Sunday's Woe Be Gone

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with its brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved."
[-Shakespeare (SonnetCXVI)]

"May 1963, the bride sits weeping under the hairdryer in the 'Bon Mare Chez' Beauty Salon. And none of the old women speak to her. They all know what she's feeling. You have your life story all worked out and someone comes along who seems to be qualified to play a part. And you choose him, the closer you come to the day, the less you know about him, until he's like some hitch hiker you picked up on the highway. It's an arranged marriage! Who is this person? You have no idea. What are you getting into? Here in the beauty salon, a copy of the National Enquirer: 'Local Woman Weds Alien Man Gives Birth on Jupiter to Baby with 40lb Transparent Head'. This sort of thing happens! You think you know what’s going to happen and you don't. You have no idea!

"Saturday morning in the vestibule and the bride sits with her head between her knees, and her cousin is playing Jesu, 'Joy of Man's Desire' over and over again on the piano. And her mother is kneeling beside her saying, 'What do you want to do?' Her cheerful mother, who believes in always making the best of what you have, and she says, 'Get married.' So she stands and they smile and the signal is passed and she walks forward into the church with her father.

"Here's to spring! To all we loved and all who loved us! To all the lovers and the love we made! Nothing that was between them was a mistake! All that we did for love's sake was not wasted and will never fade!

"That moment in the vestibule life might have taken a different direction. She can imagine herself turning and running and going home but what then she can imagine? Life is good even the bad parts are good. Is there just cause why these two should not be joined together in holy matrimony? Yes there is every reason in the world, but life is meant to be lived. So when she goes back to 1963, she walks forward even knowing what she knows. There's no such thing as a great marriage anyway they’re more alike than they are different. We're not so original as we might think. There are some marriages that quit and some marriages that keep on trying. Hers might have gone on trying, it could've worked out because we're all heroes. We have resources that we know not of. We're stronger than we think, and it isn’t a nocturne that the organist has to play when we leave the church. It isn't a fantasia, it isn’t a love song, it's a march people, it's a march!"

-Garrison Keillor (APHC, 4/19/03)

/via the radio WNYC 820


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