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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Marriage: it's like a sheep pen on the island of Crete

wedding_ceremony_0292

In the end, I wouldn't have had it any other way.

6 months apart, followed by 9 days together, then the wedding.

It seems to have been a good combination. I recommend it.

wedding_ceremony_0307

I've been thinking about this feeling I (we) have, this 'being married' feeling, and wondering how much it is a result of our time apart, and how much it is a result of the wedding itself. My conclusion is that I don't know, and it doesn't matter anyway. The feeling is all that matters.

I'm quite surprised by how different, and how good, it does feel. I didn't really expect things to be very different. I mean, all we've done is say a few words and sign a piece of paper, right? - That was the kind of attitude I may have had a couple of years back (historically, I've not really felt like the marrying type), but no, it seems that we've done much more than that.

wedding_ceremony_0301

There is a strong feeling that this is the start of something new and wonderful. The birth of a family. Our family. Joseph and *Twinkle* Tame (I do a double take every time she emails me from Tokyo using her updated email account). Mr and Mrs Tame - and baby on the way in a couple of years (but already very present in spirit).

We Are Family.

The feeling of family is strong. We laughed and played with it during the 40 hours that we had together after we had made our vows, and before *Twinkle* boarded her flight for Japan.

*Twinkle* Tame I called her. She referred to me as My Husband. We quoted lines from the wedding service to one another, grinning wildly whilst doing so.

The gift of marriage brings husband and wife together
in the delight and tenderness of sexual union
and joyful commitment to the end of their lives.
It is given as the foundation of family life
in which children are born and nurtured
and in which each member of the family,in good times and in bad,
may find strength, companionship and comfort,
and grow to maturity in love...

... *Twinkle*, I give you this ring
as a sign of our marriage.
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you...


I felt very happy that I had reached a point where I could make this kind of declaration, surrounded by friends and family, knowing that it was a vocalisation of the true feelings that I had for *Twinkle*.

And you know, it felt important that it was before a large group of loving friends and family. That really struck me - the presence of so many loved ones really did make a difference (of course ideally I would have streamed it live to the world, but the Church of St John the Baptist is yet to be broadband enabled).

I feel that the communal support for us, represented by the presence of those people, and by the cards, gifts, messages and posts on our Facebook walls that we received from all over the world, really added to the sense of us being blessed as a partnership. People were putting their faith in us as a couple - and that mattered a lot. It's like cement in our relationship.

wedding_ceremony_0339

We became a 'unit'. If I try and picture the result of the transformation, I keep on getting this image of the dry-stone wall sheep pen I slept in on the island of Crete, in Greece, in 1995.

(marriage = a sheep pen? Hmm, worrying..)

No, but I see this protective circular stone wall that is formed by *Twinkle* and I. We are interlocking pieces, providing one another with support. Able to look inward to our private enclosed space for comfort, love, advice, support and shelter (whilst I can't see it in my visulisation, there's probably a wifi-enabled Macbook on a little stone table in the middle of this sheep pen). This is our family unit. In our unity we give one another support in the face of the wind and rain that comes to the island now and then.

There's a door too, and we love to welcome people into our space. We love to share the shelter (and probably wifi) of our new family with others. Together, we are a source of support for other back packers traipsing around the greek island, and hopefully an inspiration too.

May the hospitality of their home
bring refreshment and joy to all around them;
may their love overflow to neighbours in need
and embrace those in distress.


We also have much learn from our visitors, much to be inspired by.

I'm deeply touched by the investment that *Twinkle* has made in me. I know that I am the recipient of something wonderful and rare, something to be truly cherished. It's been there for a long time, and I think was the solid rock that gave us something to hold onto when times were tough over the past 11 months (minus 10 days) apart - a rock that really came to shine through the ceremony.

wedding_ceremony_0496

Over the next few days I'll write more about what actually happened last Friday, and share more photos.

For now though, I'll leave it here. Any more talk of sheep pens and I may find myself with rather a lot of explaining to do over Skype...

xxx

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6 Comments:

Blogger Brian said...

Congradualations!
ご結婚おめでとうございます。

I hope you two will be re-united very soon in Japan. If you do go into teaching ESL/EFL be careful! Some schools, companies, and people are dogdy. Not, all of course. And, there are a lot of good people here, too. But, do your homework and be ready. Happiness and health takes planning anywhere. So, I highly recommend you read:

Kata: The Key to Understanding & Dealing With the Japanese!
by Boye De Mente

31/7/08 07:43  
Anonymous Nikki said...

Congratulations Joseph and *Twinkle*, wishing you many years of happiness.

A really thought-provoking insight to marriage, I'm such a believer in true love and soulmates that this was really delightful to read and it honestly made my day to know there was happiness in the world. After reading all the bad news which highlights the darkness in the world, it's great to know that good things happen to good people.

Looking forward to hearing more on the adventures of Mr and Mrs Tame.

31/7/08 08:29  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

Congratulations Joseph and *Twinkle*, wishing you happiness forever.

1/8/08 05:02  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thank you Brian, and thanks for your advice too - I'll be keeping my eyes open!

nikki, thank you so much! Mr and Mrs Tame. tee hee. I'm looking forward to hearing about their adventures too!

Rajesh, thank you :-) Looking forward to 201 too!

1/8/08 09:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heartfelt congratulations Joseph. Love: it really is a beautiful thing. I wish you both all the very best.

2/8/08 13:57  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thank you anonymous ;-)

2/8/08 17:11  

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