This past Saturday, Teejay and I got married. Of course, living where we do, our marriage is not recognized by the State. I have never been much concerned for the State’s interests in marriage, and it is entirely possible that given the option of having State recognition, I would still balk. After all, marriage, and love, are no longer instruments of state power as they once were, and I find something jarring at the idea that a marriage is only valid once it has been written down on a form and stamped and sealed and locked away in a filing cabinet in a judiciary somewhere. For me, marriage is a social bond, something that exists between those married, between their friends and family. It is a bond of emotion and love, of comfort and care, and the State can have no say in such intimate bonds. However, I am equally appalled at the number of people who would seek to invalidate those bonds through the power of the State. Despite the religious intent of such people, it seems as though they respect the power of their faith, of their god, less than the power of the State, as though only State can define marriage with any actual strength.
I have to laugh, since, as I was planning this post, I didn’t want to make it a rant about equal rights and bigotry, but I suppose for a man such as myself, such a thing would be impossible. I shall now, having briefly ranted, move promptly along.
Teejay and I had no officiate. We took a page from the Quakers and self united. Instead of vows, we read poetry to each other, and then invited those in attendance to read a poem or speak, to offer their blessings. The end result was quite lovely, though I admit that there was some hesitation once the ceremony was underway.
Teejay was too nervous to go first, and so I recited the poem I had chosen, a sonnet by Edna St.Vincent Millay.
Thou art not lovelier than lilacs,—no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair
Than small white single poppies,—I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist,—with moonlight so.
Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink—and live—what has destroyed some men.
Teejay then read a Christina Rossetti poem.
I loved you first: but afterwards your loveOutsoaring mine, sang such a loftier songAs drowned the friendly cooings of my dove.Which owes the other most? my love was long,And yours one moment seemed to wax more strong;I loved and guessed at you, you construed meAnd loved me for what might or might not be –Nay, weights and measures do us both a wrong.For verily love knows not ‘mine’ or ‘thine;’With separate ‘I’ and ‘thou’ free love has done,For one is both and both are one in love:Rich love knows nought of ‘thine that is not mine;’Both have the strength and both the length thereof,Both of us, of the love which makes us one.