevents me from inserting the @ character between my name and my isp)

Anonymous said...

I love your interpretation of marriage and the sincerity you expressed. However the statement about being in love and being a friend puzzles me? What if you're married to a friend but not in love with your friend/spouse? What if you're actually in love with someone else?

Leslie said...

Mari - as you should be. It is a great poem. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to answer that question. Your answer is far better than "because I'm allergic to pet dander."

Leslie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Anonymous - I'm not Mari, but I will dare say that I think marriage is more about making a decision to love and less about feeling. Nikki Giovanni has this great poem titled "The Laws of Motion." In it she has a line that has always struck a chord with me. She writes: "The problem with love is not what we feel but what we wish we felt when we began to feel we should feel something." I hope Mari answers your question. I would love to hear her thoughts.