…well, my marriage, which has, if truth be told, been an unalterable begetter of happiness, and which I wish to fete.
Dedicated to Gethyn:
One swiftly converging upon the two-decade occasion of one’s association with one’s bridegroom (that would be marriage!) inevitably gives introspection to said interconnection, its longevity, its maturation and its extant position.
(I must interrupt here to rejoice in the favourable occasion to use extant, which I have only ever exercised to reference Classical literature!)
To assist me in my discourse, I call upon the excellent erudition of my favourite bard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and his exquisite essay, Love (1841).
I have oft exalted in the fact that he and I think comparably: cross-pollinate, as I have previously characterised the congruence, and that I admire him not because I fancy the way he contemplates; rather, because we conceive the same. As my marriage verges upon its twenty-year mark, this cross-pollination is ever more apparent.
“He who paints it at the first period will lose some of its later, he who paints it at the last, some of its earlier traits. Only it is to be hoped that, by patience and the Muses’ aid, we may attain to that inward view of the law, which shall describe a truth ever young and beautiful, so central that it shall commend itself to the eye, at whatever angle beholden.”
It may be maintained that those who are young encounter passion in love, almost to the exclusion of all other manifestations of the emotion, with no perception of responses further along time’s arrow; similarly, that those of more advanced years, though passion exists, seek “higher” love: virtue and worth; however, it is conceivable that the young are possessed of the enlightenment of a more cultivated individual despite greenness; and this was precisely me: a young woman who, not given to frivolous associations, sought intellect, decency and aspiration above all in consociation.
“…and when the day was not long enough, but the night, too, must be consumed in keen recollections; when the head boiled all night on the pillow with the generous deed it resolved on; when the moonlight was a pleasing fever, and the stars were letters, and the flowers ciphers, and the air was coined into song; when all business seemed an impertinence, and all the men and women running to and fro in the streets, mere pictures.”
Who has not experienced this?!?? I certainly have and I hold it on worthy authority that Geth has as well. There isn’t much to say here, as the reader will recognise his or her past; and perchance, still his or her current self!
Despite the age of the lover, love holds the capacity to impress every breadth of one’s existence –”every scene in the play” – by intensifying the circles of each – those nearest to one initially: relatives, home, friends; subsequently, those farthest: society, geography – outward in a merry demonstration of this emotion on the life of the lover.
“The same remark holds of painting. And of poetry, the success is not attained when it lulls and satisfies, but when it astonishes and fires us with new endeavours after the unattainable.”
This turn of phrase resonated acutely with me; Emerson deciphered beauty – and as such, love – as that which catches a spontaneous and deep emotion; the experiencer knows not whence; that it can be neither categorised nor defined and one should not attempt definition or categorisation; for to do so, said beauty is stripped of its astonishment; it is through the primary intellect – that would be intuition – that this wonder is actually realised, and it must be espoused, not inspected.
And in doing so, achieve thus…
“…but if, accepting the hint of these visions and suggestions which beauty makes to his mind, the soul passes through the body, and falls to admire strokes of character, and the lovers contemplate one another in their discourses and their actions, then they pass to the true palace of beauty, more and more inflame their love of it, and by this love extinguishing the base affection, as the sun puts out the fire by shining on the hearth, they become pure and hallowed.”
And, THIS is love!