Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Strong Women and Marriage

On our wedding day my mother's two best friends both came up to me separately and told me how much they loved our ceremony. These women loom large in my upbringing and their opinions meant a lot to me. They both mentioned one reading in particular and I was incredibly touched and happy that the reading struck a chord with them. The reading itself also comes from a pretty awesome place; the woman who wrote it, Madeleine L'Engle, wrote some of my favorite children's books and I think she was a wonderful role model for strong women everywhere. I've been thinking about it a lot so I thought I'd reproduce it here. Apologies: it is long.

I'm asked with increasing frequency, "But why marry?", a question to be taken seriously. The desire to make sure that there is integrity in love, that neither partner wants to use or manipulate the other, is a healthy one. But ultimately there comes a moment when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other much ask themselves how much they love for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take.

If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession but participation.

When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together, we become a new creature.

[Someone once said]...that marriage is a question not of creating a quick community of spirit by tearing down and destroying all boundaries, but rather a good marriage is that in which each appoints the other the guardian of his solidtude. My love for my husband and his for me is in that unknown, underwater area of ourselves where our separations become something new and strange, merge and penetrate like drops of water in the sea. But we do not lose our solitudes, or our particularity, and we become more than we could alone.

Madeliene L'Engle, The Irrational Season*

*Full Disclosure: I pieced this together from a longer chapter.
**Full Full Disclosure; I first read this quote, in a slightly different format, on the "Vows" forum on IndieBride. Check it out!
***Geek Out - Can't you just see Charles Wallace reading this at Meg(aparsec) and Calvin's wedding? No? That's just me?


  1. that is really beautiful and lovely. great choice for a wedding. i love what it says about freedom and solitude.

  2. @jehara - thanks! I was really happy with it too .