Monday, November 26, 2012

What wears, what endures

Today is our wedding anniversary.  When I think back to our wedding day,  I realize just how young we were.  And how much in love I was.  I thought that the very breath of me came from my wife.  I'm not sure that she felt that way about me, but I know that over the years she has come to love me more and more.  And for me, I have come to realize that the love that I felt back then has morphed into something different but still powerful.

We were married in my parent's living room at the old house in Virginia.  My father bought us a house as a wedding gift.  We were moving out of the state, heading South after the first of the year.  We wanted our own house so he gave us one. We didn't want money spent on a big wedding.  We wanted her parents, a few of our friends,  my grandmother who was over 90, and a few other relatives of ours to attend.  Many of those people are dead and gone, some we haven't seen in years, and others probably don't remember the day.

Some of my memories are that the biscuit timer went off during the ceremony.  My father was cooking biscuits to stuff with Smithfield ham.  The cake was made by a friend of the family.  The dining room with the old Hepplewhite table that we still have in our dining room was filled with food.  I don't remember eating anything.  I know that I did because there is a photo of us cutting the cake together and eating some.  I know that I was in a daze.

I remember feeling like it was our day though.  A special day for us.  I also wished that we could have a get away honeymoon, but we were both busy with finishing up our dissertations.  So we went back to our little cinderblock house, made love, and then met with my in-laws and some other relatives for dinner.  The special day was done and the reality of being married set in.

I think that we both were not only excited but wondering what we had gotten into.  What would our lives together be like?  We embarked on a journey that day, using the skills that we had learned and carrying along all the baggage that we had put together.  Thankfully, we have honed our skills and discarded most of the baggage.  We've learned to shape a life together.  And we aren't the same kids that we were back then--having unreal expectations of each other and everyone else.  Our sharp edges have been softened with each other.

Lines written for a thirtieth wedding anniversary

Somewhere up in the eaves it began:
high in the roof – in a sort of vault
between the slates and the gutter – a small leak.
Through it, rain which came from the east,
in from the lights and foghorns of the coast – 
water with a ghost of ocean salt in it – 
spilled down on the path below.
Over and over and over
years stone began to alter,
its grain searched out, worn in:
granite rounding down, giving way
taking into its own inertia that 
information water brought, of ships,
wings, fog and phosphor in the harbour.
It happened under our lives: the rain,
the stone. We hardly noticed. Now
this is the day to think of it, to wonder:
all those years, all those years together –
the stars in a frozen arc overhead,
the quick noise of a thaw in the air,
the blue stare of the hills – through it all
this constancy: what wears, what endures.— Eavan Boland


  1. Syd, I know you are someone famous! I just know You come from such a different world than I do, the only explanation is that you are secretly famous. ;o)

    Bless you and your wife on your anniversary. 30 years is a huge accomplishment. You have not only hung in there together, you have grown and become better people than when you began. Not to mention all of your accomplishments. That is a beautiful thing my friend. ((HUG)) to both of you and C.

  2. That took me back to my own wedding which was also a simple, small thing. We did get a tiny trip in, though, and parts of that were wonderful and parts were very strange in that I was re-meeting my father after twenty-five years of never seeing him once.
    Talk about bringing your own baggage to the marriage!
    And yet, yes, we have endured, just as you and your bride have. It is a peace in the heart, isn't it? It is a sort of quiet glory.
    Congratulations to the both of you.

  3. Happy anniversary!God bless the both of you with many more.

  4. happy anniversary man....i dont think we have any idea what we are getting into at the time...smiles...i asked my wife to marry me 19 years ago yesterday....the biscuit memories that...

  5. Blessings on your 30 years of marriage. I, too, am married 30 years. I know exactly what you are talking about when you speak of the morphing of love. I'm absolutely certain my husband loved me more than I loved him on our wedding day. Yet, this love I have for him today is so big. I cannot imagine my life without him. Where would all the love I have for him go? :)

  6. Happy Anniversary to you and the Mrs., Syd. I wish you many more continued blessings.



  7. Happy Anniversary! 30 years here, too. That poem struck a chord.

  8. • .•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•.
    Wishing You 2 the HAPPIEST Of Anniversaries!
    ✿•*¨`*•. (¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯) .•*¨`*•✿
    . . . ✿•*¨`*•.¸(¯`v´¯)¸.•´*¨`*•✿ . . .
    ……………… ....♥ •.¸.•´♥……………

  9. Ah, Happy Day, Mr & Mrs Syd! Love the poem and picture.

  10. Beautiful poem! What a lovely visual memory of your wedding day you shared for the blog folks.
    Happy Anniversary...

  11. "We've learned to shape a life together...Our sharp edges have been softened with each other." This says it all. Happy 30th anniversary to you and many more!


  12. This is a beautiful post. I feel a little envious of what you've found, but more happy for you than that.

    Happy anniversary to you both.

  13. Happy 30th Anniversary Syd! What a beautiful post. So happy for both of you!

  14. What a beautiful memory! Happy Anniversary!

  15. Congratulations. It's fun (and instructive) having you share your journey of marriage to an alcoholic. Thanks, Syd.


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