My lovely bride and I today celebrate three years together as husband and wife. We were married at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2003, by the Rev. Msgr. W. Ronald Jameson, in the St. Anthony of Padua Chapel, in the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle, in Washington DC.
Well, I suppose the Mass started at 10:00 a.m.; what time the actual moment of “I now pronounce you husband and wife” occurred, I can’t tell you. Or whenever it is in the Catholic wedding Mass that the actual moment of marriage occurs. The procession itself, such as it was, started at ten o’clock, with the wedding party of our sisters and Dawn and I each brought in by our parents, and Paul playing the organ and Jenny our cantor leading the processional hymn. The cathedral was undergoing major renovations at the time, and the back of the nave where we gathered was filled with scaffolding, kind of a cool effect, like a tunnel or cave, from which we emerged to go up the steps into the chapel.
Writing that just now, not having thought about it quite that way before, it strikes me that that imagery mirrors of course what we celebrate at Easter. And so I like that, the idea that marrying is not just changing our lives, but truly starting a new life, a rebirth into something completely different and special and wonderful. Not to mention that her very name is Dawn.
And a lot of days it is that, different and special and wonderful, and but then naturally some days it takes a lot of effort for me to try to be agreeable and not cranky or in a funk, to be somebody loveable and worth staying with, but really most days it’s not even something we have to think much about, it’s just so easy. And that’s what surprises me the most, how easy it is most days, the vast majority of days.
And for some reason this, and thinking all this week about Dawn and how crazy in love I am with her, it all makes me think of some of my favorite poems, by Amy Lowell. First, from Venus Transiens:
Was Venus more beautiful
Than you are,
When she topped
The crinkled waves,
On her plaited shell?
On our honeymoon we went to the Uffizi and together saw the Botticelli that Amy Lowell is talking about, even more so then for me it made this poem all about Dawn. And I love Dawn’s cute little feet, and Venus has funny little cartoon feet in the painting. My wife is beautiful, my goddess of love.
Then there’s Decade:
When you came, you were like red wine and honey,
And the taste of you burnt my mouth with its sweetness.
Now you are like morning bread,
Smooth and pleasant.
I hardly taste you at all for I know your savour,
But I am completely nourished.
And that of course is the easy part. Hopefully I’m not taking it for granted surely, but then not so much tasting as savoring.
Finally, this, from Interlude:
You shine, Beloved,
You and the moon.
But which is the reflection?
The clock is striking eleven.
I think, when we have shut and barred the door,
The night will be dark
I love that, that sexy sort of aside that ends the poem. Saying it ain’t dark in here, baby. It’s going to shine. It’ll be hot.
Being married to Dawn is all of these.