Saturday, August 06, 2005

PARABOLA-Musings on Marriage

Well, I went through my Parabola magazines today, looking for the Marriage issue for encouraging words for friends who've recently married, (like yesterday!). I have seven issues; I need to get a subscription! Please note that my definition of Marriage includes partners of both sexes, and also union of self to the God/Goddess (much like St. Theresa of Avila, or Sappho).

Here are some Pearls of Knowledge that I've picked - If there is a highlighed word, you can click on to take you to the story, or more info, elswhere on the web.

Greek - The Tale of Baucis and Philemon (one of my personal favorites since I was a child). Jane Mickelson states in her text about this story, "It would be difficult to find a human relationship that embodies a greater complexity than marriage- with its blend of civil, social, spiritual, and physical -and stories reflect this."

English/Irish/French(Medieval)- The Dame and the Knight A truly rollicking tale of the celtic Loathly Damsel or Ugly Bride with a surprise ending. Michael Van Baker notes in his dissection of the tale, "The Kingdom of the Grail is such a land: to be achieved only by one capable of transcending the painted wall of space-time....The transformation of the fairy bride and the sovereignty that she bestows are, finally, of one's own heart in fullfillment."

Native American - Linda Johnston discovers the Ojibwe (Anishable) Mide wi win (midwife & healer) way of life is complemented by her marriage. She says, " Many times I have marveled at the depth of Amig's [her husband] prayers for our life together. Or is what we experience a result of our faith? I think it's both."

Now for some quotes:

"There is nothing nobler and more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye to keep house...., confounding their enemies, and delighting their friends." - Homer

"I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine." - The Song of Songs

"The best marriages, like the best lives, were both happy and unhappy. There is even a kind of necessary tension, a certain tautness between the partners that gave the marriage strength, like the tautness of a full sail. You went forward on it." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
[*Note: I really like Mrs. Morrow-Lindbergh's works, such as Gift from the Sea, especially considering the very public and infamous kidnapping & death of her 1st child, a son, and the unfortunate execution of a German immigrant who was convicted (but later proved innocent) of the crime.]

Finally, I'd like to end with a picture (mindful of my old Art History days...)

This piece is titled, The Anolfini Wedding by Jan van Eyck (c.1434)
Note the dog, symbol of fidelity; the bed and fruits, referring to fertility and the garden; and the mirror, which shows the painter and a witness to the moment of betrothal.


The Moody Minstrel said...

I think the institution of marriage has been given quite a bad rap in Western culture, particularly in recent times. It has come to be seen as an end in and of itself, either as simply fulfilling a traditional obligation or as a way of legitimizing a current infatuation. I think the high divorce rate in most "advanced" countries underscores the fallacies of either way of thinking.

Heck, I won't even bother elaborating on Britney Spears...

I can say with confidence that marriage is WORK. It takes both effort and sacrifice. However, if both partners are willing to put forth what it takes to make it endure (something that is extremely unpopular in "modern" culture...effort? AAAAHH!!!!), it is not so much an end as a new beginning.

I think it's worth it.

thehim said...


As someone new to this marriage thing, I appreciate the links!

Hopefully, I can avoid starting to sound like Al Bundy...

"Insurance is like marriage. You pay and pay but you never get anything back."

I think I'll make it. :)

Don Snabulus said...

Being married to Ladybug, I am spoiled, but I venture to say that marriage is a wonderful thing and the work is worth it.

ladybug said...

Oopsy-Doodle, the The Damsel & The Knight link now works. I forgot one letter in the address!

kel said...

OK...I'm now forced to share some of my personal life (only for my favorite cuz). I've been married 3x, the third to the one that should have been the first, but that's a long story. But here's a good quote:

When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part. ~G.B. Shaw, Getting Married, 1908

Don Snabulus said...

Even though I love the usual suspects, it is nice to see new folks making some comments.

Hello and Welcome!

Pa've said...

All though I am familiar with the concept of marriage, I have yet to engage in that particular social model. I blame myself entirely for this, having not recognized the brightest blooms of flowers and for not striving harder to keep them.

Catfish Johnny Redbeard said...

I retold the tale of Baucis and Philemon to my girlfriend as I proposed to her.

It worked, and we've been married for 9 months.

Vulgarius said...

10 Years for us in a few days!

Vulgarius said...

About that picture... Are you sure that the person in the mirror isn't daddy with a crossbow?

Dateline said...

Men have a much better time of it than women; for one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
- H.L. Mencken

Pandabonium said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prime Minister Koizumi said...

The government has been removed by this PM for not voting to privatize the post.

Seymour said...

Yeah, you got it right Vulgarius, that chick is n-o-k-d, knocked up! Perhaps the earliest reason for marriage. Look how she has her hand on her tummy.

Seymour said...

And isn't the guy in the painting the same guy in "The Scream"? Maybe that's him when he sees the bill for his daughter's braces.

ladybug said...

OMIGAWD! You are sooo right about the scream look-a-like guy!

As for the preggers things, maybe-maybe not. I'll clue you in on a little costume/art history thing: Each "age" has particular parts of female anatomy that it emphasizes, and in the late middle ages a huge belly (pregnant looking), a plucked forehead and small upper torso were "in".

Fast forward to the 17th Century Spanish Court - hips are "in", in the form of Panniers so huge, ladies must enter rooms sideways!

And of course the infamous Victorian hoop skirts emphasizing the waist and rounded shoulders while giving the illusion that women have no legs; coming to perfect fruition in the ubiquitous Ante-Bellum South

I think you get the idea!

The Moody Minstrel said...

Right. Look at most Italian paintings from that era. ALL the women have pear-shaped figures.

Sorta adds a new meaning to the phrase "fruit-of-the-loom", don't it?

Did I say that?