Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Space in Togetherness

C'mon, remote, you can do this . . . 

I made another loop around the channels. Nothing to watch. Is it possible? Wait, there's hope! In some obscure, distant edge of surfdom there were All in the Family reruns. 

All in the Family! I haven't seen those since I was a kid, and never understood what was going on. Maybe now I'll get it.

It was a later episode ("New Year's Wedding", 1976), when Michael and Gloria have finally moved out and are new parents to baby Joey. Then, making my night complete, Billy Crystal walks into the room.
Al (Commodore Crystal, Prince of Comedy) and Trudy, longtime friends of Michael and Gloria, are getting married. At this point, Gloria is annoyed at Michael for constantly making decisions, alone, that affects the both of them. Like hosting Al and Trudy's wedding, last minute, in their house. 

As the rather casual service begins (the reverend arrives in ripped jeans on a motorcycle and refers to the happy couple as "rad"), Michael asks Gloria to pass him the book with the quote he prepared, but hisses that it is the wrong one. 

She insists that he will like it, and he begins to read it out loud, then professes it sounds familiar. Gloria reminds him he read it at their own wedding, six years ago.  After he concludes they fall into each other's arms, eclipsing the newlyweds, and he passionately apologizes.

A quick google found it for me: Khalil Gibran, The Prophet, "On Marriage":

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

The above is quite popular for modern weddings. I'm always interested in the source, and looked up Mr. Gibran, who died short of 50, unmarried. 


He himself had a number of unhappy love affairs; his siblings died unwed; his mother had left his drunk father in Lebanon and took her children to a new life in the United States. 

The question is, can one provide advice on subjects they know nothing about, first-hand? 

Well, enough of us do. Including me. So I'll just go with it. 

I read one article against this poem, claiming it idealizes the selfish individual over the selfless unit. But then I read this analysis, which has a completely different take, and one I like much better. 

Let not love stifle progress.         

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