Through all the years to come
And through all the tears to come
I know I’ll be yours
From this day on!
It’s a little line at the end of a not well known song at the end of an equally not well known musical called Brigadoon. It’s a fanciful musical that hasn’t seen the Broadway stage since 1981. And yet this line haunts me.
It’s some of the most gloriously romantic chords I’ve ever heard in a song, complete with perfectly synced lyrics. It makes me stand in awe of the writings of these men from the 60s who wrote such timeless, aching, hopeful music.
And this refrain at the end of the song just gets me. I cry every time I hear it and I’ve been hearing it a lot lately as I've been practicing singing the refrain.
There’s something so eternal about that line of music. It escalates so effortlessly and protests of an eternal love we all long for and maybe feel every once or twice in our lives and yet still cling to the hope that that kind of love really does exist for us.
Some people get that love. A few couples’ faces come to mind. I often wonder about these couples: do they lay in bed next to one another and dream together and whisper their undying devotion to one another year after year after year. I think they do.
I used to have those moments, as I lay in my boyfriend’s arms half asleep after making love and I’d hear him whisper, “I wanna marry you.” But he doesn’t believe or say those things anymore, and I don’t know if I want to marry him anyway.
But the dream is still there.
I want to punch my friend in the face who this past weekend started asking about that dream.
She inquired if I wanted to get married again. I brushed her question off with a very, in my mind, well thought out and confidently mature response of “Nah, I’m okay without it. I’m not opposed to getting married again, but it’s not something I need. Been there, done that.”
“Is it because you feel like you don’t deserve it?” and I waved her query off just as easily. I have no regrets over my marriage or my fight to save it. I have no regrets for falling in love with a married man and trying to make it work. Yes, adultery is wrong, but cheating on a cheater doesn’t register as too foul in my book, so I have no regrets.
“No, that’s not it at all. I don’t need to get remarried because last time it was so hard fighting for it that I don’t have a burning desire to do that again. It’s not out of fear, but rather fatigue, and so I’d be peachily content with a long term commitment of sorts. And the second reason is is that speaking to women who are separated or divorced and me being remarried just kinda sounds annoying. It rings a little edgy and progressive not to need a ring.”
“Yes,” my friend says, “but you really don’t think it’s because you feel you don’t deserve it?” and as I started to repeat my so-sure response, tears welled up in my eyes and I realized she got me. Dammit. I actually said that out loud when I realized she was right. Dammit.
It’s not that I don’t think I deserve remarriage, it’s that I don’t want to fuck up someone else’s life. I don’t want to burden someone with so much baggage that comes with me. And I realized it’s why I turn away men in their 20s or 30s because I see how they have their whole lives ahead of them and even though I’m smack dab between 30s and 40s, unless you have an ex-spouse and children too, I don’t want to give you that kind of weight if you don’t already have it.
Dammit. I’ve been sitting on this thorny truth the last few days and I don’t like what it brings up, because what am I supposed to do? Pray to God that he’d make me feel worthy – that He’d orchestrate some poor guy to want to take on my burdens, my past, my fucked-up-ness? And then what if God doesn’t answer that prayer? Then I’m left feeling whole and healthy and ultimately unrequited in the love I’m ready to give?
No, it’s easier to believe I am damaged goods and not that I’m undeserving of something good, but in my humanity – my humane-ness, I don’t want to weigh a sweet man down. And the kind of man what would want to be with me would be sweet and wonderful, because I am sweet and wonderful and therefore HE doesn’t deserve the ugliness that comes with my past.
And so I come full circle to this beautiful song that haunts me because it cries of an everlasting love – a love that transcends time and plunges the depths of all knowledge and pain and the mysterious eternity. I want a love like that. I always have. I always have, and when I hear it it brings tears to my eyes because I want to believe love like that exists. For me.
I am staring at an ocean, God.
I think back to where I was a while ago.
The ocean looked different then.
It was wide and glorious and I was happy looking at it.
Then You came and threw in the fish.
And the sea was teaming with life.
And it was more glorious than before.
And I stood in awe and thankfulness.
And then you took the fishes away.
And the ocean wasn’t teaming anymore.
It was empty then.
And it doesn’t seem as beautiful.
I cannot forget the way I once saw it.
I cannot forget how it had been.
And now I feel You asking me to stare at an empty ocean again and be happy,
And forget it’s empty.
I liked it better when I didn’t know.