Simply Being | Simple Being

Tag: marriage (page 1 of 2)

Girls Departing

Girls departing
in silver-grey Merc-Benz cars, sometimes chubby Ambassadors, white and solid.
A rented vehicle maybe, a scarlet red Hyundai, sometimes.
Or a flashy Porsche, bedecked in flowers and streamers,
A shiny convertible?

(No, it’s never that kind of fun for us.)

We leave behind our mothers and dads and younger siblings
As they step into other vehicles.
I sit in mine, surrounded by strangers, one of them more familiar than the others.

I look back, the cars have left already.

I am on my own
In a car that’s all new, with a family that’s all new.

Girls depart to new homes, bearing new names and identities,
New clothes, old jewelry, new ideas, old theories.

My Love

My love, he refuses to wear a dark sweater as he goes to work in the yard;
He is stubborn, I know.

He will not listen to anyone, not even me.

My love has ideas of his own, some that he shares, and many that remain afloat in his imagination,

My love is secretive and dynamic,
He thinks a great deal, frets a lot,
My love is often doing things on his own,
He seems quiet and content
I see him not much, hear him very little, sometimes.

He speaks to me, I speak to him

We have eyes only for each other.

But we are like twin boats, floating in an endless expanse, tied and tethered to each other, a little, just that much,
so we don’t float off into oblivion,
out of each other’s sight.

He is charting his own path,
I am dreaming of mine.

I think we will keep each other in sight.

But he consults no one about his plans, not even me.

I do the same,

and so on we continue,

into the 20th year of our floating together.

Desire for Offspring

PonderingAs a child, I always imagined that I’d grow up to have a family of four myself.

I regarded our family as a perfect foursome. We shared secrets (at least I did, with Mummy), indulged in spirited discussions on almost every topic under the sun (“Really, apart from breasts and penis, what is the difference between men and women?” Ahhh, the earnestness. I am sure my sage Mom gave nothing away), went to concerts and dance performances and movies and restaurants, and so on.

I thought, clearly this is the perfect template for a happy family. Yes, I would have two children as well.

Then came adolescence, teens, glowing youth. Along came a guy, all thick eyebrows and dark eyes and intense expressions. I promptly fell in love. The years that followed were filled with happy adventures and philosophical discussions as we eagerly tried to understand each other, savoring the new relationship. I wasn’t thinking of marriage at all but time passed soon enough… and marriage happened. The boyfriend became a husband. Then came the honeymoon phase, as I tried to wrap my head around the new role I was playing. Everything felt new, exciting and fresh.

The beginning of marriage also coincided with my introduction of meditation and spirituality. That was a whole new adventure in itself (that continues to date), bringing me so many gifts — friends, fun, awareness, clarity, confidence.

No thoughts of children arose. As the years passed by, I turned my mind to the question. Thought back to the sepia-toned picture I carried in my mind through childhood — me, the husband, two children.

Nothing about that picture seemed relevant any more. I realized that I had no desire for offspring at all. As a child, I had effortlessly internalized the “happy-family-of-four” dream but as an adult, seemingly more self-aware and mature, I let go of that dream. In fact, it simply vaporized. It had no legs at all. It was empty.

I know a few women who say that they ALWAYS knew about their desire to have children. As they became adults and found fitting partners, they promptly acted on that desire. I am incredibly thankful that I recognized my lack of desire, and acted on it.

(Human beings have a strong survival instinct. My uninitiated opinion is that the desire for sex as well as the desire for children function as means to fulfill that instinct. Perhaps an evolutionary biologist might know more. We are well aware that our life span is limited. Producing offspring is how we stave off the threat of death and subsequent extinction. Now, everyone knows that humans are in no danger of extinction, so we have no real reason to procreate. Except that old desires die hard, so we continue to birth and raise and nurture children. Ahh, well.)

A Solid Case for Marriage

Since I have been married for a good long eight years, I suppose I am qualified to dispense advice on this topic. Jokes apart, here is a good reason why marriage makes sense.

As one becomes more spiritual-minded, the first thing to vanish is the notion of external security. It does not take long to realize that there is no such thing. Life is unpredictable, and basing happiness and peace of mind on size of bank accounts, inheritances, stock options, etc. is pointless. Even health is a phenomenon. You could do all the right things – eat local and organic, buy fresh produce, manage all Doshas and imbalances – and fall sick. You cannot even take pride or courage in the fact that you have a healthy constitution. So what if you enjoy good health? It does not take much for that to fly out of the window either. (I am not advocating that you neglect your health. Everyone knows that I am all about local and seasonal produce, Ayurvedic remedies and awareness in consumption. You get my point, don't you?)

It sinks in, sooner than later, that the biggest source of comfort and strength lies within. Call it whatever name you wish – God, Self, self, Nature. It is ever present, will not leave you when times are bad (even if you wish it would go away) and can be a great friend and ally through out your life.

Then why get married? If all that wonderful companionship, support, encouragement and love comes from within, then why forge a new relationship? Not to mention one that comes with all sorts of expectations of unsaid understanding, deep love, commitment – what's the charm in it? Sure, there's that thing about a physical relationship, the joy of sharing one's self inside and out with another individual, a sense of oneness with another being. But if you are fixated with that, be sure that it'll vanish pretty soon. (Side idea – getting fixated with people and events leaves you stuck and then all joy and fun vanishes too.)

How about getting married for purely practical reasons?

Marriage gave me a person who drove me around when I had no license, handed me jars from shelves too high, opened bottle caps that were screwed on too tight, and made tea when I was tired. I found someone who had no qualms in emptying the dishwasher or cleaning the toilet or giving me an opinion on houseplants. In turn, I got an opportunity to hone my cooking-for-two-or-more skills. I learned that there was a smidgen of the maternal instinct within that helped me tend to a sick partner. I found my inner semi-domestic goddess and more-than-enthusiastic baker.

Sure I could have gained all these skills with any other relationship as well but it was fun discovering them with my best friend. The love, laughter and companionship doesn't hurt either.