Wednesday, January 30, 2008

mo anam cara

Years ago I coined the phrase "epic tales of retrospect" which, to me, meant that we have a habit of retelling life's stories as more tragic, more fantastic, more disastrous, more romantic, more...epic than they ever were in reality.

Like that 50 year plus marriage of the two white-hairs who still can't seem to keep their hands off each other? The way they met in high school, courted, were separated by war, united and dove headlong into marital bliss? Aren't we all hoping that life, love, romance, marriage and family life will be "that" perfect? But...what is "that" perfect?

Do we consider happy couples to have lived movie-like romances or are movie-like romances retold by couples who prefer to focus on the details that were happy?

Isn't it just a matter of perspective?

Don't we find what we seek for?

I can tell you that I've found The One. I can tell you that he's my soul mate. Have we fought, frustrated each other, contemplated running away, shut down, tuned out, rolled eyes, cried and died a thousand little deaths? Absolutely.

Was it love at first sight?

In retrospect, yes.

"Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to."
- J.R.R. Tolkien (in a letter to his son)

"...oftentimes the Loved Ones, though twenty thousand leagues away, recognize at once the responsive note of their destined Lover; and, penetrating the paltry obstacles of distance, Love unites..."
- Edwin A. Abbott,
Flatland (1884)

Why would you think your boy could become
The man who could make you sure he was the one?
The one
My one
My one
- Feist ("The Park")


littleHoudini said...

We humans absolutely alter and embellish our stories - sometimes it's "to make a long story short," but mostly it's to enhance the tale, 'cause who doesn't love a good story?

Here's the cool part, though: studies have shown that the more we tell a story with the 'altered' details, the more we come to believe it actually happened that way. We in fact, fool ourselves and alter the memory until there's a point where we're no longer deliberately enhancing the story, rather we're retelling it the way we've convinced ourselves it happened.

Which is why you can rarely believe anything anyone says, though you can certainly enjoy it.

Andrew G said...

here I am, stuck in an airport far away from you...

I think it's important that you and I don't live in the past. Yeah, occasionally we get together with our friends and retell stories about the fun we've had... but more often, we're too busy making new memories to reminisce.

I'm glad for the time it took us to come together; it's made things so much more beautiful and we've been able to see God's hand at work through it all.