Tag Archives: marriage
[ from the both of us and we're listening to Radiohead (Amnesiac) ]
Written for Jessica and Edwin’s wedding:
We are honored to be standing here with you on this day. Our wish to you is that marriage will bring you joy, laughter, adventure, and gratitude, all of which are gifts you bring to us.
A marriage begins as a decision and will become the story of your decisions together, from this day forward. You take this person today and commit to making their life your own and by doing so you share something together that is bigger than yourselves.
Decide to protect and nourish what you begin today. Do not expect a version of each other that you want, but do commit to asking the best of one another. Remember always that this is a process and that the difficulties are beautiful. All of it is working toward a greater understanding of love. Only remember to back up and give grace. When you persist together, you grow in ways that happy days couldn’t have asked of you.
Love completely, even without complete understanding, because love is the source of joy and beauty, creativity and laughter. Marriage allows us to experience this through sustained commitment over time.
Know that time will bring you success, failure, happiness, and sorrow. Time will surprise you and though your union may evolve, you can rest in the promise that this friend, lover, and partner will share what time may bring for as long as you both shall live.
You have been given a best friend. You will become one another’s story and understand them like an old friend. As you grow and change you will become like new friends. Remember that a good friend sticks close. They look to see the good in you even when you are showing them less.
Be quick to remember that you cannot win or lose against each other. Love sacrifices and love is authentic peace. Love each other well and understand the best for them is the best for you.
Marriage allows us to glimpse into the mystery and beauty of unconditional love and connectedness. Marriage teaches the language of “we,” which is beautiful in the smallness of home but also a refreshing acknowledgement of a broader interconnectedness within our communities and the earth.
Tags: amnesiac, blessing, bride and groom, ceremony, earth, ecology, friendship, gifts, interconnectedness, love, marriage, mexico, mystery, radiohead, tuxtla gutierrez, unconditional love, wedding advice
[ from a. addair who is listening to Fatboy Slim (You've Come A Long Way, Baby) ]
as for knowing if you love someone and then if you should marry him…
the longer i’ve been married, my view of this question has become less romantic. i think the question is more about deciding if you want to commit to a life-long relationship. this is a difficult and laborious commitment but one that, i think, has deeply sweet fruits. i haven’t been married for very long (in the wide scope of things) so i am far from a full understanding of my vow. so far i can say that it has been more difficult than it has been fun. but i do feel that i have a priceless friend that (given my character traits), i would not have outside of marriage. i think that this is of value and will continue to become more valuable the longer we commit to it.
deciding if this sort of arrangement aligns with your values and priorities is the first question (i think its okay if it doesn’t).
after this, the specific person you chose becomes less important. i say that because, whoever you marry will grow and change and not be the person you originally picked. and also because, no matter who you pick, you will learn their flaws and forget their beauty and be sometimes annoyed and sometimes you will loathe them (well, i do at least).
not to say that you shouldn’t be diligent and thoughtful in the choosing of a partner. but i guess, the most important thing to consider is if the person has the same commitment and expectations and values for marriage. and after that it just gets down to preferences. think about the things that are most important to you and make sure that those things are supported and valued by your partner and vice versa. i guess i’m saying that feelings of love don’t answer this question. feelings about/for a person are indicators of something going on inside of you and it is good to try and understand what they are pointing to. but they don’t know how to make decisions (especially life-long vows).
on being attracted to other men…
sadly, i don’t think this will go away (i don’t think it is an indication of how well or bad your relationship is going). because i’m married, i’ve decided that i won’t pursue them and that the richness of my life will be greater for it, because my investment is with levon. i think it is possible that i could have a good life with any number of people, but i’ve chosen this one and this one (and our life) will be better if i keep my promise to him.
this is my perspective because i am married. i would probably have a different one if i weren’t.
i hope this letter is helpful and not frustrating. please feel free to think aloud as much as you need. and to ask any questions you are wondering about (not that i will have an answer, but i will at least share my experiences). and know that you aren’t crazy (if you are that makes two of us, because i’ve been there and freak out about being married often).
sending peace and love your way,
Tags: attraction, expectations, faithfulness, family gathering, fatboy slim, letter to a friend, loathing, love, marriage, pappaw, peace and love, romance, the walkers, vows, western ky, you've come a long way baby
[ from addair who is listening to Del McCoury (El Corazon) ]
[ from addair who is listening to Ian Brown (Solarized) ]
I’ve craved solitude for a while now and I’ve been partly fulfilled. During the day I have a house to myself and I’ve been able to get some work done. I paint in the mornings; music on before the sun comes up and cleaning out my brushes before it peaks in the sky. That feels good.
Now that it’s the weekend I feel a bit restless. Weekends are for playing but I don’t have anyone to play with. I find that when Levon isn’t around I do things that he doesn’t enjoy as much as I do. I’ve got a habit of wanting to be around him. With a sort of love for happenstance, a lot of the time I let him navigate our playing. And then every 6 months or so I find myself mauling for control and being obstinate when things don’t go my way. I suppose I haven’t learned balance yet.
And so for the past few days I’ve reveled in doing the things we normally do, but at the frequency and schedule of my choosing. This has been agreeable. I feel like my previously empty tank is sloshing around with whatever it is that keeps me okay. And I’m learning to respect and value our differences and to love our dependence on one another (its taken me a full 7 years to warily approach and incompletely relax in this last part).
