Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hopeful Song for Today: Shine by David Gray

I can see it in your eyes
What I know in my heart is true
That our love it has faded
Like the summer run through
So we'll walk down the shoreline
One last time together
Feel the wind blow our wanderin' hearts
Like a feather
But who knows what's waiting
In the wings of time
Dry your eyes
We gotta go where we can shine

Don't be hiding in sorrow
Or clinging to the past
With your beauty so precious
And the season so fast
No matter how cold the horizon appear
Or how far the first night
When I held you near
You gotta rise from these ashes
Like a bird of flame
Step out of the shadow
We've gotta go where we can shine

For all that we struggle
For all we pretend
It don't come down to nothing
Except love in the end
And ours is a road
That is strewn with goodbyes
But as it unfolds
As it all unwinds
Remember your soul is the one thing
You can't compromise
Take my hand
We're gonna go where we can shine
We're gonna go where we can shine
We're gonna go where we can shine

(And look, and look)
Through the windows of midnight
Moonfoam and silver
"Shine" as written by Dwayne Carter, Christopher Noel Dorsey, Byron O. Thomas, Bryan Williams, Terius Gray, Tab Virgil
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Married / Single / Other

Yesterday I was filling out a new patient form for my son's dentist appointment, and I got to the section that asks for information about the parent or guardian:

Phone Number.
Marital Status: Married / Single / Other

I have to admit, I paused.
Am I married? That's a loaded question. I could not circle it like I so effortlessly would have in the past. Single? No, I'm still sleeping in the same bed with the father of my children each night. Other? What does that even mean? And is that me? Is that what you call people who have been betrayed and yet are trying to move on as a married couple without feeling bound to them anymore?
I have heard a lot of people in my shoes say that they don't consider themselves to be married anymore; that they are merely in a long-term relationship with the parent of their children. I have definitely shared this sentiment on this journey. It makes sense; the term "marriage" implies a sacred covenant. You know, one man/one woman = one flesh. Well, that's out the window! If that's the "religious" meaning of marriage, then we are simply not married anymore. The promise was broken. (Though the biblical meaning of marriage is vague and contradictory anyway, given the fact that polygamy was embraced by Abraham, David, and other biblical heroes.)
And this is why I choose to not wear my wedding ring. Because my personal definition of marriage (you know, me and the rest of the Western world) is a contract of monogamy and faithfulness . The wedding ring symbolized this contract. The contract was broken, so now the ring represents a broken contract. Seems kinda silly to carry around that reminder 24/7.
I guess we are married by law, which really just makes it a civil union. We have a piece of paper that says we are lawfully bound. Any man and woman - and same-sex couples in many states - can walk in to the Justice of the Peace and become "married" for a fee. It holds no sentimental meaning to possess a marriage license.
Some couples in this unfortunate position renew vows to become re-married. I guess that makes the most sense from the spiritual and sentimental perspective. I'm just not ready to be made another promise. Vows are just words, and the words mean nothing when you don't adhere to them.
So how am I supposed to classify my marital status? I guess it depends on who you are talking to and how they define the word. For now, I guess I'll settle for "other."

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