Sunday, 23 April 2017

Do you sleep next to your promises?

Jeanette Winterson is a writer whose work I've long admired. She's gay, and she was always against the idea of getting married because, as the sub-headline in her Guardian article says," Why conform to patriarchal ideas of monogamy?"

She's clearly changed her mind, because she has just got married, and I really liked her vows. 

I promise to look at you and always see you.
I promise to listen to you, 

even when you say things I don’t want to hear.
I promise to respect you: the you that is you; 

the you that is not me; the you that is not us.
I promise to stand by you in the world.
I promise to delight in you.
I promise to treat you like a Jewish princess.
With my body, with my mind, 
with my heart, with my imagination, 

I promise to love you for as long as I live.

As she says, "These were my promises, not someone else’s idea of what I should promise, and so they have real meaning for us both. 

Later I had the calligrapher Stephen Raw write them out. They hang on our bedroom wall. When I am in a good mood, or a bad mood, I read them out loud, and, for different reasons, depending on my mood, they steady me". 

I was very touched by this, not least because our vows hang on our bedroom wall too, and like Jeanette, I sometimes read them out loud, for the same reason. 

When you get married, especially if you are speaking your own vows from cardsdon't just shove them into a keepsake box - use them in some way. 

What have you done with yours?

No comments:

Grant and Natasa’s Humanist Wedding at The Secret Herb Garden

Natasa and Grant’s story began right here in Edinburgh at the start of 2006. Over the course of the next eleven years, it ...