I’m thinking of taking a trip to Nashville after I post this. It is a good city with an art museum The Frist in the old post office I love) and a pleasant park for walking (Centennial Park, though it will make me miss Kaylay the dog). Also I need some more canvas and there is an art supply store there.
Tags: art musuem, art supply, balance, Centennial Park, control, friendship, Frist Museum, happenstance, ian brown, loneliness, marriage, nashville, painting, quiet, restlessness, schedule, solarized, tennessee
As much as my fiercely independent disposition hates to admit it, I depend on Levon. We’ve been apart for 11 days, the longest period in five years, and I’m realizing just how much of my daily act of living intertwines with his.
Humans are relational beings, and though I don’t pretend to wholly understand why or how this came to be, I believe it is the way we were made. We all crave intimacy.
Of course authentic fellowship can be experienced in platonic relationships and outside of marriage but for me, I’ve needed a publicly acknowledged promise.
I’m self sufficient enough (or so I think) that when conflict arises and vulnerability is called for, I prefer to simply move on rather than work for true communion.
Being married has helped me to experience life intensely and amply because it has required that I stay long enough for authenticity to become essential.
Though being in relationship with Levon has been one of the most challenging acts of my life, it has also been one of the most edifying. I’ve experienced enough genuine friendship to understand that it is worth the effort.
Ashley met me at Starbucks with a change of clothes at 6:30 and we walked the rest of the night away, from the Upper East Side at 85th and Lex down to the East Village and Soho, back to Union Square, and then trained it back to Harlem where we walked our usual route home from the green line stop at 125th and Lex back home to 137th and 5th. That’s a lot of city to stimulate a lot of conversation.
We have given 30 day notice that we are leaving our apartment in Harlem. It has been a good situation here, but if I plan on continuing the amount of playing out like I have, we’ve got to live farther downtown. Catching subways after midnight on local routes every night and then walking 14 blocks with a keyboard will tack on a dizzying two hours to the day before I get up and smile in my Starbucks green apron bright and early. When I crawl out of bed I’m craving my Starbucks and hating my Starbucks. But I don’t mess around; I step right up and make a quad macchiato to get my bearings. Then I double fist a Pike’s Place and a Sumatra while running around the bar until someone taps me on the shoulder and tells me I can go home.
Ashley’s 21 day waiting period for her NY tax ID number to be a street artist is almost up. I’ve joined a band. I’m assembling my own band and booking dates in the fall to be in a city near you. We’ve started selling my CD at etsy.com and Ashley has made our first No Room for Hipsters merchandise. Those are the logistics.
Our five hour conversation tonight went beyond logistics: I guess I’m going to share. We were talking about the last seven years, nearly five of them married, and how it took us so long to do what we said we’d do when we started the whole life together.
When I was 22 and Ashley was 20 we were optimistic and naively clueless, which has led to our bumps, undoubtedly similar to your bumps and everybody’s bumps. When you live through such a formative period together, you can really only hope that you grow together as you grow individually. Why does Ben Folds write a song like “Luckiest” one day and then “You Don’t Know Me” about the same girl/ ex wife a couple years later? Because a relationship and each individual involved are three separate entities on their own make-do path in the world: the culmination of the flaws, sloppiness, and fickleness of humanity. Then, hopefully, there is the other hand.
We can learn to inspire the potential in each other to become some stronger version of ourselves, which may or may not always be our desired version from the onset. The only thing we control is our actions during the process, meaning hopefully we are tied closer together in the end, whatever that end may be. You grow apart or you grow together, but you will grow.
Making a relationship work is like songwriting. You wait around, open to the idea of writing until you find the inspiration. You wrestle down a concept and throw out a few phrases. If its good you keep going and hope it fits to a sweet enough melody. When the melody is right, you have to commit to a chord progression that matches the integrity of the lyric. By the time your catchy three word hook is a 3 minute fleshed out composition you are tenderly guessing at all of it, but guessing from sincerity and in some hope that you know what you’re doing. You are never sure for a second about anything. In the end you are either holding something marvelous or something you need to throw back, or maybe you’re painfully finding you’ve been thrown back yourself. In all three cases you have become intimately involved, and the involvement will have your attention.
All I know for sure is that Ashley and I have lived the last seven years the best we could, through a lot of mess specific to us, but common themed to us all, and we are better for it. We find ourselves even in a literal sense far from where we began. I don’t pretend to have many answers about successful marriage, but one sign evident to me that we have gotten better is that the four day silent treatments have become fewer and we can usually take a deep breathe, swallow hard, and then say, okay, here’s where I was wrong and I realize that I may have made you feel….
BUT YOU STILL….!!!
No, you can’t say that.
Anyway, I talked more here about all of this than we did on our walk but I just wanted to share. I guess my last thought for the night on the subject is that you pick someone to share your life with and that person will be the closest outside perspective you can get to the craziness in your mind. This process is mutual as you daily see the outward manifestation of another crazy human. This is a messy setup and has all sorts of outcomes; you know this already. As important as it is to be there for yourself, it is equally, if not more important for you to be there for the benefit and strengthening of your life’s partner. They are your closest advisor, and you desperately need them to be wiser at sorting out life than you are. Likewise, they to you. Now go get her (or him)!