Tag Archives: vows

Promises to tomorrow #42 #Vows

I haven’t been able to get to write on Sunday as is my practice. Two young lovers betrothed and commitments already made in state law, were consolidated with nuptials in the heart of a forest this week. What an intense time for our family. So much we are asking of ourselves and each other – turning emotions on and off like a tap just to get through. Love and respect around every corner and being held deeply and consistently by those who know how to hold and be held.

Forest floor layered

Slivers of light

Breaking into hearts

Witnesses wait

Fairies are found

Music glides

Bands of gold

Trussed peacocks

Humble ground

All season vows

Bonds and binding

Promises to tomorrow

Rose petals dried

Perfume distilled

Showering lovers

Remembering my vows: “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.” I kept my end up on the good times and bad and felt the scales definitely tipped not in my favour for the sickness and health one. It is a big vow to make and one that you don’t ever really fully understand until you are in it. I did OK on the love and honour one and notice that it ends with all the days of MY life, not all the days of your life.

The vows we make to ourselves are as strong as the ones we make with another. The promise to tomorrow to be true to myself in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love and honour myself all the days of my life, is actually harder than the marriage vow to keep. Regardless of our marital state making such a vow to yourself is worth it – because we all need to be own best friend first and where ever we go we take ourselves. Vows are not made to another but to yourself, to hold yourself to account, so in the darkest days you have love, in the saddest days you have courage and the wildest days you can grasp the rudder and stay the course, and in the sunless night you remember the moon’s powers.

Pilgrim! Walk on! is the promise to tomorrow and for every day forth. To keep walking the path where ever it goes in trust, courage and humility knowing all the while it is your path that you make by walking it. The instruction for walking is one foot in front of the other and it is that kind of walking that also needs to have pepper and salt moments looking the heavens as well as looking to the ground. Courage will come on the wind and in a new voice sourced from the same love that started the journey.

 

“Lucy looked along the beam and presently saw something in it. At first it looked like a cross, then it looked like an aeroplane, then it looked like a kite, and at last with a whirring of wings it was right overhead and was an albatross. It circled three times round the mast and then perched for an instant on the crest of the gilded dragon at the prow. It called out in a strong sweet voice what seemed to be words though no one understood them. After that it spread its wings, rose, and began to fly slowly ahead, bearing a little to starboard. Drinian steered after it not doubting that it offered good guidance. But no one but Lucy knew that as it circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.”
C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

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Promises to Tomorrow #7 Badlands

Vows are a solemn promise to the future. Not necessarily a guarantee, but certainly a declaration and always vocational, a sacred intention.  How do we bring our commitments to fruition in an ever-changing complex world?  The idea of a vow is an old fashioned one and connected to a time where relationships had their own time line linked to the longevity of a human’s life span.

I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honour you all the days of my life. Wedding vows

The good times and the bad times – in equal measure and yet sickness comes before health in the marriage vows, a secret code embedded into the transaction to let you know that is where the learning will most likely come.  Another hint of the future hidden in the vows knowing the days of life are limited and finite.

Loving you is also a key message – not loving some kind of preferred imaginary version of you, but you, a clever little word able to be singular and plural.  What if the vow refers to the plural – the you the couple becomes by being in union?

Taking an oath is sacred and sanctified by the witnesses.  In these days when the oath is linked to office or evidence it is a public declaration that brings integrity and honour.  It is also an opportunity to be humble and being willing to hold yourself to some kind of public account. It is a marriage with the people or with the truth.

Our world is challenged by ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’ and so the marriage, the social contract with those who have taken vows and oaths on our behalf: delusional leads to dissolution.  The marriage between political leaders and the public is heading to divorce. The public prefer the good times and health to bad times and sickness and their patience won’t last as long as most marriages.

The social contract between those who make oaths and vows with us is under threat. Springsteen forecasted in Badlands (from Darkness on the Edge of Town) these badlands are the price to pay before we are raised above and are treated so much better.  The vows strain towards hope, lean towards fidelity, taken in dark times, cling to the promise of better days beyond the badlands.

Poor man wanna be rich,
Rich man wanna be king,
And a king ain’t satisfied,
’til he rules everything …

Well, I believe in the love that you gave me,
I believe in the faith that can save me,
I believe in the hope and I pray,
That someday it may raise me
Above these badlands …

Badlands, you gotta live it everyday,
Let the broken hearts stand
As the price you’ve gotta pay,
We’ll keep pushin’ ’til it’s understood,
And these badlands start treating us good …

What vows will you make to the future to go beyond the badlands?

My promise to the future is a vow: to be true to you (plural) and bring my truth to our conversations in public and private domains; seek to honour others truths;  bring what health I can to places where there is ill health … and that will take me into the badlands.