An Anniversary Meditation
Under a colorful collage created by Artist Cliff, I’ve stored 3 hatboxes. They sit on the rattan coffee table in our lanai. One is floral, another has a repeating Tuscan scene and the third is transparent, the contents held taut by pale blue gossamer fabric. All of them are stuffed to the gills with snippets gathered over years and years.
Isolated at home this past year, I had plenty of time to peer inside the boxes for wisdom, curated from magazines I’ve perused. Some clippings, from the previous century, smelled musty with age.
Have a closer look!
Among the snippets, I’ve found vignettes that fit my blog themes. Some on the topic of marriage. . .
Cliff and I have been together for more than 55 years. This year we are celebrating our 54th wedding anniversary. It’s a milestone, especially after surviving over a year of lockdown with restrictions on seeing our families, and ex-treeeeem-ly close contact, which once erupted into a heated exchange one Sunday early in the pandemic, which I described in this post.
From the hatboxes and otherwise, I give you homespun wisdom . . . in the earliest editions of The Saturday Evening Post. Here, William Penn offered his guidance on choosing a wife.
This, from the January-February 2021 edition.
Marital Advice, 1821 (August 18, 1821)
Do thou be wise—prefer the person before money, virtue before beauty, the mind before the body—then thou hast a wife, a friend, a companion, a second self, one that bear an equal share with thee in all thy toils and troubles. Saturday Evening Post, 1821
“Love the One You’re With” ~ Letty Cottin Pogrebin
from ELLE magazine 2001
This is one of the unadvertised bonuses of marriage. It gives your life a witness. It provides two memories to reconstruct past events and two sets of eyes to squint into the future.
This is not to say that long term relationships don’t have their rough patches, or that every couple is effortlessly compatible, or every marriage worth saving. But when the building blocks are there, the key to a passionate marriage may well lie in the little-noticed word in the wedding vows, cherish. My understanding of the vow? Cultivate one another’s pleasure with utmost care and affection. Never take your beloved for granted. Always put your appreciation and love for each other into words. Savor your memories. And take time to celebrate yourselves. (115)
The Secret of Staying Married
Still married after all these years?
We are each other’s habit,
And each other’s history.
The Marriage Box, a contribution from the blog of writer and friend Elfrieda Schroeder
The Wisdom of Solomon Holy Bible, King James Version
Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. ~ King James Version
(. . . or middle age, or elder years, perhaps)
Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. ESV
If you collect snippets or other ephemera as I do, where do you store them?
What advice about marriage (or otherwise) can you add to the collection here?