Saturday, November 23, 2019

2019.11.24 No Matter What, Love!


 Modern Declaration
    by Edna St. Vincent Millay

I, having loved ever since I was a child a few things, never
    having wavered
In these affection; never through shyness in the houses of
the
    rich or in the presence of clergymen having denied these
loves;
Never when worked upon by cynics like chiropractors having
    grunted or clicked a vertebra to the discredit of these
loves;
Never when anxious to land a job having diminished them by
    a conniving smile; or when befuddled by drink
Jeered at them through heartache or lazily fondled the fingers
    of their alert enemies; declare

That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied
    interests wins the war;
Shall love you always.  



I might have meant this declaration of love to address God whose presence I met as a young child and trust every day—okay with some dips and pauses.

But today I mean this poem for my beloved spouse of 33 years. We were married within the context of the parish Sunday morning Eucharist on Christ the King Sunday, November 23, 1986 with the proviso that we NOT sing the traditionally-themed hymn, “Crown Him With Many Crowns.” There were, and are, enough “hims” taking over everything everywhere that one more hymn to him was just too much, I ruled. And not on the day of my second marriage. 

This day honors a God who brings life out of death. For us, that “death” was the end of our first marriages. I felt joy, fear, grief, gratitude, and love all at once. My pile of feelings brought a few tears during the vows. I will never forget the look on my dearly beloved’s face. The memory makes us laugh. I felt the need and trust of God’s presence intensely, and I was marrying a man who shared that faith. We still do and we call Christ the King Christ in Majesty—a tad less gendered, though I prefer Christ the Kin (one of the Germanic origins of the word King). Yes!

So we married each other on this special Sunday, which in 1986 was November 23. I have never regretted a single moment of our 33 years of loving and sparring and loving and weeping and loving again and again. So, dearly beloved, I say, with the poet (never say poetESS):

That I shall love you always.
No matter what party is in power;
No matter what temporarily expedient combination of allied
    interests wins the war;
Shall love you always.