Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Day 102: Tap, Tap, Tap {a film: Bridegroom}

In Couples, Gay Marriage, life, Love, Marriage on November 2, 2013 at 6:47 am

It’s not often that something inspires me so much so that I have to immediately find my computer and start to write.

After clicking through the multiple netflix documentary options, I finally settled on Bridegroom–a film about a gay man whose partner dies.

What unfolds throughout the film is a beautiful story of true love. Tom is in early twenties when he accidentally falls off of the roof of his friend’s apartment building while taking pictures. What follows is not the story of Tom’s death, but the story of his life, with Shane, his partner. There is a moment in the film where Shane talks about how scared he was to tell Tom publicly that he loved him, for fear of what others might have thought, so instead, if the couple were out, they would tap the table three times tap {I} tap {love} tap {you}. One of the unique features of the film is its recap of the actual messages Tom and Shane shared during their six-year relationship. They would banter about traveling the world together, which they did, and having a kid, and teaching it how to ride a bike, and eating family meals with the dog underneath the table patiently awaiting scraps. Real stuff.

After Tom’s death, the hospital nurses give Shane a beautiful gift–a gift of time. They allow Shane moments with Tom before his family arrives–even though he is not “family” according to hospital policy. Not knowing this would be his last time near Tom’s body, Shane only finds one thing appropriate for the moment–he reaches out and taps Tom’s leg three times.

It’s hard for me to imagine, having been in love, having had my own three-hand squeeze, to understand how anyone could see love differently just because someone is gay. As the film depicts, Tom loved everyone, even his parents, the ones who ultimately deny his true identity, he still loved them.

In this life there is nothing more precious than the opportunity to love someone–to serve them. Shane and Tom, and their story, are a testament to this. Tom’s true legacy is what he gave those in his life, including Shane, “an unconditional love.”

This film will move you beyond words, you must watch it.


Day 85: The Dalliance of Eagles

In Love on March 23, 2013 at 12:41 am

I’ve written a lot about divorce on this blog, and of course the things I’ve learned about what it entails.  Yet, I haven’t written much about what it has taught me concerning marriage.  Seems a funny thing to say that divorce is meant, or can, inform how you interpret such a supreme type of unity. 

It has taught me that marriage isn’t the act that binds a couple–it’s merely a legal appropriation.  Yes, it makes things easier logistically and some would argue it provides a cord that links a familial unit.  Although, I’ve never understood why people rush out to get married upon discovering a pregnancy (in fear that they would have an illegitimate child).  I think there is more illegitimacy in a child experiencing a broken or forced love between his/her parents.  Which leads me to the next thing I know marriage to be.

A love that creates a happiness that others can see (most importantly your children).  This kind of love can’t be found in a short amount of time, but rather it is built throughout a lifetime. 

Sacrifice. I think this component of marriage informs from two directions.  I mean, if you’re willing to sacrifice then you know true love for another, or rather, you have found it.  And then, seeing that sacrifice in action as you live your lives together.

Finally, as I was reading through Walt Whitman’s “The Dalliance of Eagles” today (the poem that inspired this post).  It represents an important, but often overlooked, aspect of marriage or commitment–personal independence and identification.  The poem discusses the courtship ritual of the bald eagle–they resume in flight the courted eagles, dancing and marveling together, claws interlocked, and together take a deep aerial plunge toward the earth.  Then, at the last second, the eagles will release their talons and soar upward toward the sky in what Whitman describes as

A motionless still balance in the air, then parting, talons loosing,  
Upward again on slow-firm pinions slanting, their separate diverse flight,  

She hers, he his, pursuing.

In the ascending flight, the birds find their own strength and identity.They come to know that they are able and that they can soar on their own. Remember though, before they part they dance, this is their dalliance. The eagles know when to let go, they know they have to let go of one another in order rise again. In this, there is transcendence as they soar.

This is one of the most miraculous and overlooked feats an individual must come to know–how to balance love for another and love for individuality.  The goal is not to loose oneself in love, but rather, to find oneself more legitimately. 

Being raised religiously, I’ve watched so many young people get married.  I watch those who wallow in a superficial marriage, those that glom onto their partner’s identity, those who are too young to even know themselves, those who give up their dreams or even the chance at making dreams for marriage, I’ve watched so many eagles, talons interlocked, plunge right into the earth, because they don’t know to let go, they don’t know that by letting go they can find themselves and a deeper love for each other. 

a whit who has learned the dalliance of eagles.

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