Matt W Cook

writer.former fundamentalist.christianly fellow

Tag: wedding

Eighth Year

     The problem with expressing sentiment, especially romantic sentiment, is that it can so easily seem trite. Most folks wander on to Facebook on their anniversary, armed with dozens of exclamation points, and throw down one of many packaged statements about how happy they are that they married whoever they married. Everyone does it. And that’s what makes me approach this subject with trepidation.
     You see, my marriage is better than everyone else’s.
     I know, I know, that sounds arrogant and maybe even a bit offensive. But I really believe it. You know all those things that married people fight about? Money, sex, kids, events, family. We don’t. Like, ever.
     And you know how married people can’t wait to get away from each other and do the guy’s night out and the girl’s night out? We don’t really understand that.
     And you know how they say that your first year is the honeymoon and it all goes downhill from there? Well, to be completely frank and honest, that’s just bullshit. I have no other word for that destructive idea and if you ever find yourself uttering it, please jam your foot deep inside your mouth.
     Sure, I have problems in my life, just like everyone else. But my wife isn’t one of them. But how can I express that without blending into the crowds of people who can hardly stand their spouses most of the time but give them lip service on special days of the year?
     Maybe I can’t. Maybe there’s no way to sound unique and special. And, in the end, that’s fine.
     Because the second month of marriage to Ruth was better than the first. And the third was better than the second. And the ninety-fifth was better than the ninety-fourth. So every month seems to be the best month of my life. And that’s pretty cool. I may die of happy soon, and I can’t think of a better way to go.
     So here’s to you, Ruth. Here’s to the love we feast upon and the luminescent beings we are evolving into together. The ride’s been great so far and I feel like we have hardly even started yet. May our love continue to cast out all fear. May our hope always endure. May our faith in each other and in this radiant Universe in which the mystery of love happens grow and flourish.
     Amen.

Love Gems #1 – Mr. Miyagi

      I performed a wedding a few weeks ago. It was a glorious time and a glorious couple. I had the opportunity to share a bit about love and marriage. I defaulted to nuggets from four of the greatest men who ever lived. The first was Mr. Miyagi.

      Remember that scene from The Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi askes Daniel if he’s ready to start learning Karate. Daniel shrugs and says, “I guess so.”
      Mr. Miyagi shakes his head and takes Daniel by the shoulder. “Daniel-san,” he says. “Must talk.”
      He crouches down and unpacks his parable. “You walk on road, hm? Walk left side – safe. Walk right side – safe. Walk middle? Sooner or later squish just like grape. Same with Karate. Karate do yes? Okay. Karate do no? Okay. Karate do ‘guess-so?’ Sooner or later squish just like grape.”
      Love’s that way, I thought. Love do yes? Safe. Love do no? Safe (though empty). Love do ‘guess-so?’ Sooner or later, squish just like grape.
      Love is the wildest battle I’ve ever fought. And any battle demands all your attention.
      People fail when they love their neighbours and their spouses ‘guess-so.’ It’s as bad as walking down the centre of the road. Gotta pick a side! Either refuse to love anyone, and live that empty, dark life of safe loneliness. Or choose to throw yourself into love and walk that vibrant path of peace. Otherwise you’ll be always waffling back and forth between selfishness and love, never sure which hand to play.
      The love path will get you beat up, just like the Karate path earn Daniel a few bruises. But it was better than the other path. Because love creates a bubble of protection around us that we are enabled to extend to the people in our circles. It makes the world a better place. It heals every hurt. It’s not easy, but it’s safe. Safer than ‘guess-so.’