Friday, November 18, 2011

Say what?

I like to behave as if I understand everything; it's part of the philosophical mindset. If I keep thinking about it, eventually I will figure it out, or so goes an old assumption that lies deep beneath my mind chatter.

Of course it's a total delusion. If I lived to be a million and did nothing but ponder from now till then, I still wouldn't "get" even the tiniest percentage of all the great mysteries. One benefit of growing older is that I remember (more often than I used to) that I'll never understand it all, never, not ever, hence I take great care deciding exactly what merits my philosophical attention.

Lately I've been thinking about marriage - not any particular marriage, I'm talking about the institution itself. You know what? I don't understand marriage, I really don't. I understand falling in love, of course. And the structure makes sense especially for people who want to have children. Likewise I believe that in marriage people are given an opportunity to work through the most complicated personal issues. In terms of spiritual evolution, marriage as an institution is a strenuous lesson, right up there with the lessons people learn from living with blood family.

The compromises people make in marriage - wow. The things they tolerate from each other, the aspects of each other they rail against, well, I find it fascinating and utterly incomprehensible. Marriage is loving, compassionate, also rife with politics and power struggling. Marriage is complicated!

One of my teachers says marriage is a "crucible" in which two families come together for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is to produce children, in other situations, the two families are working through a family soul issue, which accounts for all the stereotypes around in-laws. After the purpose (whatever it may be) is consummated, the couple is free to split up or carry on together till death do they part. It's an interesting perspective.

I know many people who have been married for decades. Decades! Continuity and length have not historically been my forte when it comes to romantic connections. Maybe that's why I don't get it. Ya think?

Happy Friday. Say a prayer for the Spirit of Turkey tonight, please? Tomorrow and Sunday 46 million turkeys will be slaughtered. It's a prosperity ritual that requires an animal sacrifice. So be it, but oh! Poor Spirit of Turkey!



ellen abbott said...

It is my belief (and some of that is actually backed up by stuff I have read) that marriage as we know it, and the attendant subjugation of women and diefication of virginity, is all about inheritence rights, men making sure that some other man's kid didn't get the stuff.

Reya Mellicker said...

It was, but it's something quite different now. Yours is one of the marriages I ponder, Ellen. That you two were able to make it through - well - wow!

ellen abbott said...

I ponder that myself. the nature of my marriage and my feelings about it have changed many times. would that we were near each other with a bottle of wine and a cozy couch to dissect it.

The Bug said...

21 years next month for us. I can't really fathom any other reality, but I'm not much of a one for "fathoming" anyway :) Ask Mike - you'll get a whole other answer. Ha!

jeanette from everton terrace said...

Being with Bill is the greatest source of joy and fun in my life, but as you said to me, I married well. I suppose we wouldn't need to be married for this but we are. Sometimes I think he is my reward :)
Funny you bring this up today (or not), one of M's friends is going to be proposed to over Christmas so I've been thinking about the whole meaning of it all and how I will feel when she marries, I don't know.

Elizabeth said...

Didn't go to your blog yesterday so missed THE LEAF below!
WOWSERS! so splendid

your book seems to be rattling along at an alarming rate

for a REALLY scary book about betrayal and weird stuff read John Fowles THE MAGUS
I was really disturbed by it.

Ken Russell is one of my all time fave film directors
see Mahler with the divine (well, way back then!)
Robert Powell.

I do admire your energy.

R and I have been married since the dawn of time --and it is still a constantly changing thing....

You make my blood run cold with the turkey slaughter weekend thing......

much love

Cheryl Cato said...

"Say what?" Well you said it. Sometimes I ponder the subject as well. I am happier now than I have ever been with any other man.
The G-man & I get along well. We are pretty darned accepting and supportive of each other which is much more that I can say about my two previous marriages.
At our age we certainly didn't have to marry but we wanted to. I see two of my unmarried friends who and they have no control over their own relationship because illness set in on one and his life has been completely taken over by the daughter. It's a sad situation.
No one can mess with me & the G-man! We are tight... with power-of-attorney as well as spousal rights.
Have I mentioned love? Yes, we love each other and I'm so happy to be in his life & he in mine.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen, would that we did have the bottle, couch and some time. That would be so fun!

Reya Mellicker said...

Cheryl, you two - you and the G man - well, it is destiny! I love how I feel when I read your words. Now that is TRUE love.

Elizabeth I hope you blood runs warm asap because winter has arrived even here in DC. It's cold! You and Robert are soul mates, for sure. And you are very tolerant and kind to one another. I love the energy you share, how you are very engaged with each other, very comfortable.

Lynne said...

Married for 30 years and proud of it. Before that: a failed marriage of not quite 7 years. I can't imagine life without my best friend.

Angela said...

When my husband and I met at a blind date (me 17, him 21), we just looked at each other and thought, WOW! So we have finally met! And we`ve been together since, although I was determined NOT to get married (my parents` marriage was a catstrophe). Why does it work with us? Who can tell. He is quite a challenge to me, and vice versa. But we laugh and giggle together, we share our thoughts (most), we include the other totally in our lives. I can`t imagine my life without him.
But does it have to be marriage?
Not since the children are grown.

I guess Vega with her adventurous life is not married?

Reya Mellicker said...

Vega is single.

Linda Sue said...

calves are easily bound and slaughtered, never knowing the reason why...indeed poor turkeys- we get ours from a local farm where they have played turkey chase all their lives . Got to die of something, may as well be a quick ax...
Marriage is dumb! They don't even get married in Norway because it is so dumb!

Pam said...

Yeah, love is the big thing but ultimately, whether its marriage or a non-marriage life commitment, it's ultimately with someone who's faults suit you, otherwise it wouldn't last,right?
Husband and I had a vegetarian Christmas last year. On principle,I have trouble with all those animals being slaughtered, but everyone was welcome to bring the meat they preferred, as we don't force our principles on the rights of others and their beliefs.There were other vegetarians in the family, so all in all we had a great time.
I always like to ask people who are happy together how they met. Only once I've been told "rather you didn't ask - it caused a painful divorce on both sides and even now, happy as we are, there is a lot of residual guilt".
Enjoyed your post Reya.

Reya Mellicker said...

You see Pam, this is why I admire and adore you. People marry successfully when the other person's flaw suit them. Well. Wow! Yeah.