yesterday i listened to an amazing story on The Moth by critically acclaimed author Andrew Solomon about his journey to becoming a father. Andrew is gay, and he got married to his partner John after initial hesitation as he wasn’t sure if he believed in the idea of marriage. they wed in a civil partnership ceremony in the UK (at Althorp, Princess Diana’s childhood home – love that) and what he said in the podcast* about the act of getting married is lovely:
I found that though our commitment had seemed to me to be permanent and declared and established before that, that the experience of having all of these hundreds of friends gathered together witnessing our love shored it up and strengthened it and gave it a new depth, and gave it a new resonance that I had never imagined or anticipated. And I found the fact that we were celebrating that love in a ceremony that echoed in some sense the one my parents had had, and the ones my grandparents had had, and the ones that presumedly went back generation upon generation exalted the feeling between us. And it was very joyful.
The best description of marriage I ever heard was made in reference to architectural structure, that its strength is the result of a delicate balance between stress and support. I like that description because it implies that active forces are required to make it work, a kind of dynamic tension between the mundane and the sublime that makes the act of marriage one of purposeful intention, of daring, courage and high adventure.
i wish i had had similarly eloquent words to express myself on the day we got married, but i couldn’t pull myself together in my rambling thank you speech (emotions, guys!) even now it’s hard to find the words. i’ve always been a more visual person, which is why these help:
* PS: what podcasts are you guys listening to? i have my firm favourites – This American Life, The Moth, Nerdist… but i am always looking for new recommendations. Death, Sex & Money is a new favourite, too. let me in on your podcast secrets!