I find newspaper problem pages irresistible; and so when I came late to Cary Tennis of salon.com I felt like Alfred Molina in ‘Chocolat’ being locked into the shop window. The difference between Cary Tennis and the agony aunts/uncles I’m used to is twofold – he offers genuinely interesting advice, and he knows how to write. Try this one to start with:
“Love is not a get-out-of-reality-free card. It does not suspend gravity or the rule of law. It can be a bit of an intoxicant, but it should be taken with food. So I would say: Think about it all you want; concoct elaborate schemes to your heart’s content. It will remain essentially mysterious and beyond your control.”
He talks about other things too – violence, relational conflict, politics, art, sex, kindness, salvation. But I’m getting married tomorrow, and wanted to say something about that. Cary Tennis is right: Love does not suspend gravity, but it is a rule of nature in itself. We can’t live without it. And so I guess all I want to say today is that I’m grateful to be alive, to participate in what John O’Donohue called ‘the fathomless mystery of a day’, this day, every day. The interruption of my life by the appearance of the woman with whom I hope to spend the rest of it was unexpected; and it has taught me something that I suspect may be the most important lesson I’ll ever learn:
Love needs to be shouted from the rooftops and declared with greater passion and commitment than we usually reserve for news headlines and gossip. There is almost limitless possibility in every moment; and even the darkest struggle shall eventually pass.
You may think I’m speaking from a space of heightened emotion, or relativising reality because I’m living slightly outside it this weekend; perhaps you’re right. Or perhaps what we believe about love in our best moments and deepest aspirations happens to be true. Either way, I hope you have a beautiful day.
OK, enough of that. I’ve a wedding to get to. See you next week.