I have never really thought about marriage much. Until recently. (No folks, Im not into tying any knots. I even have velcro shoes.)
But last week my son got married.
He gave his vows of eternal love beside the Brisbane river with the two tribes (his and hers) looking on, sipping Fourex. (Its like a beer.)
Ive never been married. Not formally and legally. Ive had a couple of long relationships that were like marriage but I have never given public vows or received multiple toasters and salad servers.
I have been de facto my whole life. (That doesnt sound good... Is there something Im missing here?)
Marriage is irrational. I mean really, how can any sane person say that theyre going to love someone until death does em part?
Thats a long time. You have to kill your spouse to end the contract.
What if you get married to someone who you think you love more than anything and then the person who is really the love of your life fractures your world like a beam of sunshine on a cloudy Brisbane day? How can you ever be sure?
Of course, we smart unmarried types know that you can never be sure. But were de facto people. So who would bind themselves to a marriage commitment?
My son did.
Im starting to think that maybe my son, who ditched the bright colours of his homeboy uniform for the sombre uncomfortability of a suit and tie, is wiser than me. But not in all things. Like, he generally wears clothes made from petrol. I wear clothes made from hemp. Im safer near a naked flame. (But as a married man hes safer near a naked woman.)
Maybe he understands that marriage is the ultimate human act. Its a rebellion against the deathly dullness of a rationality that has killed the fairies, maimed Pan, grounded Cupid and rendered relationships temporary and self-centred.
Marriage is a leap of faith. Not the sort of faith that believes that a God sitting in a throne just above the rain clouds is listening to my son making his wedding vows beside a brown river in a green land on a blue planet in a dark corner of one of His universes. But rather a faith that the universe is created from heart matter not brain matter. And it cannot be known, only loved.
Anyway, its not the faith that matters, but the leap. Ah, the wind in your face!
Marriage sabotages the self-serving rationality that there may be someone better. It places love above logic.
It is an assertion of the magic of human life.
Its a raised finger to the calculating self-obsession of the modern age. Its as reckless and improbable as humanity itself.
My sons commitment to love is so strong that under a shaft of sunlight beside a river he vowed to never put his obsession with shoes and hats before his wifes needs.
What greater love hath a homeboy than to give up his sneaker and baseball cap for a woman?